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BASW England Annual Conference and Members' Meeting 2019

Relationships - the DNA of Social Work

Featuring 8 unique workshops, panel discussions, 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.


  • The role of supervision in maintaining professional identity​Dr Fran Wiles, The Open University

The masterclass will explore what professional identity involves and some of the factors that influence it. It will then consider how supervision can help us to develop and maintain our professional identities, and the elements that need to be in place for this to happen. The workshop will help practitioners to reflect on their own supervision, as well as their role in supporting others.  

  • 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.  ​

Acquired brain injury has a rippling effect, the injury happens to the individual, but the impact is felt both by family, friends and even the wider community. The purpose of the masterclass is for social workers to have a better understanding of the experience of family members of ABI survivors to improve their professional practice.  Case studies, share resources, experiences and ideas will be discussed. 

  • Practice Educator Relationships, Carol Dicken and Jenny Peddar

​BASW has issued refreshed standards to promote the development, and awareness, of Professional Standards in Social Work Education within the social work profession and with people with lived experience of social work.  It is hoped that the new document will be used to promote the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) and lead to a wider understanding of the role of the practice educator (PE)by students, employer and anyone involved in practice education.

Participants will be able to get a copy of the new PEPS and hear about key summary changes that have been made compared to the previous PEPS document. There will also be a tabletop activity to discuss how providers might be assisted in implementing the new PEPS and potential barriers to implementing the new PEPS. Information received from the workshop will go on to inform BASWs early implementors project and support practice guidance.

  • 30 Year's of the Children Act, Dr Mark Kerr 

This session will review key policy and practice changes affecting Children Looked After and Care Leavers since the Children Act 1989.   It will argue that whilst policy changes and the evolution of contemporary services have been incremental, the cumulative affect has created a sector radically different to that which existed in 1989.  The changes in the sector have seen services commodified, commercialised and more recently corporatised. But has this modern sector, dominated by private providers, improved outcomes? This session will critically examine whether changes to policy and practice for Children Looked After and Care Leavers have improved their outcomes and life chances.

  • ​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 

BASW England together with social workers and leaders in local and national government, practitioners, academics and people with lived experience, have been working towards raising the profile of the social worker in the role of emergency response and disasters. 

As part of our ongoing work we have agreed a joint statement with ADASS , hosted a fringe event at the NCASC Conference last November and are currently developing a CPD standard for social workers in this area of increasing priority and practice. This workshop will focus on the role of the social worker as keyworker in the event of a disaster such as terrorist attacks, large-scale accidents and natural disasters.  Topics covered will include:

  • Key stages of disaster management and support
  • Sharing difficult news, assessing need and co-ordinating services
  • Self-care and support
  • CPD

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.

Sponsors and Exhibitions

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

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