- BA(Hons) Applied Social Studies (1988)
- Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (1988)
- Practice Teachers Award (1995)
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Mark's first job in social work was as an Education Social Worker in South Birmingham. As a young, newly qualified worker this taught him the power that large institutions, such as school, can have on children and families. It is astonishing how a qualified adult can revert to a naughty schoolboy while waiting outside a Head Teacher's office.
For family reasons he then changed to work in Coventry as a generic social worker. Although this gave him some experience working with older adults and adults with mental health difficulties this was mainly child protection and child care. In many ways this taught him that he was not equipped to deal with the complexity of the issues faced by social workers.
After a while Mark changed jobs again, this time moving to Northampton. He worked in the same team, a Child Care Team, but with different roles, for five years. It was during this time that he was introduced to solution focused practice (SFP). For the first time since qualifying he felt he had found a way of doing social work that worked for him and the people he worked with. Mark also became interested in practice learning at this time.
To develop his interest in SFP he took a secondment to the Diversion Unit. This was a unique opportunity to work with people who were likely to be cautioned by the police. This work was very diverse, with an age range of 10 year-olds to 68 year-olds.
At the end of the secondment Mark changed jobs and worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), initially as a Child and Family Therapist, and then as a Primary Mental Health Worker. The first post saw his interest and skills in solution focused work grow and deepen. The second saw his interest in liaison and consultation with other professionals grow.
In January 2008 Mark began working as a senior lecturer. In this role he retains a strong interest in solution focused approaches and the use of positive psychology within social work. He hopes to develop skills based learning that is rooted in a solid basis of social work knowledge and values.