Collaboration between Social Work academics and students to create timely mobile app

The app has been cited as an example of good practice by the Digital Capabilities for Social Work project.

Date: 29 May 2020

Dr Denise Turner, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, has worked with 40 social work students in order to create a mobile app to help encourage and support the next generation of social workers, and embed much needed digital literacy skills.

The app, titled Starting your Social Work journey, has been created in response to the Digital Capabilities for Social Work project, commissioned by Health Education England. The app attempts to address the issues highlighted within the Digital Capabilities project, paying particular attention to a long-acknowledged reluctance to adopt digital technology, despite the continuing work of innovators and enthusiasts.

The project, which ended in March 2020, was being delivered by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in partnership with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). The completed mobile app is cited as one of the eight practice examples within the Digital Capabilities for Social Work initial Stakeholder Report.

Denise said: “The work I did with social work students on creating the Starting your Social Work journey app models the collaboration and digital innovation that have suddenly been placed into sharp focus across the sector by COVID-19. 

“The app has already been cited as an example of good practice in the National Digital Capabilities for Social Work project and it is now really exciting to see our article published in the international journal Social Work Education.  This is groundbreaking work in the social work profession and I’m incredibly proud of the more than 40 students who offered the time and insights that helped us to achieve this.”

The app provides users with access to a series of informative videos and audio clips of current social work students at London Met, detailing their experiences and advice of studying the degree, as a way of preparing the next generation of social workers. The app also explains how to prepare for assessments and interviews. It is currently being trialled by students in their first year at the University of Gloucestershire.