As I approach the end of my first year as Chair of West Midlands ADCS Network, I wanted to continue the tradition, set by my predecessors, and send out a seasonal message.
Like me, I am sure you have seen people come and go over the last year? Whether I look back, in my own organisation, or at the region as a whole, there are faces that have departed, maybe to a new role or maybe have been fortunate enough to retire. However, in their place, new faces arrive, full of excitement for their new role and hopefully adding energy to the challenge. We have certainly seen this with the DCS Network this year, with some of our longer standing colleagues moving on to pastures new. I appreciate for some, the comings and goings of colleagues can be disruptive, and indeed if there is too much, it can be. However fresh ideas and different perspectives can also bring a healthy challenge, helping us to progress in ways we haven’t previously thought of.
Once again, we have come together as a region, for a number of events this year. In June we held our annual Principal Social Worker Conference, which this year focussed on trauma informed practice and supervision. As always this was a well-attended and received event, which provoked healthy conversation throughout the day. In November we held a Safeguarding Conference. This focused on a number of areas of practice, including knife crime, CSE, co-production with families and family group conferencing. We are running both of these events again next year, so please talk to your Principal Social Worker if you might want to attend. For the second year running, we also held our Team Excellence Awards at Edgbaston where each of our local authority areas presented their best examples of practice. This event is by invitation only, but if you think your team has what it takes to represent your organisation, start making your case to your DCS or Trust CEO!
So, whether you are new to the region, or have been here for some time, thank you for all you do. I know I speak on behalf of every member of DCS Network when I say that you are the reason this region is great, and we couldn’t do it without you.
Regardless of how you choose to spend the holiday period, take time to relax and have a restful break.