Social Work Scotland Annual Conference Report 2016


Social Work Scotland Annual Conference Report 2016

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Speakers in order of appearance

Alistair Gaw, outgoing President of Social Work Scotland
Elaine Torrance, President of Social Work Scotland
Michael Lavalette, Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Liverpool Hope University
Amy Golden, playwright and disability rights advocate
Eileen Munro, Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics
Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government
Sally Magnusson, award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author
Dr Trish McCulloch, Senior Social Work Lead at the University of Dundee
Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Womens Aid
Amal Azzudin, refugee campaigner and mental health advocate
Cormac Russell, Managing Director of Nurture Development

Day 1: 15 June 2016

As social workers, we need to lead by example and demonstrate good practice. If we want people to see a strong profession, we need to be that strong profession; if we want people to understand our profession, we need to explain it; and if we want people to trust the value of social work, we need to be confident about the evidence base for our work.

Speech by President Elaine Torrance

Professor Michael Lavalette queried whether social work remains a profession or a welfare occupation, and he posed this question against the backdrop of increasing focus on the use and application of tools for intervention instead of social work as a profession challenging inequality and theoretical principles of social context. He argued that social workers are often being used as instruments of the state at the expense of social justice.

Professor Michael Lavalette – Liverpool Hope University

Delegates heard from Amy Golden, a young woman with Cerebral Palsy who refuses to let disability get in the way of pursuing her dreams. Amy has travelled the country in recent years sharing her story. Last year, she wrote a musical about her life entitled Get On With It, which she hopes will debut at the Edinburgh Festival.

Eileen Munro, Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, joined us to discuss lessons learned following the Munro Review. In order to support further the values of our work in protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of the most vulnerable children in our society, Professor Munro discussed her engagement with ten different local authorities in England to help them implement the Signs of Safety model of risk assessment.

Prof Eileen Munro London School of Economics

Workshops on Day 1

Delegates were enlightened on preventative health strategiesCM2000 has been leading the way with the creation of new technologies to monitor a variety of health indicators for individuals vulnerable to falling. A joint partnership between CM2000, Edinburgh Napier University and East Dunbartonshire Council, this innovation has the potential to save billions of pounds in the coming years and assist the work of carers.

CM2000 Workshop – Preventative Healthcare

Care Visions used their workshop to demonstrate the benefits of theraplay, a play-based intervention for both traumatised children and their carers. Gaynor Corrigan, Team Manager for Enhanced Services and Operations, highlighted how this treatment can be used to increase attachment, self-esteem, trust in others and joyful engagement.

Professor Brigid Daniel of the University of Stirling spoke about her research into family poverty and inequality, child abuse and neglect, and the response of social work. This led to an in-depth discussion on the role of social work in supporting families living in poverty, and the place of the profession in wider debates on early intervention and prevention, structural inequality and service provision.

Brigid Daniel University of Stirling

District nurses from West Dunbartonshire led a workshop on integrated palliative care. Their programme allows services to be in place for patients to leave hospital and either enter a care home to receive full time care or return to their home depending on their circumstances. Support is provided to families and carers throughout the process. Integrated end of life care allows for better coordinated services to ensure patients and families have access to different options and providers can operate more effectively.

SACROs workshop explored the needs of women who are involved in the sex industry and explored issues that surround commercial sexual exploitation. This session provided information regarding health, wellbeing and safety of women involved in prostitution.

The Scottish Borders Learning Disability Service has been an integrated health and social work service since 2006. Building on their experience, this workshop explored the journey that services embark on when they become integrated. The session included interactive engagement and allowed delegates to discuss the challenges and barriers to implementing an integration strategy.

Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans spoke about the policy priorities of the Scottish Government. She pledged that new CSWO qualifications will promote diversity in the workplace, and further focus on the improvement agenda around child protection. Social Work Scotland will continue to be proactive in the coming months formulating policy proposals and we look forward to cooperating with the government on a wide range of issues affecting social workers and the social care sector.

Dementia is a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Broadcaster and journalist Sally Magnusson joined us to discuss her personal experiences caring for her mother who had dementia. Sally is now the chair of Playlist for Life – an organisation formed to give every person with severe memory loss a unique music playlist of their life to reflect who they are.

Day 2: 16 June 2016

Dr Trish McCulloch, Social Work Lead at the University of Dundee, proposed that social work currently operates in a compliance structure and said that she views it as a contested profession. She argued for shifting toward a model of universal social work education in which all practitioners are educators and every site is a place of learning and development. In this way, she said that professional learning would no longer be optional, but intrinsic.

Dr Trish McCulloch University of Dundee

Street Cones is a team of creative artists with lived experience of going through the criminal justice system, who present life-changing theatre and film making in order to influence a wide audience. This organisation is based on the simple principle that the road to change is always under construction. They gave a motivating presentation on improving the life chances of young offenders and young people at risk of offending.

Workshops on Day 2

Chris Rose, Director of Client Services at OLM Systems, discussed innovative approaches to the bed blocking crisis in the NHS. This session looked in detail at new creative ways to ease the problem working across councils, health and care providers. Attendees learned about how integrated working projects between providers can be successful.

Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forums workshop showcased the work undertaken by the Voices – a group of care experienced young people who came together in 2014. These young people visited over 100 of their care experienced peers and recorded their views on what worked for them and what they think could be improved about the services they receive. Using video footage and interactive activities, members of Voices presented their findings and shared how they think this information can be used practically.

East Dunbartonshire HSCP and Addaction Scotland hosted a workshop on Recovery Cafe. The goal of the programme is to provide a safe, family-friendly and alcohol-free social setting for individuals recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse. The events run on the first Saturday of every month in Kirkintilloch. With increasing interest in the programme, coordinators believe it could become a social enterprise with other Recovery Cafes starting up around the country.

Recovery Cafe

Technology Enabled Care and the Digital Innovation Division of the Scottish Government provided insight into the ways that simple technologies can make enormous differences in peoples everyday lives. From using text messages to manage medication, to using apps to monitor health indicators, the speakers made a persuasive case for recognising the need to fully integrate technology into care planning, and to share knowledge and best practice across areas and organisations.

Allied Health Professionals provide unique services around diagnosis, intervention and rehabilitation. They work across all sectors and hold the allied health professions to account to deliver improved outcomes throughout a peoples lives. This workshop discussed the Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme, which began in June and will build on previous successes.

Station House Media Unit created a thought-provoking and challenging experience for this workshop, focussing on the transformational impact that engaging in the production of digital community media is having with disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals and communities across the North East of Scotland. It included a presentation outlining the broad programme of innovative initiatives that SHMU delivers and focused specifically on the Media Access Project, which alongside contributing to a reduction in rates of reoffending, gives prisoners a voice, enhances core skills and increases engagement.

Attendees at the Shared Lives Plus workshop learned about the organisations approach to assist anyone over 16 years who needs care/support to share family and community life with an approved carer. Their approach keeps people in their communities and harnesses the expertise and skills of local people.

Gender-based violence is not a loss of control, but the calm exercise of control, and this has implications for how professionals intervene, argued Dr Marsha Scott of Scottish Womens Aid. She cited the Equally Safe strategy for tackling domestic abuse and gender-based violence. Scott said that separation does not equal safety, and indeed, the highest proportion of lethality occurs when women attempt to leave their relationships.

Dr. Marsha Scott of Scottish Women’s Aid

Amal Azzudin, a campaigner for human rights and social justice, was also among the many inspiring and informative speakers at our conference. Amal is well-known as one of the Glasgow Girls, a group of seven school girls from Drumchapel High School who stood up against dawn raids, detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow. She is now the head of Project Development and Delivery for the Mental Health Foundation, where she focuses on issues related to psychological health and wellbeing.

Amal Azzudin Mental Health Foundation

Cormac Russell delivered the keynote address. A respected social innovator, author and adviser, Cormac talked about the work of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. The international ABCD movement harnesses the collective power of local assets and relationship-building to promote community generation. Instead of emphasising what is lacking in deprived neighbourhoods, he argued that we need to recognise the strengths within these communities as the foundation for local development.

Elaine Torrance, the new President of Social Work Scotland, closed the conference with an important message for the coming months. Our conference was an opportunity to learn, reflect and plan for the year ahead. As we gathered to discuss important issues and network with colleagues and friends, we recognised the opportunities and challenges facing the social work profession. In the days to come, we will be turning words into actions and fulfilling our aims. We hope you found the conference to be an enriching experience, and as always, the Social Work Scotland team is here to support and assist you in all the important work you are doing. Thank you all for attending!

Thank you to our sponsors…

OLM Systems Ltd has been at the forefront of technology in social work for 25 years. Utilising the latest technology available, we have used our expertise to develop the Platform for Care. Our Platform provides a complete solution to meet the needs of Scottish Social Work and Health covering engagement, case management, multi-agency integration, finance and commissioning. The applications on the platform are already causing waves and seeing significant interest from councils around Scotland.

Care Visions is a Scottish-owned leading provider of quality health and social care services, supporting people throughout challenging stages in their lives. Care Visions offers recognised and innovative care services across residential and foster care for vulnerable children and clinically-led home care for adults. Our multi-skilled teams receive excellent training and support to make a positive difference to the individuals they are supporting.

CM2000 is a market leader in the provision of remote workforce managerial software for the integrated health and social care market. Our patented, award-winning services include visit verification, outcomes recording, scheduling, financial management and predictive analysis. Using CM2000 software helps you deliver a quality-assured service with increased safeguarding, cost savings, and efficiencies.

Capita One is the leading supplier of information systems, trusted by local authorities and councils to deliver holistic, fully integrated systems to safeguard the most vulnerable. With increasing pressure on social care, it is more critical than ever to transform how those services are delivered. That is why Capita One is leading a new way of thinking about social care and technology.

…and our exhibitors!

Care Inspectorate
Disclosure Scotland
Green Aspirations Scotland
The Guardian
Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Inspire Scotland
Kibble Education and Care Centre
Moore House Care and Education
National Confidential Forum
The National Fostering Agency
Northgate Public Services
Open Objects Software Ltd
Scottish Social Services Council
Servelec Health and Social Care
Shared Lives Plus