Key conference themes

Our Conference this year is entitled ‘Together We Make The Difference’ and it is a key message to all involved. We need to lead by example and demonstrate leadership and good practice. If we want people to see a strong profession, we need to be that strong profession, if we want people to understand the profession, we need to explain it, if we want people to trust the value of social work we need to be confident about the evidence base for our work.

Presidential Speech

To view and download a transcript of Elaine Torrance's presidential address please click here.


To see a copy of the latest programme please view here

Conference report

Download and view the conference report from here


Women, leadership and violence

As we concluded our annual conference on Thursday afternoon, news filtered into the main hall that Jo Cox MP had been murdered. Ironically, Dr Marsha Scott, CEO of Scottish Women’s Aid was talking to us about gender violence at the time. We did not know the details until much later on that evening, indeed few of us in Scotland had heard of Jo Cox, but nonetheless, it struck me as particularly poignant that as we talked at conference about women in leadership, as we considered men’s violence against women, an emerging female leader, had been shot and stabbed as she just tried to do her job.

Though there has been much speculation about the reason for her death, we still do not know precisely what happened, much less why. What we do know is that a woman, a mother, a humanitarian and a campaigner for the vulnerable and voiceless, was brutally denied another day loving her children and another day making a difference for the people who elected her. At our conference, we congratulated ourselves on a new female president and recognising that for a workforce which is 86% female, we had for the first time more female Chief Social Work Officers than male. We congratulate ourselves on these wins, forgetting that that is how it should be. We are proud of our colleagues for being promoted, without asking why we don’t expect it. We felt like we were changing the world at our conference and then we were brought back to earth with a bump that felt all too near and all too close.

Jane Devine, Business Manager

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