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North East Branch - ‘Doing’ relationship-based social work in child protection meetings

BASW 80-20 Campaign Event Series, sponsored by the Centre for Social Work Practice

The BASW England North East Branch are proud to present their contribution to the 80-20 Campaign series of events, sponsored by the Centre for Social Work Practice.

Parental difficulties and failures are inevitably a topic for discussion in Initial Child Protection Conferences, potentially making meetings socially awkward and even emotionally inflammatory. Is it possible to build a relationship with family members in these circumstances? This talk presents research into ICPCs that were audio recorded in two local authorities with very different approaches to the conduct of the meetings. The talk will show that ‘doing’ relationship-based social work in these meetings can be done – and how.

About the speaker

Juliet Koprowska taught on the social work programmes at the University of York until 2018, after a career as a mental health social worker. Her primary interest has always been in understanding human relationships and communication, and she is the author of a textbook, Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. She is Chair of the social work practitioner organisation GAPS (promoting psychodynamic, systemic and relationship-based approaches to social work).  In recent years she has undertaken research into talk in social work, and is a member of an international group of researchers, DANASWAC (Discourse and Narrative Approaches to Social Work and Counselling).

About the 80-20 Campaign

We are campaigning to reverse the current trend which sees children and families social workers spending just 20 per cent of their time in direct contact with families. Our survey has revealed that BASW England members feel more of their time should be spent building relationships with families and with less of their time on administrative and process driven activities.

About the Centre for Social Work Practice

The Centre for Social Work Practice are committed to ensuring that reflective practice, with its focus on relationships, takes its rightful place not only in social work practice, but also in professional development and in the curriculum at all levels of qualifying and post-qualifying training.


  • 6:00pm-6:10pm Welcome and intriductions
  • 6:10pm-7:00pm Presentation from Juliet Koprowska
  • 7:00pm-7:30pm Branch meeting for members or those interested in becoming members

Light refreshments will be provided