Community Care Live Manchester 2018 draft programme

With over 25 sessions providing essential learning and CPD for social workers and managers, our conference programme will equip you to meet the key challenges of your role, enhance your legal literacy and enable you to learn from leading experts.

Please note that this is a draft programme and subject to change. We will be updating the programme over the coming weeks so bookmark this page to check the latest version.

Preparing a balance-sheet approach for court proceedings

It is a social worker’s duty to gather comprehensive, evidence-based information and be accountable for the decision making around children in their caseload. But recent judgments have highlighted difficulties and failings in the balance-sheet approach by social workers. Attend this session to:

  • Hear real life examples of the common mistakes made in the balance-sheet approach.
  • Receive in-depth guidance on preparing an accurate and robust balance sheet that will withstand critical examination.

Deprivation of liberty and young people: legal update

The law on depriving young people of their liberty has been in flux in recent years due to a series of significant court judgments. This session will bring practitioners up to date with the recent judgment in D(A Child) and provide guidance on handling cases of suspected deprivation of liberty among under 18s. Attend this session to hear:

  • An overview of the law on deprivation of liberty, including article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Cheshire West judgment and other key pieces of case law.
  • An analysis of the judgment in D(A Child).
  • How far, and under what circumstances, parents can consent to the confinement of their children in care settings.
  • Deprivation of liberty in cases where a child is subject to child protection measures.

Section 20 accommodation: understanding the law and using it appropriately

Though latest figures showed a drop in the number of section 20 arrangements, concerns remain about how well social workers understand these arrangements and how appropriately they are used. This session will provide an overview of the law on section 20 and:

  • Analyse the role and legal significance of parental consent in section 20 cases.
  • Identify misuses and misunderstandings of the law currently being picked up by the courts.
  • Explore other lawful routes that should be used in such cases instead.
  • Set out appropriate uses of section 20 and examples of good practice.

Evidencing neglect and emotional abuse in court

Despite neglect and emotional abuse being the most prevalent forms of abuse recorded in England for children on child protection plans (2015/16), it continues to be difficult to evidence in court. How can you demonstrate the impact of neglect and emotional abuse on a child’s wellbeing? How can you ensure the court is given the necessary information they need to make an informed decision? This session will help you:

  • Understand what the court needs from you for informed decisions to be made.
  • Learn how to gather your evidence on neglect and emotional abuse.
  • Learn how to present your evidence for court.

Case study: the Pause project

The Pause project works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care in order to break the cycle and help them develop new skills, tackle destructive patterns of behaviour and improve their opportunities. An evaluation of the project by the Department for Education’s Innovation Fund found that it improved the lives of the people it worked with, promoted engagement with other services and reduced the number of children going into care. Attend this session to understand:

  • The Pause model and how it works with service users and local authorities.
  • The critical success factors for supporting women to improve their lives and reduce the risk of children being taken into care.
  • The role of the Pause practitioner and the skillset required to work with women who have had repeat removals.

Understanding cross-county child criminal exploitation

Criminal gangs in urban areas are increasingly targeting children to carry drugs across county borders, supplying them to suburban areas and market and coastal towns. Such criminal activity involves the grooming and exploitation of children, subjecting them to violence and sexual exploitation, while exposing them to serious crime, illegal drugs and gangs. Attend this session to:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the risks to children posed by cross-county criminal exploitation, including its links to sexual exploitation, modern slavery and missing persons.
  • Understand how police, the National Crime Agency, the voluntary sector and local and central government are responding to this growing crime, including recent Home Office-issued guidance.
  • Learn how practitioners can recognise the signs of, and appropriate responses to, cross-county child criminal exploitation so that victims, and potential victims, get the right help and support.

Introduction to working with alcohol use and related experiences

Specialist alcohol support services are changing and people with problematic alcohol use are presenting with more significant issues. In this context, interventions and support increasingly need to be provided by social workers who do not necessarily feel they have sufficient expertise in this area. This session will promote understanding about:

  • Alcohol use and capacity: working with intoxication.
  • Risk and parents who significantly use alcohol.
  • Alcohol use within specific communities: older people; mental health, disabilities, young people.
  • Working within expectations of supporting compulsory treatment and testing.

Best-interests decision-making: legal refresher

Best-interests decision-making is one of the core elements of practice under the Mental Capacity Act, but it remains a challenging area of practice because of evolving case law and the challenges of applying it in complex cases. This session will cover:

  • Understanding the best-interests checklist and what case law says about the weight that should be applied to people’s past and present wishes and feelings.
  • Best-interests decision-making in complex cases including those concerning sexual relations, contact and safeguarding.
  • Applying the least restrictive option principle in practice.
  • Chairing best interests meetings.

Care Act: lessons from case law

The judgments in the Merton and Davey cases have clarified key aspects of the Care Act, including in relation to what makes for a lawful assessment. This session will:

  • Explain and analyse the judgments in the Merton and Davey cases.
  • Set out in detail what the judgments said about what constitutes a lawful assessment under the act, and advise on what practitioners need to bear in mind to carry out a legally defensible assessment.
  • Examine the implications of the judgments for how local authorities should make decisions about changing care plans or personal budgets.

Mental health: common shortcomings from tribunal reports

Social circumstances reports are a critical part of mental health tribunals and can make the difference between a person being discharged or not. But completing these reports in line with what the law requires can prove challenging for social workers. This session will:

  • Set out what the law requires in the writing of social circumstances reports.
  • Provide guidance on the format and content of social circumstances reports.
  • Identify common shortcomings in the way tribunal reports are written and how these can be overcome.

Understanding the law on deprivation of liberty in the community

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards only apply to care homes and hospitals, so there can be confusion around what to do if a deprivation of liberty is suspected in other settings, such as someone’s own home. The aims of this session are to help social workers know when a deprivation of liberty in the community is taking place, and to outline their legal requirements. Attend to hear:

  • A refresher of the law in relation to deprivation of liberty, setting out how these apply to community settings.
  • The factors you need to take into account and weigh up when considering whether a person is deprived of their liberty in a community setting.
  • Practical tips on making an application to the Court of Protection to authorise a deprivation of liberty – what evidence you need and how to gather this.

Panel discussion: do we need a new Mental Health Act?

The government has launched a review of the Mental Health Act in response to concerns over the rising number of detentions and persistent ethnic inequalities in detention rates. Reactions to the review have emphasised how far there is to go in making the current system work properly. This panel discussion will explore:

  • Why detention rates under the Mental Health Act are going up and ethnic inequalities persist and how approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) and others can tackle this.
  • Current pressures on the mental health system, including lack of beds and alternatives to hospital admission, and how these can be eased.
  • The case for a new Mental Health Act and perspectives on what this should look like.
  • How best to improve the experience and uphold the human rights of people subject to mental health powers.

Understanding coercive control: signs to look out for and questions to ask

Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship is now a criminal offence and domestic abuse victims often say it is this, rather than physical violence, that is the worst part of the abuse. The difficulty for practitioners is that because of the ongoing, pervasive nature of coercive control – and the fact that perpetrators are often manipulative and appear charming to the outside world – behaviours can be difficult to spot. This session will:

  • Identify signs to look out for that indicate coercive control might be an issue.
  • Equip you with questions to ask yourself and the suspected victim to help pinpoint whether coercive control is present in the relationship.
  • Set out practice tips for you to help support victims of coercive control.

Case study: embedding telecare in assessment and care planning

Telecare has long been a significant part of social care with adults but many practitioners still struggle with it and have difficulty embedding it within assessment and care planning. This session will cover:

  • Understanding when telecare would be an appropriate alternative or supplement to face-to-face care.
  • Developing an understanding of what works in telecare and supporting people to make choices over the telecare for them.
  • Resolving ethical dilemmas when arranging telecare for people.

Modern slavery: your role in protecting victims

The profile of modern slavery has risen significantly in recent years, while at the same time it has been enshrined in law and adult social work practice through the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the Care Act statutory guidance respectively. But it remains a challenging area for social workers to navigate in relation to identifying and supporting victims, inter-agency working and understanding the law. This session will cover:

  • A review of social workers’ duties under the Modern Slavery Act and analysis of how well these are being implemented.
  • What you need to bear mind in carrying out a safeguarding enquiry under the Care Act in relation to modern slavery.
  • How far modern slavery is a problem within the social care sector and what social workers can do about it.

Introduction to working with people with personality disorder

People with personality disorder are seen as complex to work with, and with few specific services available to refer to, social workers are often left struggling to know how to support them. This session will offers:

  • Practical advice on understanding the issues this client group faces, assessments and interventions.
  • An outline of the different types of personality disorder and issues that are specific/common to the diagnosis eg trouble with relationships, self-harm, suicidal feelings.
  • Advice on how to carry out a strengths-based risk assessment.
  • The strategies and psychosocial interventions that social workers can use to work with individuals to help them deal with their feelings/emotions.

Rising homelessness: what is the social work response?

Homelessness has increased dramatically in recent years, with the number of households in temporary accommodation up 63% and rough sleeping up 134% on 2010 levels. But research has warned that the problem may get substantially worse in decades to come without significant action to tackle the underlying causes. Councils have a critical role to play in tackling and preventing homelessness, which will be strengthened by new legislation due to come into force in 2018, and children’s and adults’ social care needs to be at the heart of this. This session will:

  • Explore why homelessness is rising and will continue to rise in years to come without further action.
  • Set out the main provisions Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and what it means for local authority social care departments.
  • Set out practical actions social workers and their managers can do to tackle and prevent homelessness in their areas.

Reintegration of people returning from Syria: the social work role

Around 850 people from the UK are thought to have travelled to warzones in Syria and Iraq to join violent extremist groups such as Islamic State (IS). And recent research (The Soufan Centre, 2017) estimates that half of those have now returned home. This session will provide vital information and guidance on:

  • How to reintegrate people back into society, including policy proposals that could see people given counselling and offered help finding a job.
  • The best approach to take with returnee women and children in particular, who may need mental health and social services support.
  • What the social work role should be, and how to ensure there is no conflict with social work values.

Creating trauma-informed practitioners and organisations

Social workers are constantly exposed to other people’s trauma. It is critical that they are able to effectively regulate their emotions, because unregulated emotion can lead to compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. This session will explore:

  • How organisations can not only develop workers’ resilience, but build the concept of trauma and its impact into management and policies.
  • Why organisations should place trauma at the heart of their structures and systems.
  • How to increase practitioner resilience in overwhelming situations.
  • What we can learn from case study examples of a trauma-informed organisation.
  • How to start using these concepts in your team or organisation.

What does great social work leadership look like?

Leadership is often invoked as a critical factor in improving social work but what does it look like in practice? This session will draw on examples from different local authorities to identify the different skills and attributes social work leaders need to motivate, enable and challenge practitioners to improve outcomes for children, families and adults. Hear about:

  • The key attributes of effective social work leaders.
  • Developing leadership in your organisation, from practitioner level up to senior management.
  • How to show leadership in adversity.

Embedding the knowledge and skills statements in training and performance management

Under its plans to introduce accreditation of social workers, the government expects local authorities to embed the knowledge and skills statements (KSS) for children and families social workers and supervisors in their recruitment, performance management and training policies. However, a recent survey by Skills for Care found that many local authorities are yet to do this. This session will provide guidance on embedding the KSS in your organisational practices and policies, with a focus on:-

  • Understanding the content of the KSS and their development into post-qualifying standards for child and family social workers and supervisors.
  • Mapping the KSS/post-qualifying standards on to your organisation’s recruitment, training, supervision, case auditing and other performance management processes.
  • How the KSS relates to the professional capabilities framework and how the two can be aligned in your organisation’s policies and procedures.

Promoting reflective practice: what practice educators and supervisors can do

Reflection, the act of carefully thinking things through and considering other viewpoints, is one of the key skills that social work students need to develop throughout their university course and on placement. This can be a challenging area for practice educators and supervisors to help with, especially where the student has a lack of insight or isn’t able to express their verbal reflective skills in written assessments. This practical, interactive session will cover:

  • Different models of reflection that educators and supervisors can use with students, including an interactive demonstration of one of the models.
  • Ways to bring reflection into supervision and avoid solely information-based, case management supervision sessions.
  • How to support a student who struggles with reflective writing.

Carrying out effective social work health checks

As part of the standards for employers of social workers, the Social Work Task Force recommended that employers should carry out annual “health checks” of their workforce to ensure they are providing the support and working conditions practitioners need. As well as identifying barriers to safe and effective practice, a health check can help highlight issues affecting staff wellbeing and retention. This practical session will draw on real examples to explore how managers can ensure health checks are meaningful and lead to improvements in the issues that most affect staff. Learn how to:

  • Plan an effective health check – what qualitative and quantitative data will you collect, and how? What existing data or forums can be used as well as specific surveys or sessions?
  • Engage staff and ensure views and experiences across the workforce are represented.
  • Use the information gathered effectively and ensure staff know they are being listened to.

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