27 June 2019
The Trust held its first social work conference on Wednesday 19 June. 125 colleagues came  together to think about how to build the approach to social work.  
 
Trust CEO Dr Navina Evans opened the conference.  She emphasised the Trust’s commitment to developing social work.  
 
Kristine Olsen-Vetland then described the experience of social work from a service user’s point of view. She spoke about the importance of kindness and understanding the context of peoples' life experiences. .
 
Other sessions focused on the need to move from “repair” to “prevent”, opportunities for improved joint working and multi-disciplinary care approaches around neighbourhoods.  
 
Colleagues developed these themes in smaller group sessions.
 
The venue was bustling throughout the day, with Trust staff networks, Thinkahead, Unison, Freedom to Speak Up, The British Association of Social Work (BASW) and What Matters To You? all representing with stalls.
 
In the afternoon Sonya Chee, a Thinkahead graduate in City & Hackney CAMHS interviewed Gill Williams, Newham Borough Director.
 
Lastly there was a presentation involving BASW which fed back the outcomes of a recent survey of Trust social workers.
 
Dynamic group working based exercises focused on practical next steps.
 
Trust Director of Integrated Care Richard Fradgley said:  "It was a great day, with lots of creative thinking on next steps.
 
"People expressed a need to keep improving what we do.
 
“This includes building better connections with local authorities through social work forums and via professional development.
 
“People want more events where they can link up and to make full use of digital technologies.
 
"There is a great opportunity now to rethink the contribution social work makes to multi-disciplinary working in the context of the developing neighbourhood/primary care networks model.
 
"Also, the need to think about how social workers can drive a strengths-based “what matters to you” approach, including how we work with communities and populations, in addition to individual people.
 
"More coordinated professional development and enhanced supervisory structures are key to all this succeeding.
 
"A report with some clear actions on next steps will be out very soon."