Your Practitioner Forum Needs YOU!

Hi everyone

We had a really interesting morning at the ELPF today. All the presentations are available on the website already if you want to have a look at them but I can say that none of them are as meaningful as they are when you see them being delivered by the person who wrote them and have the opportunity to get involved in discussion with fellow practitioners.

The attendance today was particularly poor and we’re not really sure why. We meet four times a year for a half day and issue dates well in advance (we usually have a full year of dates set and issued three months in advance of the first meeting of the year). We know there are team meetings, duty slots, meetings that can’t be moved, illness, and annual leave (I appreciate this is not a comprehensive list and I missed off what may be cited as the most pertinent – workload). We know that sometimes people claim they genuinely aren’t interested in the topics being presented or really believe it isn’t relative to their practice.

I’d like to challenge this latter assumption. We all have our own specialisms and areas of expertise within social work and social care. That does not mean that an input about GIRFEC is not relevant to an adult criminal justice worker. Or than an input about crime and desistence isn’t relevant to an older person’s social worker. The thing is, we’re all social workers. We hold a generic qualification and we SHOULD be interested in what’s happening throughout social work, our local authority area, in Scotland, and further afield. Who knows when that bit of knowledge about Multiple Sclerosis is helpful in creating a case management plan. Who knows when you’re working on a complex case and you remember that an organisation exists specifically to help you develop an evidence base for intervention through the use of existing research. Certainly for me it is also a networking event and the ELPF is now at the stage where we often have contributors approaching us asking for time to present, in the knowledge that they will have a diverse audience.

I mentioned this morning that we are all responsible for promoting best practice and supporting each other to develop as social workers. Please, encourage your colleagues to attend even one meeting next year. Consider using ELPF events as part of your PRTL or PRD. If you have a request to make for input in respect of a particular topic or piece of practice, let us know. If none of the above appeals, at the very least come for the coffee and biscuits!

Hopefully we’ll see more of you in 2015.

Ciara

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Next ELPF meeting: Wednesday 23 August, 09:30-12:30, Venue to be confirmedAugust 23rd, 2017
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