Dr Sylvia Smith

Dr Sylvia Smith

Sylvia Smith is the Course Lead on our PGDip/PGCert ‘Working with complex needs in contemporary social work practice (M45)’. She has been associated with the Tavistock and Portman for over 20 years, initially as a student and visiting lecturer and then became a permanent member of faculty in 2018.

Sylvia leads a module on our Doctorate in Social Work programme and supervises Doctoral Research students, she also teaches on our MA in Social Work programme. She acts as a mentor coach for new colleagues. When not at the Tavistock Sylvia is a Freelance Trainer, Management and Practice Coach/ Consultant and an enthusiastic Podcaster.

“I have worked in social work practice, management and education for over 35 years,” says Sylvia. “I joined the profession out of a strong desire to help and support vulnerable people in our society.

My career has included work in the voluntary, statutory and private sectors in the areas of youth and community, children and families and mental health. Later in my career, I developed an interest in training, education and development and began as a Practice Educator which ensures that I remain involved in social work practice so I can impart my real time experience to my students. Two years ago, I was asked to lecture and be the course lead for our new social work modular programme, ‘Working with complex needs in contemporary social work practice (M45)’.

The highlight of my career has been achieving my Doctorate in Social Work. It was entirely challenging but also extremely rewarding and it took a huge level of commitment and determination to complete the course, particularly as I did so whilst continuing to work fulltime. However, it enabled me to undertake research in an area of social work practice and leadership which was incredibly enjoyable.

What I really enjoy about working at the Tavistock and Portman is contributing to the education of the next generation of social workers, to the development of experienced practitioners wanting to study and undertake practice research and to the continuing professional development of practitioners and leaders in the field.

If you are unsure about applying, I would really encourage you to do so. This is a dynamic environment in which you are challenged academically, where you are able to bring your whole self and where your personal and professional experiences are truly valued.”

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