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Save the Date Social Care Ireland’s Annual Conference 2021

October 11 @ 10:00 am - October 14 @ 1:00 pm

Conference Theme: Enhancing your practicebuilding your tool kit.


DATE 11th / 12th / 13th & 14th October 2021

TIME: 10am – 1pm (Thursday will finish a bit later)

VENUE: Now using a virtual platform

Social Care Ireland’s Conference Committee have decided to put this years annual conference online. The Conference Committee’s decision is based on the Public Health Guidelines and restrictions for large gatherings, this uncertainly that we all have lived through during this pandemic. Going online allows us to plan and know for sure that it will go ahead. It will now be over four days about three hours a day from 11th October – Thursday 14th October will finish a little later. 

In every profession, the use of specific tools is necessary and such is the case for Social Care, and these ‘tools’ can assist the Social Care Professional in working with vulnerable and marginalised Service Users. The theme of the 2021 Social Care Ireland Conference is “Enhancing your practice, building your Tool Kit” where there will be Keynote Speakers and Workshops/Presentations relating to how, you the Social Care Professional, can improve your practice by utilising ‘tools’ available to you, and learn about how your practice can be improved; thereby improving the care provided to the Service User, by continuously adding to your skills/knowledge.

Key note speakers:

Carol Duffy is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and a senior play therapist in Tusla in Mayo. Carol is a core trainer on the MA in creative psychotherapy  in the Childrens Therapy Centre in Westmeath and a clinical supervisor. Carol has recently made some chapter contributions and published blogs relating to her field.Carol has delivered training and facilitated workshops and published videos online on how to use play within existing practices for professionals including; social care leaders, project workers, family support workers, managers, foster carers and social work teams. These workshops have been on the use of play as a means to build, enhance and foster regulating relationships in practice and in families. The workshops are informed by neurobiology, attachment, understanding of developmental trauma and child development theories.

Over the years the need for a developmentally and neurobioloically informed model that allows for a flexible approach to the heterogeneity of individuals needs, in particular those with complex histories, became increasingly relevant and subsequently Carol developed the model the R.R.I.G.H.T. Play Therapy Techniques.

Presentation:’The theory and rational behind the RRIGHT play therapy techniques’ model

Dr Ray Jones is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London, and a registered social worker. From 1992 to 2006 he was director of social services in Wiltshire. He was the first chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and has been deputy chair and chair of the British Association of Social Workers.  He has led inquiries following the deaths of children and adults, from 2009 to 2013 was chair of Bristol’s Safeguarding Children Board, and from 2010 until 2016 oversaw child protection improvement in Salford, Torbay, the Isle of Wight, Sandwell and Devon. He is the author of seven books including ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’, which was published in July 2014 and informed a BBC Television documentary and a second up-dated and expanded edition was published in February 2017.

Presentation Title: Scandals and Inquiries: Reflections on Their Nature and Impact.

Áine Flynn graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a law degree and M.Litt. by research. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1999 and from 2012-2017 was a senior partner in KOD Lyons, a firm specialising in public interest law, including disability and equality law. She was on the panel of legal representatives of the Mental Health Commission and the Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board from their inception in 2006 and also represented Wards of Court instructed by the General Solicitor. She has written and lectured on Human Rights and has been a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society since 2012. Prior to her present appointment, she was a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health and Decision-Making Capacity Task Force.
In October 2017, Áine commenced in post as inaugural Director of the Decision Support Service in the Mental Health Commission.

Presentation Title: The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015: Key Reforms and Pathway to Implementation

Dr John Woolham, John is a Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Fellow of the National Institute for Health School for Social Care Research (NIHR/SSCR). He has been working at King’s College London since 2015 and since then has led three major research projects funded by NIHR/SSCR and the English Department of Health and Social Care.

John’s research interests include the application of telecare to support the independence and well-being of older people and people with dementia, personal budgets and Direct Payments, and social care Personal Assistants. He has until recently been co-editor of Research Policy and Planning, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Enabling Technology. He is a member of the British Society of Gerontology.

Presentation Title: Trials and tribulations: the policy and practice impacts of two major randomised controlled trials in England
This presentation will offer a detailed look at two well-designed randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in England. The first was the Individual Budgets Support Network Evaluation, (IBSEN) which looked at the impact and outcomes of individual budgets – forerunners of direct payments and personal budgets universally used now in English adult social care. The second was the Whole System Demonstrator project, which was designed to find out if telecare and telehealth led to better outcomes for recipients. Telecare is widely seen as having an important role in addressing the pressure of providing services for a rapidly ageing population at a time of unprecedented cuts to social care resources in England.
The presentation will describe why these trials were commissioned, what they found, and what impact they had on policy and practice. It will argue that relationships between research, policy and practice can be highly problematic but that it is important to nurture these relationships if policy and practice is to be informed or even based on, research evidence.

Workshop: Please note that workshop attendance can only be selected on the day, limited places available due to the nature of the interactive activities involved. 

Carol Duffy is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and a senior play therapist in Tusla in Mayo. Carol is a core trainer on the MA in creative psychotherapy  in the Children’s Therapy Centre in Westmeath and a clinical supervisor. Carol is giving both a keynote and facilitating a workshop.

Title of Workshop: “Experiential play workshop on the  RRIGHT play therapy techniques’ model – play therapy techniques to enhance your toolkit”

Dr Nicola O’Sullivan, Prof Doc Social Care & Emotional Wellbeing, MA Child Protection & Welfare, BSoc Science Youth & Community Work, CAIDREAMH, Family and Practitioner Assessment and Therapeutic Services, Cork

Title of workshopEnhancing Relational Skills in trauma settings using psychodynamic theories

Aim of Workshop: this workshop will introduce the key psychodynamic theories of containment, repetition compulsion, and anxiety and defences. Participants will learn about these theories and their application to clinical settings by way of case study and group participation. In the second half of the workshop participants will have an opportunity to use the theories and to try them out, applying them to their own practice. The workshop aims to highlight the usefulness of psychodynamic theories to social care practice, in enhancing knowledge and in broadening and deepening the practice base.

Eileen Prendiville is Director of Academic Affairs at the Children’s Therapy Centre in Westmeath. She is a core training for their MA in Creative Psychotherapy and the Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy. Eileen was a founder member, and National Clinical Director, of the Children at Risk in Ireland Foundation (CARI), Ireland’s specialist treatment service for children and families affected by child sexual abuse.

Title of Workshop: The Therapeutic Touchstone

Aim of the workshop: is to prepare participants to make use of the Therapeutic Touchstone in their own work with vulnerable children and thus contribute to the development of a therapeutic bond. It will enhance the skill set of social care workers and other professionals whose role brings them into contact with children. The technique is primarily designed to give narrative and a coherent sequence to the child’s life story. It is a storytelling technique that employs a number of features designed to allow for the paradox of getting close to the child’s actual experiences while maintaining the dramatic distance necessary for the child’s social engagement system to remain active during the telling of the story. This is a delicate balance that cannot be achieved unless the child’s play system is concurrently activated. It relieves anxiety for the child and provides a mechanism for the child , their carers,, and the professional involved, to develop an enriched understanding of the child and the impact of their life experiences on their development.

Dr Helen Gogarty has trained with the International Society for the Study of Dissociation and Trauma [ISSTD] in the assessment of Childhood Dissociation and Trauma and has qualified as a therapist in Lifespan Integration and EFT. Having retired from the Child and Family Agency in December 2013, Dr Gogarty now runs her own private practice undertaking attachment assessments and providing specialist therapeutic advice and support services in the area of alternative care.

Title of Workshop: The Hidden World of Children’s Picture Story-Books – Metaphor as a means of reaching children

Aim of Workshop: Facilitate awareness of the treasure that is to be found in Children’s Picture Story Books and the opportunity they provide for enhancing attachment and creating a whole-brain experience for children. Provide an opportunity for participants to engage in the sensory experience of reading, showing and listening.
NB: Prior to attending the Workshop, participants are requested to remember and reflect on their own favourite children’s story and why it is so meaningful for them.


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October 11 @ 10:00 am
October 14 @ 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Online Event


Charlotte Burke