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Thu 19 Jan

CANCELLED - Practice Teachers: Supporting social work students to develop professional writing skills

12.30 - 2.00pm



This seminar will consider the core components of competent professional writing, (such as critical writing for decision making, anti-oppressive language) and offer strategies for Practice Teachers to support their teaching and assessment of students' writing skills.  In addition, the concept of effective and constructive feedback will be considered as a mechanism of support for students.


Competent and effective professional writing skills are essential in social work practice. Effective written communication is core to the assessment process, the decision-making process, in review and evaluation, for sharing important information in collaborative teams and is an important component in mapping the service users’ journey with our service.   Written records, such as case recordings and formal reports (i.e.: court reports/case conferences reports, case chronologies and reports for multi-disciplinary meetings) inform complex decisions that have a significant impact on peoples lives and serve as a powerful tool for advocacy in practice (Frith & Martin, 2021). Therefore, it is imperative that social work students are adequately supported in developing critical and analytical writing skills throughout their educational journey, so that they can emerge through qualification with a solid foundation upon which to build.  Practice placements are integral to the social work students learning journey, it is where academic learning and knowledge is applied to practice, supports development of the core skills and competencies required for proficient practice and contributes to development of professional identity. It is important that Practice Teachers have the knowledge, skills and resources required to adequately support the student in the development of professional writing skills.


Brenda Feeney, Programme Director of the MA in Social Work in Atlantic Technological University

Brenda is a Practice Education Coordinator and Lecturer in social work and a professionally qualified and registered social worker, with extensive experience in social work practice. Brenda worked as an Independent social work Consultant. Brenda is currently engaged in Doctoral studies at Queens University, Belfast.

Contact Brenda at 


The event is a collaboration between the NPTSWI and the IASW. Visit for information about the Initiative and to download resources.