Social work is a profession that works with some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of society, seeking to promote human rights, challenging inequality and discrimination, and empowering individuals, families and communities.
This poetry anthology, which follows in the footsteps of Tools of the Trade (for doctors) and To Learn the Future (for teachers), will help to support newly qualified social workers to reflect more deeply during the most formative years of their professional development. It will be a flexible resource that can be used by lone workers, groups or in supervision. This anthology will provide a token of how much the social work profession appreciates its newly qualified workers. Gifting this poetry collection sends the message ‘we value you and your wellbeing’. Giving and sharing poems is a way of building community among social workers.
We propose an anthology for newly qualified Scottish social workers similar to Tools of the Trade. This book will offer newly qualified social workers a companion of poems which explore the meaning of social work and compassion in order to promote our new social workers’ self-care and wellbeing. We mean this to provide comfort, support and inspiration to all newly graduated social workers in Scotland.
Social work has a long history working with the humanities which will inform the selection of poems for this new anthology, twinning arts and health. Poems selected will demonstrate compassion, including the service user-social worker relationship and the narrative of what it means to be a social worker. The poetry will be arranged thematically around some of the major challenges of social work: childhood, disability and ill health, death and dying, beginnings and ends, and transitions. It will focus on the light as well as the darkness encapsulated within these themes.
How You Can Help
Every year between 500 and 600 Social Work students graduate from programmes across Scotland. In order to produce this anthology and gift each of them a copy at graduation for 2021, 2022, and 2023 we need to raise £9000.
We are seeking funding from professionals bodies, trusts and individuals.
You can help by doing the following:
1. Encourage your organisation to sponsor this project. Donating to this project provides an excellent opportunity for your organisation to publicise its work across the newly qualified social work profession. Major sponsors will have their logo on the back of the book.
2. Get in touch with the project team through Dr Autumn Roesch-Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Ariane Critchley at email@example.com and share you poetry suggestions or ideas for how to promote and develop this project.
3. Submit your own poem through the Scottish Poetry Library. See the call for poems here.