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Cygnet Annual Social Work Conference

March is World Social Work Month and on 22nd March 2022 we celebrated our second Cygnet Annual Social Work Conference.

We started the day off with a presentation from Ioana Roberts, Engagement Officer at Social Work England, on the new CPD requirements for 2022, including how to evidence peer reflection. This will support continuous learning and development of our social workers and ensure excellent practice.

Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs then shared a video which demonstrated how much domestic abuse is part of our core business. Nicole gave some helpful guidance on how to develop links with local domestic abuse services.

This was followed by a presentation from Philip Winterbottom, Cygnet’s Head of Safeguarding, on the vison for Safeguarding at Cygnet. We discussed that all staff have a responsibility for safeguarding and that social workers can influence this culture in Cygnet coming from a rights-based perspective.

After lunch, the social work team at Cygnet Hospital Derby gave a fantastic presentation on the work they did to support carers during the pandemic.

Fiona Kennedy, Group Social Work Lead, said: “This was a highlight for me as it showed the creativity of social workers which included one of the team dressing up as the COVID virus and ensnaring unsuspecting victims!”

David Wilmott, Director of Nursing, presented Cygnet’s carers strategy for 2022 which is being led by Laura Sheridan, Service User & Carer Improvement Lead. Laura is passionate about ensuring we provide a great service to our carers as well as our service users.

Faye Malkin from Cygnet’s Learning & Development Team launched the social work CPD programme for 2022 which is titled: “A spotlight on your development”. This will provide social workers with discipline-specific training, and it will be added to and updated yearly to ensure it remains relevant to the work we do in Cygnet.

Raf Hamaizia, Expert by Experience Lead, discussed the support he personally received from social workers and how valuable this was to him. This was really powerful to hear how social workers directly impacted on his recovery. He commented that social workers considered what life would be like for him post-discharge and also arranged a follow up call after he had been discharged which he really appreciated.

David Wilmott then shared a presentation on Quality Improvement (QI) opportunities for social workers and we were joined by QI support leads to answer any questions from attendees.

To finish the day we had a panel discussion on the career structure for social workers at Cygnet. We reflected that while we have come a long way there is still work to be done to ensure a visible career structure for our social workers.

The conference was a great opportunity to celebrate social workers, the skills they bring and the difference they make to the lives of the people in our care and their loved ones.

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