Being curious - for instance, looking for and probing gaps in information, asking difficult questions, and challenging assumptions and responses, of all parties, not just children and families - is essential for being a good social worker. Professional curiosity enables practitioners to gain a holistic view and understanding of what is happening within a family, what life is like for a child or young person and fully assess potential risks.
Held at at St Marys Church in Sheffield, this year's Children's Social Work Matters regional conference aimed to explore, discuss and debate best practice and learnings around professional curiosity from expert speakers and frontline practitioners.
Attended in person and online by social workers from across our 15 partner authorities, the day also presented an opportunity to network and share thoughts and ideas with fellow practitioners. It was a packed day with some wide-ranging ideas, some powerful stories about how impactful a curious, high-inquiry approach can be, and discussion around some of the challenges in applying curiosity in practice.
The day was rounded off by a change of pace, with a keynote address from motivational expert Leanne Spencer on how to apply the idea of "cadence" to social work practice, by managing energy, preparation and recovery with a mindset inspired by top athletes.
For any CSWM members who missed the day itself, or to revisit some of the keynote and breakout sessions, a recording of the main hall sessions will be made available shortly, so keep an eye out on MyCSWM!