The PSW arranges three children’s social work briefings and three adult’s social work briefings a year. This provides critical space for social workers to share their views with senior leaders and ensure important information is shared face to face with frontline social workers. The sessions also have a learning and development focus often chosen by social workers themselves. These have proved to be highly successful with social workers reporting that they are able to apply their learning to practice and generally state in feedback that everything presented is of use to their practice.
The sixth annual Children and Adult’s Social Work Conference took place in October 2021 with the theme of Celebrating Diversity; Challenging Inequality and included a range of keynote speeches and workshops, with the aim of sharing best practice and further improving services for Wolverhampton’s vulnerable children, young people, families and adults with care and support needs.
Ify Nwokoro, a disability awareness spokesperson and blogger, shared his lived experience of social work and inequality. Ify describes himself as “just a young black man in a wheelchair with a story to tell”. He works with the National Advisory Forum, which acts as a critical friend to Social Work England.
Elly Chapple, a thought-provoking writer and speaker and also the Founder of Can Do Ella and #flipthenarrative, shared what she has learnt from her daughter Ella, who has special educational needs. She advocates for people to change how we see and talk about disability.
There were a variety of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers in the afternoon including a session on anti-racist social work by Wayne Reid (British Association of Social Workers- BASW), supporting people identifying as transgender with Kate Hutchinson from diversity role models and a feminist perspective on Mental Health diagnosis and female victim blaming by Dr Jess Taylor.
Feedback from social workers was that it was a very powerful eye opener on anti-racism at all levels and that it was one of the best Social Work conferences they had attended, with the presentations being meaningful and reflecting the times we are living in now.
In addition to the above, we also have a substantial training and development offer which is varied and responsive to practice challenges. This includes: