Nearly 300 social workers came together in-person for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic for the City of Wolverhampton Council's seventh annual Adults and Children’s Social Worker Conference earlier this week. The event, at Fox’s Lane Conference and Banqueting Centre, featured a range of keynote speeches and workshops, with the aim of celebrating social work practice and further improving services for Wolverhampton’s children, young people, families and adults with care and support needs.
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “It was a fantastic day and a real celebration of social work practice across adults and children’s services.
“This annual conference is a very important event for our social workers, and they really valued the time out to learn, reflect and, just as importantly, come together in person to share best practice. The speakers and workshops were very well received, being thought provoking, empowering and very relevant, and one attendee told us how proud they are to work for the council because we put such a focus on social work and the profession’s values.”
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Beverley Momenabadi, added: “These events enable our practitioners to come together to learn and also feel connected to their professional identity, reflecting on the incredible difference they make to the children, young people and adults in our city. I am so proud of every single one of our social workers and the amazing job they do, and I would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s conference such a great success.”
The conference’s theme was ‘For The Love of Social Work: Celebrating Professional Identity and Contemporary Practice’. Leading social work professionals and authors of the book ‘Out Of The Shadows: The Role of Social Workers in Disasters’, Angie Bartoli and Maris Stratulis delivered a keynote speech designed to help social workers reflect on the valuable role they play at times of crisis and tragedy.
Meanwhile, Lori Goossen, Principal Social Worker for Medway Council, shared her expertise on secondary trauma within social work and the importance of self-care and professional support. The afternoon featured workshops; women's charity IKWRO delivered a session on harmful practices, while Social Work Without Borders led a workshop on social work with refugees and those affected by any type of border.
The event was opened by the two cabinet members, together with the council's Chief Executive Tim Johnson, Executive Director of Families Emma Bennett and Principal Social Worker Jennifer Rogers.