Past events

The following events were hosted by the Social Work Academy and contain further information and background reading.

Events in 2018

Social work academy masterclass – What is good social work practice? What difference does it make?

Date: 23 January 2018
Speaker: Professor Donald Forrester of the University of Cardiff

Donald will be presenting evidence from studies the have looked at practice skills and outcomes for over 400 families. Together these are the largest study ever undertaken of the relationship between practice skills and outcomes, and as such they provide an opportunity to examine not just what good practice is, but the challenges involved in creating excellence in service delivery. The studies have evaluated specific ways of working - such as Systemic Practice or Motivational Interviewing – and approaches to change from complex whole system reforms to intensive training. The session’s focus will be on identifying key lessons for delivering effective services for children and families.

Events in 2017

Leading gender and sexuality in social work

Date: 14 February 2017
Speaker: Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Middlesex University

Restorative practice: Transforming the culture of children's services

Date: 2 March 2017
Speaker: Andy Lloyd, Head of Service - Workforce Development, Leeds City Council  

This session explored the concept of restorative practice and how this has become the default behaviour in Leeds Children’s Services when working with families. Restorative practice is different from restorative justice, although there are similarities between the two. Restorative practice focuses on building, maintaining and repairing relationships and is based on a commitment to working with people rather than doing things to them or for them. Restorative practice requires an atmosphere of high support and high challenge.

Andy Lloyd qualified as a social worker nearly 30 years ago and worked in statutory and third sector organisations before spending 7 years working in two of the three Universities in Leeds. He has been the Head of Children’s Workforce Development for four years.

Putting yourself in our shoes: young people’s perspectives on professional support after child sexual violence

Date: 27 April 2017
Speaker: Camille Warrington, University of Bedfordshire, Institute of Applied Social Research

The organisational conditions for better practice: Pride, shame, and authenticity 

Date: 7 June 2017
SPeaker: Matthew Gibson, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Birmingham

This workshop considers the formal and informal conditions for good social work practice. It reports on findings from a research study into how social workers feel about doing their work and how this influences their commitment, motivation, and creativity in practice. It considers how pride and shame are central to the conditions for creating, guiding and changing the practice in an organisation. It demonstrates how these emotions can be managed within organisations so that social work teams create the informal conditions to continually improve what the social workers do and how these emotions can lead to practise that hides, resists, and challenges the intentions of management and potentially leads to a demotivated and destabilised workforce.

Relationship based practise and intimacy in Social Work practise: How social workers get close to children and families and help them

Date: 18 October 2017
Speaker: Professor Harry Ferguson of the University of Birmingham

How is social work actually done? What do social workers do when face to face with service users? What do they talk about? Where do they sit? Or stand? Do they move when on home visits and if so when, why and how? How close to children do practitioners get and where is the best place to see children if they are to reveal the truth of their experience and needs?

This presentation seeks some answers to these questions by drawing on ethnographic research in which practitioners were shadowed while doing the work and face to face encounters between social workers, children and families were observed and audio recorded, mainly on home visits. It focuses on the social work encounters where closeness and intimacy occurred, the relationships had depth and service users were helped. It draws out learning about how helpful social work occurs and can be developed.

Events in 2016

Values Based Practice and Mental Health Assessment

Date: 12 October 2016
Speakers: Professor Bill Fulford in conjunction with Tamsin Waterhouse

Materials linked to Masterclasses can be found below: