Dr Louise Grant discussing SWORD at the launch event Image University of Bedfordshire

Aim is to promote the best social work practice

University of Bedfordshire academics have launched a process to help improve organisational resilience in child and family social work.

The Social Work Organisational Resilience Diagnostic (SWORD) tool assesses the extent to which organisational factors and conditions support the wellbeing of their staff and promote optimum social work practice.

Officially launched on 5 December 2019, SWORD was co-produced with partners from across the Research in Practice children’s social care network.

Dr Louise Grant, executive dean for the School of Health and Social Sciences at the University of Bedfordshire, said:

“Being able to work with social workers at all levels in developing this tool has been a real honour. Social Work is a great profession but needs to be supported by an organisational culture which enable social workers to thrive not merely survive.

“We really hope that this tool will enable organisations to create the right working conditions for social workers so that they, in turn, can concentrate on using all their skills knowledge and experience to support the people they work with to ensure good outcomes.”

Professor Gail Kinman, professor of Occupational Health Psychology, said:

“We are delighted to be launching this tool that will help develop organisational cultures to support resilience and wellbeing in social workers and enhance the service they provide.”

Susannah Bowyer, assistant director of Research in Practice, said:

“We hope that the tool and resources will support organisational and professional wellbeing, and therefore enable individuals to support the children, young people and families they work with to ensure good outcomes.”

The University is the top ranking University in the UK for Social Work in the 2019 Guardian League Tables.