Investing in Relationships

Most people, when asked, say they have between five and ten real ‘friends’. This suggests the friends on Facebook then must be mostly acquaintances at best. We spend most of our waking hours over about five days a week at work and there we may well meet the real friends we have for life. We will certainly meet people who are positive or negative influences on us and in every case we will learn something.

In human relations work, of which residential child care is an important example, the relationships are multiply more complicated and therefore much more important. Receiving a young person in crisis (often in a poorly planned way) who often does not want to be with you is a highly pressured and challenging environment, even if you are skilled, qualified and experienced. In addition, your relationship with their social worker and the commissioners of the package will add pressure as they will be expecting you to turn this young person around.

Social Care Association (SCA) holds an annual seminar for care professionals from all settings across the UK and this year the event is to be held in Clydebank with the theme – Investing in Relationships. This is a good theme because we believe that the relationships we have are the keystone to everything else we do. If they are not working anywhere in our life, there will be unhealthy stress.

The programme includes key note speakers from academic settings, practice settings and regulatory bodies. The event is called a seminar because it helps people with their practice and everybody learns something from the experience. It is certificated for CPD where needed and receives consistently positive reviews by those who come.

This year Mark Smith, a lecturer in Residential Child Care at Edinburgh University, will give a keynote on the theme specifically related to this area of work and the programme has several specialist workshops for child care professionals.

But what most people report positively and value most is the network of professionals they meet from a wide variety of settings from the most junior roles to the CEO. This opportunity is priceless and gives an insight downwards from the boss into what life is like on the front line and the chance for front line workers to chew things over with (and influence) those who set strategy.

Many key people in the sector began their professional life in practice working in a children’s home – including me! I joined SCA when I managed a day centre for disabled people and I am committed to the Association’s objective of supporting workers to promote best practice in social care.

The seminar is an opportunity to meet us and get to know some of your fellow professionals. If you can’t come for the whole thing, you can come for a day. You can think about joining SCA or the emerging ICSE (Institute of Child Care and Social Education) or SARCC (Scottish Association of Residential Child Care). There will be a chance to talk to people from these groups too. We would love to see you.

Visit our website or follow the link below for more information, full programme and booking details

Nick Johnson is Chief Executive of the Social Care Association, and the Institute of Childcare and Social Education is closely associated, with its members being members of SCA. See their websites for further information.

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