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BASW England Annual conference and members' meeting 2019

Relationships - the DNA of Social Work

Featuring 8 unique workshops, fringe and breakfast meetings, a speakers corner, drinks reception, exhibition and networking for 300 delegates this programme packed event will give you the opportunity and the tools to build stronger relationships and empower communities.

This event is designed for social workers, individuals in social care and their employers.  The programme will feature expert lead workshops and meetings around BASW England 80/20 Campaign and Social Work in Disasters.  Please revisit this page for updates.  To view the conference programme scroll down the page and click on the link under Further Information.


​This meeting is open to BASW England members only.  If you are not a member, but are attending the conference, the exhibitions and refreshments areas will be open at the same time, so please take the opportunity to network with our exhibitors.


This year's conference will focus on the importance of relationships in social work, reflected in the day programme of speakers and masterclasses.  Ian Lawrence who blogs as The Samurai Social Worker will be the Keynote speaker.  Ian is a registered social worker who came to the profession after previous careers in agriculture and sales.  He now specialises in complex neurological conditions and brain injury and manages a community team serving adults with learning and physical disabilities.  Ian also has lived experience of Bipolar Affective Disorder and psychosis and cares for his mother who is living with Alzheimer's Type Dementia.  The title of his talk is Relationships, that's all there ever is.  A timeline of relationship impacts.

The Family Rights Group (FRG),  Parents Panel​ ​will speak about their experiences of social work and social workers.  The Parents Panel is an expert panel of family members with direct lived experience of the Child Welfare and Family Justice System.  The FRG is a charity that works with parents in England and Wales, whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and with members of the wider family who are raising children unable to remain at home.  The FRG advise parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about their rights and options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children's welfare.  The FRG campaign for families to have a voice, to be treated fairly and get help early to prevent problems escalating.


  • ​Supervision and Management Relationship, Dr Fran Wiles, The Open University 
  • Asking for help: Does adult care law help or hinder relationship building? Robert Lomax & Rachel Hubbard, University of the West of England 

For social work with adults the law often defines the parameters of contact we have with people. But does the law really help us to engage meaningfully with people? What impact does practice within legal frameworks have when people do not choose to ask for help or have overcome significant hurdles to do so?

In this workshop we will explore professional relationship building in the context of adult social work practice with the Care Act, Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act. We will also explore how changes to these legal frameworks might reshape adult social work practice in the future.

  • Lived experience of the care system and relationships with social workers: what has helped and hindered us, Leeds Care Leaver Council

The Care Leavers Council is a group of young people in Leeds who have recently left care. They meet regularly with Leeds City Council staff to look at ways of making things better for people who are leaving care. Some of the things the Care Leavers Council do include: training foster carers, teachers and social workers; attending meetings to represent the views of care leavers and running events. 

​In the Masterclass The Care Leavers Council will share their care experiences about their relationships with social workers; what has helped and hindered them and share suggestions on what they feel can engender improved understanding of their experiences to enhance service delivery, that will hopefully better support young people's  transition into adulthood.  ​

  • Practice Educator Relationships, BASW England PEPS Refresh Group 
  • 30 Year's of the Children Act, Dr Mark Kerr 
  • ​Advocacy: A parent's perspective, Mark Neary

Mark Neary is the father of Steven Neary who was at the centre of a landmark Court of Protection case in 2011 which rested on the Human Rights Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Since the case, Mark has published 4 books on his experiences of adult social care and regularly speaks at events on the subject. Mark is co founder of Rightful Lives - a project that focuses on human rights for people with learning disabilities.  

The Masterclass is primarily about advocacy and whether Steven is truly able to advocate for himself and whether Mark is permitted to advocate on his behalf. To that end, Mark will be describing elements of the court case and including the more recent experiences of managing the Personal Budget and the process of going through a Community DoLS now that Steven is living in his own home.

  • Social Work in Disasters, Maris Stratulis, BASW England National Director 

80/20 Campaign Panel Discussion

The conference will close with a panel discussion on the ongoing 80/20 Campaign which BASW England has developed to improve the contact time between social workers and children and families.

Speaker's Corner

This event features a Speaker's Corner where individuals are afforded the opportunity to give short presentations on current topics and practices.

Located outside the main networking hub, a limited number of speaker slots will be made available in advance for registered delegates, these audience members and (name and title only) shared with the presenters’ pre-event and the opportunity to contact them indirectly (through BASW England) posing questions that enable you to better shape your presentation pre-event.

During each conference, delegates and exhibitors are able to book sessions on site filling empty slots further increasing engagement.

Sessions will be available around the following approximated times: Final timings will be determined as the programme becomes fixed closer to the time of the event.

  • 08.30 – 10:00
  • 12:30 - 14:00
  • 16.30 – 18.00

Should you care to speak in this feature area, please submit a 300 word synopsis, with your name and presentation working title to Lisa Kennedy at

Sponsors and Exhibitions

If you are interested in sponsoring the conference or exhibiting then please contact for more information.

Breakfast Briefing

We have an opportunity for organisations to host a breakfast briefing at the conference.  For more information contact the England Team

Registration is now open. We are also offering a discounted rate to groups of 6, please see pricing listed left.

To secure your place, please register below.


Further Information