Reflections from Members of a Collaborative Social Work Practitioner–Academic Research Team Investigating the Career Progression Experiences of Black Social Workers

Moseley, Akilah; Taylor, Mark; Wilson, Sophia; Mazumdar, Salil Meech; Rowaiye, Celestina and Law, Agnes. 2024. Reflections from Members of a Collaborative Social Work Practitioner–Academic Research Team Investigating the Career Progression Experiences of Black Social Workers. Critical and Radical Social Work, ISSN 2049-8608 [Article]

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This article shares the reflections of members of a collaborative practitioner–academic research team in social work. The team investigated the career progression experiences of black social workers working in statutory social work services in South-East London. Our intention in this article is to share our experience of researching a subject that holds emotional and political resonance. We do so by offering individual perspectives from different team members on how their project involvement affected them both personally and professionally. We also discuss some of the general themes identified in our reflections. These include practitioners growing in research confidence, the need to create a safe emotional space for stories of researcher discomfort and uncertainty to be heard, the effects of undertaking research on professional social work identity, and curiosity about whether our research endeavours can change social work career progression policies and practices for black social work colleagues. We caution that a safe emotional container is required when researching personally and professionally sensitive, subjects such as racism and discrimination in social work. We hope that our article inspires social work practitioners to become involved in research activities.

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"This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Critical and Radical Social Work. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: 10.1332/20498608Y2024D000000027"

Funding: We wish to acknowledge the support of the Department for Education (DfE) and the South-East London (Social Work) Teaching Partnership for funding the original study that helped us produce this article. Funding was made available under DfE Grant Reference Number: project_5480.


practitioners as researchers, collaborative social work research, researching racism and discrimination in social work

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


12 March 2024Accepted
10 April 2024Published Online

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18 Mar 2024 11:48

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2024 19:37

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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