Tag Archives: special needs

Social work in Australia: virtual teams offer supervision

Technology offers an accessible and affordable way for rural and isolated social workers to connect, reflect and learn

Amanda Nickson


An old water-pumping windmill stands in front of an abandoned farmhouse in Gawler, South Australia. Photograph: www.corbis.com/Paul A. Souders

Social work practice in rural Australia faces high staff turnover, burnout and difficulties in recruitment and retention. A lack of supervision and professional development opportunities have been identified as contributing to difficulties.

My research describes the process of peer supervision in virtual teams in rural and remote Australia, based on a research trial over a 12-month period.

Disabled girl ‘lost in the system’ by Birmingham City Council for four years

Birmingham City Council “singularly failed” a disabled child “lost in the system” for more than four years, the Local Government Ombudsman has ruled.

A report said the authority failed to contact the girl’s mother from November 2006 to March 2011 to assess support payments.

It added social workers had not identified the girl’s “complex needs” and left her mother to raise her alone.

The council has agreed to pay £5,000 following the ombudsman’s report.

Battle launched to end isolation of rural elderly

Facing the problem of social isolation among the elderly in parts of rural North Yorkshire

Steps being taken to try to tackle the problem of social isolation among the elderly in parts of rural North Yorkshire are to be discussed by health chiefs at a meeting this week.

The county has a large number of older people living in the county with an estimated 20.3 per cent of the population of the county aged 65 or over in 2010, compared with a national average of 16.5 per cent.

In Harrogate and its surrounding rural district, health bosses say 27 per cent of the population is aged 60 and over compared to the national average of 22.4 per cent. With figures for the over-65s in this part of the county set to rise by 19 per cent by 2021, health chiefs will meet this week to discuss a project that aims to tackle the issue.