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Fox, Mim Dr.

Senior Lecturer, Social Work

  • Academic Program Director, Masters of Social Work (Qualifying) - University of Wollongong (Organization) 2021 -

Overview


The focus of Dr Mim Fox’s research is in the articulation and translation of social work practice knowledge for education and industry. This research agenda is pursued in the fields of podcasting and digital technologies, and social work practice in the healthcare sector. Mim is a collaborative and qualitative researcher, working in partnership with social workers across a range of practice contexts, with a focus on social workers in healthcare and hospital settings. Mim also hosts The Social Work Stories Podcast, researching the impact of storytelling in the digital space on social work education and practice. Since its launch in 2018, The Social Work Stories Podcast has had over 400,000 downloads, is listened to in 96 countries, regularly is cited in the top two social work content podcasts internationally, and is used in social work undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum across Australia. The impact of The Social Work Stories Podcast has been evidenced in the decision making of potential social work students as to their career paths, the choice of practice setting for newly graduated social workers, and the simulation of clinical supervision in the digital space for advanced practitioners. In 2021 The Social Work Stories Podcast received the Australian New Zealand Social Work & Welfare Education & Research Award for achievement in Social Media and Digital Technologies. In 2022 Mim and colleagues launched Social Work Media, an educational resource and podcast production platform, to expand scholarship in this field. 

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • My principal research interests lie in the field of health social work, social work professional identity development and social work education. I also research in field education, work integrated learning and international social work. I am the Co-Editor of Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, the Journal for ANZSWWER (Australian & New Zealand Social Work & Welfare Education & Research). I also research and write on the critical use of digital technologies in social work education and am the Host of the social work content podcast, Social Work Stories. The Social Work Stories Podcast is a critical discussion of everyday social work practice, featuring anonymous social workers discussing the case studies that have challenged their practice. Each episode features a simulation of a supervisory dialogue whereby the hosts analyse and debrief the practice interventions in context. 


Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Dr Mim Fox is a Senior Lecturer of Social Work in the School of Health and Society. Dr Fox’s research is in the articulation and translation of social work practice knowledge. This research agenda is pursued in the fields of digital technologies and social work practice in the healthcare sector.</p><p>Social work education is increasingly calling on social work academics to embrace online technologies and remote teaching. In turn, students are increasingly requesting flexible learning environments from their lecturers in order to more effectively cater to how undergraduate students consume practical and educational knowledge. Despite the changing nature of how social work is delivered, many academics still utilise traditional means to provide practical knowledge. Based on Mim’s research and experience as a Social Worker, she felt things could be done better and reach more people by doing things differently. In 2018, Dr Fox and her colleagues launched The Social Work Stories Podcast.</p><p>The Social Work Stories Podcast is presented as a case study in which social work knowledge is co-constructed by the academic, the practitioner, and the social work student. Weekly episodes focus on a broad range of topics in Social Work exploring issues such as domestic violence, aged care, working in natural disasters, supporting families through loss and professional grief, to name a few. It became evident early on that social work students from around the world were listening and learning from these stories.</p><p><em>“I’m a social work student doing my first placement during the Covid-19 period. While I was still connected with my supervisor via phone and Zoom, I was struggling with the lack of connection and felt quite alone while still dealing with clients remotely… By listening to other social workers, this has further defined the role of a social worker and the challenges involved. Furthermore, your debriefs at the end of the podcast have highlighted gaps in practice and education. This has encouraged me to seek further professional development to ensure I graduate with useful skills and knowledge to apply to practice” – Juanita, a social work student. </em></p><p>The podcast grounds social work learning in adult education principles, while operating in a ‘glocalisation’ type practice, local ideas shared with a global reach with great success. Since its launch in September 2018 the podcast has been downloaded 350,000 times, with an average of 10,000 downloads per month. The podcast has listeners from 96 countries around the world, from the United States, to Britain, to Germany. The success The Social Work Stories Podcast<em> </em>has had in reaching such a diverse and wide range of listeners illustrates the effectiveness of the content created, and the method behind its delivery. In doing so, The Social Work Stories Podcast has developed a new form of virtual community within the international Social Work network, one that informs and connects people across the world through the telling of practice stories that appeal to a variety of people.</p><p> </p>
  • <p>The organisational mission and workload demands in the health services can restrict and constrain a social worker's capacity to fully engage with their social work professional identity, including the ability to critique their practice and be cognisant of gaps in service to clients. In partnership with South East Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), Dr Fox is impacting upon the way social workers engage with research and their own professional identity.</p><p>Since 2015, Dr Fox has been engaging with health based social workers through a practice-based research partnership. The partnership sees social workers as full members of the research team. Through workshops, one on one mentoring, and practical support social workers are developing the knowledge and skills to conduct practice-based research, and contribute to scholarship through presentations and publications. The body of work is also contributing to an ongoing change in culture within the health services in which these social workers are based. The value of Dr Fox’s work is demonstrated in a cultural shift which has shown time being set aside each week for ward based social workers to participate in research activities, the inclusion of a research agenda in the regular workings of hospital social work departments, and successful grants supporting social work research in the health setting.</p><p>A current research project being conducted by the partnership includes a large scale project exploring compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma in hospital social workers. The aim of the project is to build capacity in hospital social workers to engage in research that is meaningful to their professional identity and increase capacity to create change for their patients and families. The first of its kind, this project is being carried out entirely by social work practitioners and managers in four large metropolitan hospitals. Concurrent to their involvement in conducting the research, the eight social worker research team members are undertaking participatory action research, exploring their own experiences in collaborative, practice-based research. Through this project Dr Fox has impacted the hospital environment and culture around research capacity, the professional perspective of hospital social workers in regards to their capacity to create change, and cemented relationship-based practice as a collaborative research framework.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Occupational Identity and Its Effect on Career Re-Direction Investigating He relationship between occupational Identity and vocational re-Direction work related injuries Girdler, Ross
    Doctor of Philosophy Smartphone Use and Smartphone Addiction among Saudi Adolescents Alotaibi, Mohammad
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Deaf Consumers and Mental Health Service Delivery Rozsa-Brown, Dalia
    Master of Philosophy -SOC Reorienting acute hospitals to work in partnership with communities at end of life: A compassionate communities approach. McIlveen, Joanna
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) The Effectiveness of Perpetrator Programs for Domestic Violence, Specifically Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programs (DVPP). Jennings, Grace

Full Name


  • Dr Mim Fox

Mailing Address


  • University of Wollongong

    School of Health & Society

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2252

    Australia

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • My principal research interests lie in the field of health social work, social work professional identity development and social work education. I also research in field education, work integrated learning and international social work. I am the Co-Editor of Advances in Social Work & Welfare Education, the Journal for ANZSWWER (Australian & New Zealand Social Work & Welfare Education & Research). I also research and write on the critical use of digital technologies in social work education and am the Host of the social work content podcast, Social Work Stories. The Social Work Stories Podcast is a critical discussion of everyday social work practice, featuring anonymous social workers discussing the case studies that have challenged their practice. Each episode features a simulation of a supervisory dialogue whereby the hosts analyse and debrief the practice interventions in context. 


Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Dr Mim Fox is a Senior Lecturer of Social Work in the School of Health and Society. Dr Fox’s research is in the articulation and translation of social work practice knowledge. This research agenda is pursued in the fields of digital technologies and social work practice in the healthcare sector.</p><p>Social work education is increasingly calling on social work academics to embrace online technologies and remote teaching. In turn, students are increasingly requesting flexible learning environments from their lecturers in order to more effectively cater to how undergraduate students consume practical and educational knowledge. Despite the changing nature of how social work is delivered, many academics still utilise traditional means to provide practical knowledge. Based on Mim’s research and experience as a Social Worker, she felt things could be done better and reach more people by doing things differently. In 2018, Dr Fox and her colleagues launched The Social Work Stories Podcast.</p><p>The Social Work Stories Podcast is presented as a case study in which social work knowledge is co-constructed by the academic, the practitioner, and the social work student. Weekly episodes focus on a broad range of topics in Social Work exploring issues such as domestic violence, aged care, working in natural disasters, supporting families through loss and professional grief, to name a few. It became evident early on that social work students from around the world were listening and learning from these stories.</p><p><em>“I’m a social work student doing my first placement during the Covid-19 period. While I was still connected with my supervisor via phone and Zoom, I was struggling with the lack of connection and felt quite alone while still dealing with clients remotely… By listening to other social workers, this has further defined the role of a social worker and the challenges involved. Furthermore, your debriefs at the end of the podcast have highlighted gaps in practice and education. This has encouraged me to seek further professional development to ensure I graduate with useful skills and knowledge to apply to practice” – Juanita, a social work student. </em></p><p>The podcast grounds social work learning in adult education principles, while operating in a ‘glocalisation’ type practice, local ideas shared with a global reach with great success. Since its launch in September 2018 the podcast has been downloaded 350,000 times, with an average of 10,000 downloads per month. The podcast has listeners from 96 countries around the world, from the United States, to Britain, to Germany. The success The Social Work Stories Podcast<em> </em>has had in reaching such a diverse and wide range of listeners illustrates the effectiveness of the content created, and the method behind its delivery. In doing so, The Social Work Stories Podcast has developed a new form of virtual community within the international Social Work network, one that informs and connects people across the world through the telling of practice stories that appeal to a variety of people.</p><p> </p>
  • <p>The organisational mission and workload demands in the health services can restrict and constrain a social worker's capacity to fully engage with their social work professional identity, including the ability to critique their practice and be cognisant of gaps in service to clients. In partnership with South East Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), Dr Fox is impacting upon the way social workers engage with research and their own professional identity.</p><p>Since 2015, Dr Fox has been engaging with health based social workers through a practice-based research partnership. The partnership sees social workers as full members of the research team. Through workshops, one on one mentoring, and practical support social workers are developing the knowledge and skills to conduct practice-based research, and contribute to scholarship through presentations and publications. The body of work is also contributing to an ongoing change in culture within the health services in which these social workers are based. The value of Dr Fox’s work is demonstrated in a cultural shift which has shown time being set aside each week for ward based social workers to participate in research activities, the inclusion of a research agenda in the regular workings of hospital social work departments, and successful grants supporting social work research in the health setting.</p><p>A current research project being conducted by the partnership includes a large scale project exploring compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma in hospital social workers. The aim of the project is to build capacity in hospital social workers to engage in research that is meaningful to their professional identity and increase capacity to create change for their patients and families. The first of its kind, this project is being carried out entirely by social work practitioners and managers in four large metropolitan hospitals. Concurrent to their involvement in conducting the research, the eight social worker research team members are undertaking participatory action research, exploring their own experiences in collaborative, practice-based research. Through this project Dr Fox has impacted the hospital environment and culture around research capacity, the professional perspective of hospital social workers in regards to their capacity to create change, and cemented relationship-based practice as a collaborative research framework.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Occupational Identity and Its Effect on Career Re-Direction Investigating He relationship between occupational Identity and vocational re-Direction work related injuries Girdler, Ross
    Doctor of Philosophy Smartphone Use and Smartphone Addiction among Saudi Adolescents Alotaibi, Mohammad
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Deaf Consumers and Mental Health Service Delivery Rozsa-Brown, Dalia
    Master of Philosophy -SOC Reorienting acute hospitals to work in partnership with communities at end of life: A compassionate communities approach. McIlveen, Joanna
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) The Effectiveness of Perpetrator Programs for Domestic Violence, Specifically Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programs (DVPP). Jennings, Grace

Full Name


  • Dr Mim Fox

Mailing Address


  • University of Wollongong

    School of Health & Society

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2252

    Australia

Research Areas

Geographic Focus