Community Care Live Draft Programme

Community Care Live draft programme

This page provides an outline of the sessions that will feature in the two-day programme. Dates and timings will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Please note that registration gives you access to all sessions, which are available on a first come first served basis.

  • Children and families sessions
  • Adults’ sessions
  • Management sessions

Full programme

Children and families sessions

Panel discussion

Panel discussion: is the PSW role in children’s services fulfilling its potential?

In a recent speech Birmingham’s chief social worker highlighted the lack of clarify around the PSW role in child and family services and the need for a national debate on this. What has the role achieved? Has its implementation become too locally variable? Is there a risk of Elieen Munro’s original vision being lost? This important discussion will:

  • Revisit Elieen Munro’s original vision for the PSW role and ask whether it is delivering on this vision and maximising opportunities for impact?
  • Assess how deeply the PSW role has been embedded in local authorities and whether it is making a difference to the quality of practice
  • Explore lessons from the implementation of the PSW role in adults’ services
  • Examine the implications for PSWs of the planned introduction of the accredited status of practice leader

Speaker: Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, principal child and family social worker, Coventry City Council, and co-chair, National Children’s PSW
Speaker: Mandy Hope, principal social worker, Birmingham City Council

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Child to parent abuse: why it happens and what to do

Child to parent abuse is thought to affect as many as 1 in 10 families, but social workers may receive little or no training on the issue. The abuse can affect families from a wide diversity of backgrounds, and may be linked to other issues, such as mental health disorders, trauma and domestic abuse. In this session, you will learn:

  • What research tells us about risk factors associated with child to parent violence, and what the most common ages are for abuse to start.
  • How the abuse affects parents, and what they want from social workers and services.
  • The different issues raised when child to parent abuse emerges as an issue for a child who has been adopted, or is in a foster care, kinship care or special guardianship placement.
  • How social workers and services can support families experiencing violence or abuse.

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Legal learning hub

Section 20 accommodation: what recent case law means for your practice

The family courts and Ofsted continue to raise concerns that councils are sometimes using placements under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, where children are accommodated without a care order, inappropriately. This session will summarise the implications for practice from recent case law and cover:

  • Misuses and misunderstandings of the law currently being picked up by the courts.
  • Other lawful routes that should be used in such cases instead.
  • Appropriate uses of section 20 and examples of good practice.

Speaker: Oliver Millington, barrister, 9 Gough Square
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Discussion forum

The impact of poverty on social work practice

Public spending cuts, coupled with sweeping welfare reform, have taken their toll on many vulnerable individuals and families. This discussion will assess the impact this is having on social services and social work practice, and will:

  • Assess how service users and carers are being affected by poverty.
  • Identify how poverty is driving demand for social care services.
  • Examine the role of social work in improving the lives of service users living in poverty.
  • Explore strategies for coping with an increasing demand for overstretched services.
  • Investigate practical ways social workers can make improvements for people living in poverty.

Speaker: Dave Backwith, course leader, MA Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University
Further speakers TBC

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Protecting children and young people online

Social media is evolving at a pace that most people struggle to keep up with. While they bring with them opportunities, social media, online gaming and the web can pose serious risks to children and young people. This session will:

  • Examine the risks from social media, including grooming and radicalisation.
  • Identify the specific online risks faced by looked-after children and those with special needs.
  • Outline realistic strategies for safeguarding children and young people online.
  • Demonstrate how you can empower young people to manage online threats.

Speaker: Joanna Buckard, director, Red Balloon Training & Consultancy
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Legal learning hub

Confidence in court: developing practical courtrooms skills

As a social worker, you might have to justify your decisions and professional judgments in care proceedings and may face cross-examination from families’ counsel as well as questioning from judges. This practical, informative session will:

  • Analyse the common challenges that social workers face in court.
  • Explore where social workers often go wrong in the courtroom.
  • Arm you with the essential skills you need to stand up to scrutiny.

Speaker: Shefali Shah, director, solicitor and national trainer, Kingsley Knight Training
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Placement disruption: how to prevent it happening in different types of care

The breakdown of a care placement has a significant impact on both the carers and the child. Social workers have an important role to play in minimising the risks and working to prevent disruption. This session will provide vital information and guidance on:

  • What research tells us about the different rates of disruption in adoption, foster care, kinship care and special guardianship, and common risk factors for disruption.
  • Practical steps social workers can take to help prevent placement breakdown, including in the planning stage, the first year after placement and in the longer term.
  • The role of ongoing support for carers and children, and what this might look like.

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Breaking the cycle: FGM identification, prevention and support

Although female genital mutilation (FGM) may, for some families, be considered part of their culture, it constitutes significant harm and should be treated as child abuse. This session will equip you with vital information on:

  • The different forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) and the legal context.
  • Identifying children and young people at risk of FGM.
  • Working with children and families to break the FGM cycle.
  • Working with other professionals to safeguard children and young people against FGM.

Hoda Ali, nurse and FGM safeguarding trainer, North West London NHS Trust, and trustee, 28toomany
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Social work’s role and responsibility in detecting radicalisation and extremism

Recent terrorist attacks and government policy has brought an increasing focus on the role of social work in responding to radicalisation and extremism. Social workers will invariably come into contact with individuals and families who are vulnerable to extremism and will need to think carefully about how to work with them and how to refer them. This discussion session will help you:

  • Learn what the government’s counter-terrorism and radicalisation Prevent strategy means in practice for local authorities and social workers.
  • Identify what factors to consider when working with vulnerable young people who have been or are being radicalised, and how to work with other agencies and share information.
  • Understand how to use the Channel process and vulnerability assessment framework to gauge the extent to which a person is engaged with an extremist group, intends to carry out an extremist offence and has the capability to do so.
  • Assess the extent to which Islamaphobia and far-right extremism is a growing issue for social workers to tackle.

Speaker: Moira Tombs, associate, Encompassing Health
Further speakers tbc

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Embedding the child and family specialism in ways of thinking and working: The National Assessment and Accreditation System

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children & Families, Department for Education
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Legal learning hub

Deprivation of liberty involving children and young people

The Cheshire West ruling means a child can be in an excellent placement with appropriate care and support and still be considered to be deprived of their liberty. Courts will be critical where a local authority has placed a child and failed to identify that in doing so they were being deprived of their liberty and no action has been taken to legally authorise the deprivation. This session will help you:

  • Recognise when a child accommodated by a local authority is potentially being deprived of their liberty.
  • Understand the legal routes you can take to authorise a deprivation of liberty for a child or young person.
  • Know when parental consent can be taken into consideration when a situation deprives a child of their liberty.

Speaker: Polly Sweeney, partner, Irwin Mitchell
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Understanding the link between ADHD and trauma and what this means for social work practice

Speaker: Laura Hanbury, family practitioner for looked after children and PhD student, Royal Holloway University
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Introduction to working with alcohol use and related experiences

Specialist alcohol support services are changing and people with problematic alcohol use are presenting with more significant issues. In this context, interventions and support increasingly need to be provided by social workers who do not necessarily feel they have sufficient expertise in this area. This session will promote understanding about:

  • Alcohol use and capacity: working with intoxication.
  • Risk and parents who significantly use alcohol.
  • Alcohol use within specific communities: older people; mental health, disabilities, young people.
  • Working within expectations of supporting compulsory treatment and testing.

Dr. Wulf Livingston, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Glyndŵr University Wrexham
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Legal learning hub

Update on legislation and case law for Children Social Workers

As social workers it is really important to stay up to date with the law, as this knowledge will assist you in the preparation and presentation of your evidence should you need to attend court. This session will give you a comprehensive overview of:

  • The impact of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 on
    • Looked after children
    • Safeguarding children and
    • Permanency planning
  • Recent case law: a summary of how cases are being dealt with by the courts on permanency planning, and presentation of evidence on the realistic options
  • Judicial guidance on settlement hearings and other key aspects of court proceedings.

Shefali Shah, director, solicitor and national trainer, Kingsley Knight Training
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Working with birth parents who have had their children removed from home

Speaker: Sharon Jennings, part time lecturer social work, Goldsmiths, University of London
Speaker: Emily Richardson, social worker, Southwark Children’s Services Mum’s Supportive Group
Speaker: Beverley Smith, attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Mum’s Supportive group

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The organisers reserve the right to change the programme, speakers or timings should circumstances require.

Adults’ sessions

Financial abuse

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, but older people and adults with learning disabilities are particularly vulnerable – and may not even recognise that they are a victim. This session will help you:

  • Listen, believe and act: overcoming the culture of dismissing older people’s concerns and giving them a voice.
  • Examining the role of mate crime in the financial abuse of vulnerable people.
  • Understand the role that social workers can play in educating family, friends and carers.
  • Improve safeguarding of vulnerable adults against the risk of financial abuse by:
    • developing robust risk assessments and improved report writing;
    • effective inter-agency working and information sharing between health and social care.

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Legal learning hub

The Care Act 2014: overview and update on recent case law

The Care Act has been in force for two years, but for many social work practitioners it remains a complex piece of legislation that can be challenging to navigate. This session offers a plain-language introduction to the Act, in which you will:

  • Examine recent case law on the Care Act, and explore what it means for social workers.
  • Hear about aspects of the Care Act remain to be tested in court.
  • See how to deal with challenges to decisions.
  • Learn about the future implications of the Care Act: looking to 2020 and beyond.

Speaker: Alex Rook, Partner, Irwin Mitchell LLP
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Discussion forum

The impact of poverty on social work practice

Public spending cuts, coupled with sweeping welfare reform, have taken their toll on many vulnerable individuals and families. This discussion will assess the impact this is having on social services and social work practice, and will:

  • Assess how service users and carers are being affected by poverty.
  • Identify how poverty is driving demand for social care services.
  • Examine the role of social work in improving the lives of service users living in poverty.
  • Explore strategies for coping with an increasing demand for overstretched services.
  • Investigate practical ways social workers can make improvements for people living in poverty.

Speaker: Dave Backwith, course leader, MA Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University
Further speakers TBC

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Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in adults: a hidden disability

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong intellectual disability caused by prenatal alcohol consumption that is often overlooked in adult social care. In this session, delegates will:

  • Find out how common FASD is in adults, and what vulnerabilities arise from it.
  • Examine how to recognise FASD in adults – who is being missed?
  • Hear about the support needs of adults with FASD, and what happens when support is inadequate.
  • Identify safeguarding challenges for this group of adults.

Speaker: Joanna Buckard, director, Red Balloon Training & Consultancy
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Making Safeguarding Personal in mental health services: a service user’s experience

Moira Tombs is an expert by experience in mental healthcare. A few years ago her mental health spiralled after her partner died, she found herself unable to cope and her cries for help went unheard. Moira’s incredible story is a shocking indictment of what happens when mental health services fail to safeguard adults in crisis.
This powerful session will:

  • Outline what should and shouldn’t happen when people approach mental health services for help.
  • Give tips on how practitioners can make safeguarding in mental health truly personal.
  • Highlight that the heaviest costs from failing to safeguard adults in crisis are not financial.

Speaker: Moira Tombs, associate, Encompassing Health
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Legal learning hub

Mental health: common shortcomings from tribunal reports

Social circumstances reports are a critical part of mental health tribunals and can make the difference between a person being discharged or not. But completing these reports in line with what the law requires can prove challenging for social workers. This session will:

  • Set out what the law requires in the writing of social circumstances reports.
  • Provide guidance on the format and content of social circumstances reports.
  • Identify common shortcomings in the way tribunal reports are written and how these can be overcome.

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Carrying out timely, outcomes-focused and legally compliant reviews

Reviews of care plans play a critical role in ensuring that people are receiving just the right level of support to meet their needs and help them achieve outcomes. However, with councils needing to make savings from care packages and with high caseloads, carrying out timely, outcomes-focused and legally compliant reviews is challenging. This case study session will:

  • Demonstrate how a focus on outcomes in reviews can support people to improve independence and wellbeing while helping councils achieve savings targets.
  • Identify sustainable ways of managing review caseloads so that backlogs do not develop.
  • Provide guidance on ensuring changes to care packages following review and reassessment are legally compliant.

Back to top

Social work’s role and responsibility in detecting radicalisation and extremism

Recent terrorist attacks and government policy has brought an increasing focus on the role of social work in responding to radicalisation and extremism. Social workers will invariably come into contact with individuals and families who are vulnerable to extremism and will need to think carefully about how to work with them and how to refer them. This discussion session will help you:

  • Learn what the government’s counter-terrorism and radicalisation Prevent strategy means in practice for local authorities and social workers.
  • Identify what factors to consider when working with vulnerable young people who have been or are being radicalised, and how to work with other agencies and share information.
  • Understand how to use the Channel process and vulnerability assessment framework to gauge the extent to which a person is engaged with an extremist group, intends to carry out an extremist offence and has the capability to do so.
  • Assess the extent to which Islamaphobia and far-right extremism is a growing issue for social workers to tackle.

Speaker: Moira Tombs, associate, Encompassing Health
Further speakers tbc

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Legal learning hub

Conducting capacity assessments

Ten years after the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, capacity assessments remain a challenging part of the social work role. This session will provide:

  • A refresher on the two-stage capacity test under the Mental Capacity Act.
  • Guidance on what it means to take all practicable steps to help a person make a decision in different practice contexts.
  • Lessons from recent case law on carrying out capacity assessments.

Speaker: Alex Ruck Keene, barrister, 39 Essex St
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Understanding coercive control: signs to look out for and questions to ask

Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship is now a criminal offence and domestic abuse victims often say it is this, rather than physical violence, that is the worst part of the abuse. The difficulty for practitioners is that because of the ongoing, pervasive nature of coercive control – and the fact that perpetrators are often manipulative and appear charming to the outside world – behaviours can be difficult to spot.
This session will:

  • Identify signs to look out for that indicate coercive control might be an issue.
  • Equip you with questions to ask yourself and the suspected victim to help pinpoint whether coercive control is present in the relationship.
  • Set out practice tips for practitioners to help them support victims of coercive control.

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Legal learning hub

Safeguarding investigations, report writing and the law

Speaker: Janice White, solicitor and team leader, legal team, Coventry City Council
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Introduction to working with alcohol use and related experiences

Specialist alcohol support services are changing and people with problematic alcohol use are presenting with more significant issues. In this context, interventions and support increasingly need to be provided by social workers who do not necessarily feel they have sufficient expertise in this area. This session will promote understanding about:

  • Alcohol use and capacity: working with intoxication.
  • Risk and parents who significantly use alcohol.
  • Alcohol use within specific communities: older people; mental health, disabilities, young people.
  • Working within expectations of supporting compulsory treatment and testing.

Dr. Wulf Livingston, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Glyndŵr University Wrexham
Back to top

Domestic abuse and women with learning disabilities

Women with learning disabilities are particularly vulnerable to domestic abuse for a variety of reasons including social isolation, loneliness, lack of awareness of support services or the available options, and barriers to communication. Also, practitioners may not recognise or ask about domestic abuse because they are more likely to see the learning disabilities first. This session will help practitioners working with women with learning disabilities gain an insight into:

  • The red flags to be aware of that might indicate domestic abuse is present.
  • The signs to look out for that are specific to women with learning disabilities.
  • Practice tips for working with this client group to ensure they are supported to disclose domestic abuse.

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The organisers reserve the right to change the programme, speakers or timings should circumstances require.

Management sessions:

Panel discussion

Panel discussion: is the PSW role in children’s services fulfilling its potential?

In a recent speech Birmingham’s chief social worker highlighted the lack of clarify around the PSW role in child and family services and the need for a national debate on this. What has the role achieved? Has its implementation become too locally variable? Is there a risk of Elieen Munro’s original vision being lost? This important discussion will:

  • Revisit Elieen Munro’s original vision for the PSW role and ask whether it is delivering on this vision and maximising opportunities for impact?
  • Assess how deeply the PSW role has been embedded in local authorities and whether it is making a difference to the quality of practice
  • Explore lessons from the implementation of the PSW role in adults’ services
  • Examine the implications for PSWs of the planned introduction of the accredited status of practice leader

Speaker: Lee Pardy-McLaughlin, principal child and family social worker, Coventry City Council, and co-chair, National Children’s PSW
Mandy Hope, principal social worker, Birmingham City Council

Back to top

Discussion forum

The impact of poverty on social work practice

Public spending cuts, coupled with sweeping welfare reform, have taken their toll on many vulnerable individuals and families. This discussion will assess the impact this is having on social services and social work practice, and will:

  • Assess how service users and carers are being affected by poverty.
  • Identify how poverty is driving demand for social care services.
  • Examine the role of social work in improving the lives of service users living in poverty.
  • Explore strategies for coping with an increasing demand for overstretched services.
  • Investigate practical ways social workers can make improvements for people living in poverty.

Speaker: Dave Backwith, course leader, MA Social Work, Anglia Ruskin University
Further speakers TBC

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Case study: The Tri-borough ‘Focus on Practice’

Matt Watson, partners in practice programme manager, Tri-borough Children’s Services
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Creating trauma-informed practitioners and organisation

Social workers are constantly exposed to other people’s trauma. It is critical that they are able to effectively regulate their emotions, because unregulated emotion can lead to compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. This session will explore:

  • How organisations can not only develop workers’ resilience, but build the concept of trauma and its impact into management and policies?
  • Why organisations should place trauma at the heart of their structures and systems.
  • How to increase practitioner resilience in overwhelming situations
  • What we can learn from case study examples of a trauma-informed organisation
  • How to start using these concepts in your team or organisation.

Professor David Shemmings OBE PhD, professor of child protection research, University of Kent and visiting professor of child protection research, Royal Holloway, University of London
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Carrying out timely, outcomes-focused and legally compliant reviews

Reviews of care plans play a critical role in ensuring that people are receiving just the right level of support to meet their needs and help them achieve outcomes. However, with councils needing to make savings from care packages and with high caseloads, carrying out timely, outcomes-focused and legally compliant reviews is challenging. This case study session will:

  • Demonstrate how a focus on outcomes in reviews can support people to improve independence and wellbeing while helping councils achieve savings targets.
  • Identify sustainable ways of managing review caseloads so that backlogs do not develop.
  • Provide guidance on ensuring changes to care packages following review and reassessment are legally compliant.

Back to top

Social work’s role and responsibility in detecting radicalisation and extremism

Recent terrorist attacks and government policy has brought an increasing focus on the role of social work in responding to radicalisation and extremism. Social workers will invariably come into contact with individuals and families who are vulnerable to extremism and will need to think carefully about how to work with them and how to refer them. This discussion session will help you:

  • Learn what the government’s counter-terrorism and radicalisation Prevent strategy means in practice for local authorities and social workers.
  • Identify what factors to consider when working with vulnerable young people who have been or are being radicalised, and how to work with other agencies and share information.
  • Understand how to use the Channel process and vulnerability assessment framework to gauge the extent to which a person is engaged with an extremist group, intends to carry out an extremist offence and has the capability to do so.
  • Assess the extent to which Islamaphobia and far-right extremism is a growing issue for social workers to tackle.

Back to top

Embedding the child and family specialism in ways of thinking and working: The National Assessment and Accreditation System

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children & Families, Department for Education
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Case study: setting up all-age disability teams

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Shake up your supervision

Supervision is important for effective social work, but research suggests many children and family social workers do not receive high-quality supervision. This presentation will cover:

  • What is good supervision?
  • The current state of supervision.
  • Going beyond a managerial approach to supervision.
  • Overcoming the barriers to high-quality supervision.
  • Top tips on delivering supervision that improves practice.

Speaker: Sharon Jennings, part time lecturer social work, Goldsmiths, University of London
Speaker: Tricia Pereira, principal social worker – adults, Royal Borough of Greenwich

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Lessons from Ofsted on responding to situations where children are living with domestic abuse

Speaker: Paul D’Inverno, specialist adviser, child protection, Ofsted
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The organisers reserve the right to change the programme, speakers or timings should circumstances require.

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