Dr Calvin Swords

Applied Social Studies

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

Biography

Calvin Swords is an Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University. As part of his core duties (teaching, research, scholarship, and service), Calvin is the Year 2 Coordinator of the Master of Social Science (Social Work).
Prior to his appointment in August 2021, Calvin worked as a CORU registered Social Worker. He brings with him experience in a wide range of practice settings within Ireland, the most recent of which was in a hospital setting working with people across all life stages. Calvin is also a graduate of the Master of Social Work from Trinity College, Dublin.
 
Calvin submitted his PhD in August 2021, which explored how recovery is socially constructed in Irish Mental Health Services. It was a qualitative case study design, which adopted an interpretivist methodology, using semi-structured interviews to gather the experiences of key stakeholders regarding their conceptualisation of recovery. For this study, Calvin was a recipient of the prestigious Irish Research Council postgraduate scholarship. This is one of the most competitive funding processes for doctoral research in Ireland.
 
During his PhD from 2018-2021, Calvin contributed to the social work courses in Trinity College, Dublin and Maynooth University as a part-time lecturer. He has lectured across a range of topics relevant to social work education in both Irish Universities. Some notable areas of teaching and scholarship include health-related social work, sociology of mental health, mental health recovery, critical social theory, and human development across social contexts.  
 
Calvin has published in both Irish and International journals. His research interests are informed by a focus on seeking to make sense, and address, the social injustices faced by people through connecting the micro and macro levels of our social systems in order to drive positive change. This includes looking at social recovery in mental health, the influence of sociology on health-related social work, the role of interdisciplinary work, using philosophy in social work practice, and the role of lived experience and co-production withn human organisations.

Research Interests

  • Social Recovery in Mental Health Service Delivery
  • Peer Support Work in Mental Health
  • Developing the Sociological Perspective in Social Work
  • The Social Work Role in Health-Related Settings
  • Interdisciplinary work
  • Role of Lived Experience within Social Work and Social Policy
  • Co-Production and Co-Creation in Mental Health Settings
  • Qualifying and Transitioning into Social Work Practice 

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2021 ''Responding to the 'Weight of the World': Unveiling the 'Feeling' Bourdieu in Social Work''
Houston, S. & Swords, C. (2021) ''Responding to the 'Weight of the World': Unveiling the 'Feeling' Bourdieu in Social Work''. British Journal of Social Work, [DOI] [Details]
2021 'Critical realism, mimetic theory and social work'
Houston S.;Swords C. (2021) 'Critical realism, mimetic theory and social work'. Journal of Social Work Practice, 22 (2):345-363 [DOI] [Details]
2021 'Using Social Constructionism to Research the Recovery Movement in Mental Health in Ireland: A Critical Reflection on Meta-theory Shaping the Inquiry'
Swords, Calvin and Houston, Stan (2021) 'Using Social Constructionism to Research the Recovery Movement in Mental Health in Ireland: A Critical Reflection on Meta-theory Shaping the Inquiry'. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, 21 (1) [Details]
2021 'Social recovery: a new interpretation to recovery-orientated services - a critical literature review'
Norton, MJ;Swords, C (2021) 'Social recovery: a new interpretation to recovery-orientated services - a critical literature review'. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 16 :7-20 [DOI] [Details]
2021 '“The ‘Social’ can really work in Mental Health Social Work: A Critical Literature Review of how the understanding of recovery has evolved and converged towards the skillset of Social Work”'
Swords, C & Houston, S (2021) '“The ‘Social’ can really work in Mental Health Social Work: A Critical Literature Review of how the understanding of recovery has evolved and converged towards the skillset of Social Work”'. Irish Social Worker, (1) [Details]
2020 'Analysing a Parents capacity to change: towards a model for child protection social workers'
Houston, S. & Swords, C. (2020) 'Analysing a Parents capacity to change: towards a model for child protection social workers'. Journal of Social Work Practice, [DOI] [Details]
2020 'Exploring the Concept of Recovery in Irish Mental Health Services: A Case Study of Perspectives within an Inter-Professional Team, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies : Vol. 20: Iss. 1, Article 4'
Swords, Calvin and Houston, Stan (2020) 'Exploring the Concept of Recovery in Irish Mental Health Services: A Case Study of Perspectives within an Inter-Professional Team, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies : Vol. 20: Iss. 1, Article 4'. Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, [Details]
2020 'Is sharing really caring? A vision or an aspiration? Ireland's new mental health policy 2020'
Swords C;Norton MJ; (2020) 'Is sharing really caring? A vision or an aspiration? Ireland's new mental health policy 2020'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, [DOI] [Details]
2020 'Is sharing really caring? A vision or an aspiration? Irelands new mental health policy 2020'
Swords C.;Norton M.J. (2020) 'Is sharing really caring? A vision or an aspiration? Irelands new mental health policy 2020'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, [DOI] [Details]
2019 'Recovery and Co-Production: Understanding the Diverging Paradigms and Potential Implications for Social Workers'
Swords, C. (2019) 'Recovery and Co-Production: Understanding the Diverging Paradigms and Potential Implications for Social Workers'. Irish Social Worker, [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2021 Provided an overview of the preliminary findings from the authors PhD, which focused on exploring how recovery is socially constructed in Irish Mental Health Services.
Calvin Swords (2021) Provided an overview of the preliminary findings from the authors PhD, which focused on exploring how recovery is socially constructed in Irish Mental Health Services. [Oral Presentation], An exploration of the social construction of the concept of recovery in mental health and how this may impact on the delivery of services – an Irish case study, Trinity College Dublin [Details]
2019 The presentation focused on the early stages of the authors PhD research, exploring recovery in Irish mental health services.
Calvin Swords (2019) The presentation focused on the early stages of the authors PhD research, exploring recovery in Irish mental health services. [Oral Presentation], An exploration of the social construction of the concept of recovery in mental health and how this may impact on the delivery of services – an Irish case study’, Dublin [Details]

Article

  Year Publication
2021 Creating Equality for those in Crisis Transforming Acute Inpatient Mental Health Services through Co-Production.
Norton, M. & Swords, C. (2021) Creating Equality for those in Crisis Transforming Acute Inpatient Mental Health Services through Co-Production. Article [DOI] [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2020 Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar for PhD Irish Research Council

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
CORU Registered Social Worker 22-JUN-17 /

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2018 Trinity College Dublin

Teaching Interests

  • Social Work Theory
  • Social Work Skills
  • Critical Debates in Social Work
  • Health-Related Social Work
  • Mental Health Policy

External Collaborators

  Name Role / Description Country
Dr. Stan Houston Professor IRELAND