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Thursday, 01 March 2018

Engage: West Sussex to host inaugural children's social work conference

Written by West Sussex County Council

On World Social Work Day 2018, what better way for West Sussex County Council to celebrate our work than to invite you to participate in our inaugural conference and explore the theme of direct work with children?

The Munro Review highlighted that the only way to create a “child-centred” system was for social workers to have the time and the skill to undertake a great deal more direct work with children.

This is a sponsored article and is brought to you by West Sussex County Council.

For Sarah Daly, Head of Children’s Social Care for West Sussex County Council, this is the reason for selecting this topic as our event theme.  “Direct work with children isn’t just child’s play!  It can be time-consuming.  It can take several sessions before you are able to ascertain a child’s wishes and feelings.  Making time is essential though– without the child’s voice being heard our assessments, court reports and home visits are meaningless.”

She explained further “We will be running our own workshop to explain which tools, techniques and resources that should be in every social worker’s toolkit when doing direct work.”

The West Sussex workshop will offer practical demonstrations of direct work methods, each of which seeks to understand the mind of the child and the child’s world.  Direct work needs to done in the right setting and involves more than asking a child “how are things?” A skilled social work professional will use paint, clay, pen and paper, puppets and even virtual reality – to make sense of their feelings.

The workshop is, however, only one part of the day.  Professor Ray Jones is the keynote speaker presenting on ‘Scanning the Horizon: Hopes and Fears for the Future of Children's Social Services and Social Work.’  He also will be hosting an interactive workshop “What makes for good child protection practice & how to practice well when busy and under pressure”.

Professor Jones, a registered social worker with over 40 years of practice, was honoured for his outstanding contribution to the profession at last year’s Social Worker of the Year Awards.  Praised by colleagues for having always been a voice for social work and unafraid to speak out for what he believes in, he was the first chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

The event is at South Lodge, Horsham, a venue specifically chosen to showcase West Sussex as a great place to live and work.  There will be opportunities to speak to West Sussex Social Workers and find out about the work being done to improve the lives of the children and families we work with.

Tea and coffee will be served on arrival at 9.00am for a 9.30am start with a break for lunch. The event will draw to a close at 4.00pm.

Experienced social work professionals are invited to join West Sussex to celebrate World Social Work Day 2018. 

To do so click here and book your place: