Embracing technology in the face of the Coronavirus, the 2020 Social Work Conference hosted by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust took place last week.

Social worker conferences are not new at the Trust it’s recognised that our social workers want to hear from local and national practice specialists. Such opportunity is offered throughout the year.

Since April we have been running ‘virtual learn on your lunch sessions’ but our annual social worker conference is something special for our colleagues and we knew we this year we had to make it happen somehow.

So our first virtual social work conference was born. The conference was delivered over a full week with social workers able to book on to the sessions that most interested them.

Sharing powerful insights into national best practice the first part of the conference saw presentations from a number of keynote speakers including Dez Holmes, Director Research in Practice who spoke around transitional safeguarding, who provided an insight on safeguarding from adolescent to adulthood and the importance of this complex transition when viewed through a safeguarding lens.

Jeanette Sutton, Research in Practice, delivered an immensely popular session looking at evidence around analysis, curiosity and critical thinking in our work to improve outcomes for children and families.

With an increase in domestic abuse as impact of COVID, Brigid Featherstone, National Change Project gave an insightful and thought provoking presentation which included working with abusers and moved others to think of methods in which they can adopt this practice.

Lastly, CAFCASS provided a two part seminar on Child Impact Analysis Framework and Private Law.

Alongside these presentations, attendees were provided with the opportunity to attend workshops run by Trust colleagues which focused on practice standards and safeguarding online. Focusing on colleagues’ welfare, further opportunities were provided for attendees to complete a workshop on a mindfulness approach to overwhelm and compassion fatigue.

Yvette Cotton, Workforce Development Manager and organiser of the event commented:
“It has been a fantastic week of events; we have had some inspirational speakers and this has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and showcase our social workers and all the good work that they do each day. The week saw positive comments from all sessions and we are glad we can offer this continuous development even in the face of challenging times.”

James Thomas, Chief Executive said:
“It was a pleasure to start off the week and partake in a wonderful event. Getting the best for our families, children and young people we are dedicated on developing our colleagues within the Trust and supporting them and their professional needs. Our annual conference is just one of the ways we do this. It is an honour to be able to supply this event annually, in which we can share exceptional methods of practice and recognise our colleagues for their work.”

If you would like to be a part of Doncaster Children’s Services Trust growing social worker teams, please visit www.doncasterchildrenstrust.co.uk/join-our-team/apply-now to find out more.

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