I qualified as a social worker aged 22 with a degree in social work and a CQSW (the professional qualification of the day). I have now been a social worker for more than half of my life. If you cut me in half it would say social worker all the way through. Social work is not just what I do, but who I am.
I have worked in a variety of social work settings in both the statutory and voluntary sectors and have also been a foster carer.
I have been a practice educator for many years and really enjoy working with students.
In 2013 I had a major stroke. This impacted on my work and my understanding of social work in many ways, as experiencing services often does. Since that time, I have not been a direct case holder, although I still support other social workers in discussing their work directly. I also still work as an offsite practice educator.
I was privileged to hold the position of Honorary Secretary of the International Federation of Social Workers (European Region) for a number of years. I learnt a great deal from this role, gaining an international perspective on our profession and am keen to further develop the international links which I have.
I have written a number of books for students and for social workers and I undertake a great deal of training. Largely my writing and my training falls into the areas of social work theory and critical reflection which is where my passions lie.
I believe strongly in the importance of creativity in social work. Now more than ever, social workers need to be creative. They need to be supported in creative workplaces by creative managers and they need to have creative models to support their practice.
I set up Kirwin Maclean Associates as an independent publisher because I wanted to see social work publications produced by a company based on the values and ethics of social work. As a company, we take care to consider the ethics of our suppliers, printers etc.