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Authors: Sue Hanna and Karen Lyons

This chapter is based primarily on the findings of a qualitative study conducted over 2011/12, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which investigated the post-arrival integration, professional practice and development of transnational ‘Social workers’ (TSWs) that is, social workers who trained and qualified outside the UK, but who are now involved in delivering statutory child protection/safeguarding services in London and SE England. These workers are used primarily as a reserve labour force by local authorities to ‘plug gaps’ in statutory child protection services which are frequently characterised by high levels of staff turnover. The experiences of these TSWs are relatively under-researched and, despite austerity measures severely affecting the public social care sector, England remains a receiving country for TSWs, although more frequently now from inside the European Union. The wider national policy context, as presented in the literature, is described and reference is made to relevant findings from other research regarding the experiences of TSWs themselves. Evidence from this study demonstrates the challenges associated with entering a professional environment characterised by a far higher degrees of formalism, regulation and, risk-aversive practice than TSWs have encountered in their home countries. Findings will be discussed thematically and conclusions will be drawn to address how, for TSWs, regulation has come to illustrate the salient feature of statutory child protection social work in England

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Data from nine focus-group discussions is presented here, contained within a larger study. The focus groups involved social work students, academics, practice educators and newly qualified social workers, and explored challenges and opportunities as these emerged from the upsurge of the Black Lives Matter movement and relevant activism following the end of May 2020. The majority of participants do not feel that they have been prepared well for anti-racist practice; more than one third of the respondents has felt discriminated against in their practice; and most claimed that their placement or practice adheres to culturally sensitive practice. This article concludes that a sustained agenda in social work education and training is needed that will address anti-racist practice by name, as well as promote a greater degree of self-awareness and self-understanding of professionals.

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