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Social Work Scotland Annual Conference & Exhibition 2018

13th June 2018 - 14th June 2018

2018 will be the 50th anniversary of the Social Work Scotland Act –this gives us a reason to celebrate and reflect on the journey so far.  How far we have come? How many changes have we experienced and more importantly where will we go next?

In considering the evolution of our profession, the theme of our conference is ‘confidence commitment collaboration’. It’s all about people: the people we are; the people we work with; and the people we support.

Those people: the professionals, colleagues and individuals who need our support are both diverse and connected. Diverse: as we support people who are vulnerable because of poverty, trauma, disability, illness, age; but connected just as the lives of those we support are interwoven and indeed merge across the services we provide. Children and families; justice; mental health; substance misuse; learning disability. While there may be different professionals involved and types of support delivered, we all know that these are many of the same families and indeed individuals who, over time, travel through many of our services.

The golden thread throughout the conference programme is therefore the consideration of the long term, generational and societal impact of ‘neglect’.  The increasing prevalence of poverty and neglect and recognition of the lasting and damaging impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences from early years, into early adulthood and beyond.

In tackling these challenges and, if we are honest, missed opportunities, we recognise that it will often take more than one service or profession to make the real differences in people’s lives. The conference therefore has a focus on ‘collaboration’ aimed at bringing different perspectives together to inform our thinking about the way ahead. Understanding that at a time of austerity and change across health, social care, justice and education, we need to search out and apply innovative and collective thinking which comes from our collaborations, services and sectors.

And, to do this we need a workforce that is confident and committed.  We were all inspired by last year’s focus on the importance of relationships in making a real and lasting  difference to people’s lives. We will carry through the thoughts and themes from the 2017 conference and our follow up Summit in December into our summer event and really examine what we need to do to support our workforce seize opportunities in these challenging times.

We hope you can join us. After all, it is the sum of all our efforts that will make that difference.

Jackie Irvine, Vice President, and Jane Devine, Director of Social Work Scotland
on behalf of the conference planning team


13th June 2018
14th June 2018
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Crieff Hydro Hotel
Pertshire, H7 3LQ United Kingdom
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