Have you thought of going to the SIRCC Annual Conference?

The Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care (SIRCC) has an annual conference in Scotland, which normally takes place in early June. This year it is going to be held in Erskine, west of Glasgow, from 5 -7 June. The conference has become a well-established fixture and for the last two years over 300 people have attended annually. The cost will be about £285 including one night’s accommodation (some discounts available).

The conference brings together the whole residential sector, including people who work in the disability area. Although it is a Scottish conference, for the last few years we have been attracting increasing numbers of international delegates and speakers, including quite a few English, Welsh and Irish ones! Last year ten nationalities were represented. Research and experiences from across the globe are brought together. At the same time SIRCC tries to emphasise practice and delegates tend to include a mix of practitioners and managers as well as academics, and a number of movers and shakers! Young people are involved as presenters and the exhibition area is packed out with people networking at every opportunity.

One of our speakers in 2006 said, “Conferences and meetings often seem to be ‘scientific methods’ of spending funds and are usually boring.” By the end her attitude had totally changed. “It is so important to share both our accomplishments and, at times, failures so that new hopes and new possibilities can emerge.”

The theme for 2007 is Realising Potential: Inspirational Journeys to Positive Residential Child Care Cultures. The conference aims to look at how a climate is created in which young people can aspire to achieve. The culture of a residential unit, while difficult to define, is a vital element which can either support or undermine the quality of the care provided. The conference aims to address many aspects of culture, how positive change can be effected and barriers overcome.

Our first keynote speaker is Dr Sandra Bloom, a psychiatrist from the U.S. and a co-founder of the Sanctuary Model, an ‘evidence-supported, trauma-informed, whole-system approach to the residential care of children’! On the second day we will be hearing from Keith White, whose life-long involvement through his family home and residential community, Mill Grove, has inspired many over the years. So, a bit of variety and hopefully a lot of interest.

Other features of the conference will include drama, a great choice of workshops and seminars, a Scottish Ceilidh, an exhibition area, fringe events and, not least, free transport to and from Glasgow Airport if required. The event will be held at the Erskine Bridge Hotel near Glasgow from the evening of 5-7 June 2007. Booking forms will be available in February on the SIRCC web site: http://www.sircc.strath.ac.uk/conferences/

Feel free to send an e-mail to [email protected] if you would like any more information.

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