ESWRA Seminars

In response to interest from SIGS, ESWRA’s commitment to inclusivity, and the digital possibilities developed in the context of Covid-19, we are planning a series of seminars for ESWRA members, facilitated by SIGS.
We are inviting SIG convenors to submit an abstract for a seminar in this series. The abstract should include the title, abstract of 100 – 200 words, names of the speakers, and an indication of the structure. There is no theme, though hopefully the work of the SIG, or a particular member of the SIG’s work will be show-cased. Please demonstrate in your abstract that you have taken into account that the Association’s aim is to take forward the development, practice and utilization of social work research to enhance knowledge about individual and social problems, and to promote just and equitable societies.
For more information about the ESWRA Seminar series or to submit an abstract please email
View available seminars by clicking titles below.

Using arts-based methods in participatory social work research. Interactive hands on- skill-teaching seminar: “How to use creative genograms, conflicted fish, and integrate stress and coping in your research projects: Professor Ephrat Huss

This seminar will describe the embodied relational aesthetic turn and its contribution to social work research specifically. Outlining how arts can capture the triangle between the subjective experience of the individual, the relational context, and the physical socio- cultural context or world of the research participant. It will outline the interrelationship between subjective and objective knowledge stressors, and recourses, as caught spatially in the arts in the relationship between figure and background, as well as meaning levels as expressed in symbols, enabling to "re-search" for the experiences of participants outside of the limitations of professional abstractions.

Most importantly, this seminar will outline three practical structured arts-based methods that can be used in research with individuals, families, groups, and communities (creative genograms, conflicted fish, and transforming images to integrate stress and coping). Participants will be able to apply the theory but also the methods to their own research concerns.

Relevant publications of the presenter and others will be utilized as examples of the above theories and methods.

Exploring the role of social work in upholding the human rights of older people in care homes- Covid19 as a catalyst for change? Dr Sarah Donnelly and Prof. Alisoun Milne

Throughout Europe the most damaging consequences of the coronavirus have fallen disproportionately on older people who live in care homes. This is an issue of human rights and social justice: as such it is a matter for social work. This seminar will explore the intersection between care homes, human rights, and social work. It will be delivered by members of the European Network for Gerontological Social Work using a recently published article in the European Journal of Social Work as a platform for discussion. The paper adopted the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights to explore deaths, and related harms, and identify human rights violations relating to the pandemic in homes from seven European countries (between March and December 2020).

Based on the findings, the authors - members of the SIG - call for an urgent re-examination of the role of social work in relationship to care homes and the importance of (re)engaging with human rights issues for care home residents and their families. This seminar will take this issue forward by firstly presenting the key findings of the paper (updated from Dec 2020) and then considering three ‘country case studies’ which will explore different social work responses to protecting the rights and wellbeing of older people in care homes during, and post, the pandemic. There will be opportunities for Q and A. The seminar will conclude with a focused discussion about what SIG members can do, post the pandemic, to ignite greater engagement with care homes by social workers & their employers, what the social work role could achieve and how social work can address human rights issues

Seminar 4 

Fish, photos and body maps: Visual data collection in social work research 

What do fish, tattoos, gingerbread figures, and photos have in common? What will happen if we throw research into this strange mix? The positivist tradition will sigh and frown. The social constructivists and pragmatists will clap their hands with glee, saying: We work with people, marginalised people, functionally illiterate people, o yes, and children. We really want to include them as research participants and help them to voice their narratives in the best way possible. We want to connect with participants and co-construct knowledge. We want to follow creative avenues to knowing and understanding. In this seminar we will talk about how to enrich interviews with body maps, and timelines. We will focus on the value of cartoons, photovoice and photo elicitation. And then the fish ….

Prof Mariette van der Merwe, Compres research unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, South Africa

Reading list
Visual data collection strategies

Seminar 5

Research Beyond Borders

For a substantial number of mostly young scientists, getting funding to conduct research has become a question of ‘to be or not to be’ . The stakes have increased significantly in a climate where not only the research itself but frequently job security depends on funding. International research teams are currently crucial for the development of the discipline of social work and for addressing the problems facing society today. At first it appears straightforward working in such teams, but it is frequently a tough and challenging process. To address these issues, we propose a discussion on the following topics:

1. Building international research teams: funding bodies, finding partners, creating settings etc.;

2. Research design in the international context of research: research tools and different languages;

3. Data analysis in multilingual research teams: qualitative research and meanings;

4. Communication: writing emails, the role of language, cultural differences.

Kris Clarke (Associate Professor/ University of Helsinki), Melinda Madew (Professor/ Protestant University of Applied Sciences Ludwigsburg), Liz Frost (Associate Professor/UWE Bristol) and Marcin Boryczko (Associate Professor/University of Gdańsk). 

Seminar 6 

30th November 2022 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET

Beyond the pandemic: Exploring social work ethics and values as a contribution to a new eco-social world'

This workshop will draw on findings of a global survey of social workers’ ethical challenges conducted by the Social Work Ethics Research Group with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) in 2020 and a series of regional IFSW webinars in 2022. We will assess the use of the lessons learnt from rethinking ethics and values during the pandemic for facing other global challenges including the climate crisis, political conflicts and regional injustices. In particular, we will consider the importance of social workers taking holistic, ecological perspectives; promoting global connectedness; letting go of rigid professional boundaries; and adopting both more cosmopolitan and contextualised approaches to values and ethics. The workshop will comprise a presentation, followed by discussion of key questions in break out groups

Contributors: Sarah Banks & Lynne Cairns, Durham University, UK; Teresa Bertotti, University of Trento, Italy; Michelle Hei Yan Shum, Hong Kong Baptist University; Ana M. Sobočan, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Kim Strom, University of North Carolina, USA; Jane Shears, IFSW Ethics Commissioner; María Jesús Úriz, Public University of Navarre, Spain.

To register please complete the google form: Beyond the pandemic or email