Key highlights from National Children and Adult Service Conference 2019 (NCASC)

Capacity Development Manager, Laura McCumiskey, has recently presented her work with Liverpool City Region at the annual National Children and Adult Service Conference (NCASC 2019), to Directors of Children’s and Adult Services from across the country.

This offered an opportunity to attend presentations from both high-profile speakers and lesser known organisations, opening the dialogue on the way services are delivered. Laura’s key highlights from the conference are as follows:

National Children and Adult Service Conference 2019 Capacity

Tackling County Lines – Dez Holmes

Dez Holmes is the Director of Research in Practice, an organisation that champions evidence-informed practice in children’s services.

Through an impassioned speech at NCASC 2019, Holmes highlighted the number of adults in our present-day criminal justice and substance misuse systems that did not receive suitable or continued support as children and young adults; these children’s lives were mapped out and not protected by services.

Her talk explored themes around the lack of support for vulnerable young men, who often present themselves as neither vulnerable nor young.

Holmes described the challenging need for professionals to, “see past the presenting criminal or violent behaviour, see past the fact that the young person might be 6ft 7 with a neck tattoo, see past their flat denial that they are a victim, and see the young person obscured by all of this.”

The solution presented was a transitional rather than binary (child or adult) approach to safeguarding children and young people, that includes post-18 adult services. Holmes explained that delegates would be unlikely to see the outcomes of these changes in their careers, before concluding, “this is a test of your nerve, colleagues… I have every faith in you”.

NCASC 2019 Tackling County Lines Capacity

Transforming children’s social care - Steph How

Steph How is Head of Strategy and Operations for Hampshire Children’s Services and the Strategic and Operational Lead for Transforming Social Care. How’s presentation showcased a redesign of children’s services, which had received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report, working with social work teams, children, and families.

The team designed an integrated service that kept children at home where safe and possible, and worked with families and social workers to develop positive relationships through supporting and listening to the whole family.

Additionally, How highlighted how investing in PAs for social workers allowed them to spend less time at their desks and more time with families, radically decreasing the number of children on child protection.

Stay Up Late – Charity

Stay Up Late are a Sussex-based charity founded by former punk band member, Paul Richards. The charity work in the UK to alter the way society views people with learning disabilities and the care that is provided for them, after finding that people with learning disabilities and autism aren’t always able to stay up late and have fun due to the restrictions of care.

Stay Up Late’s project, Gig Buddies, pairs people with and without learning disabilities who have a love of music to go to concerts and events together.

The charity are positive disrupters, fighting for change for people with learning disabilities and epitomise some of the most important values that the third sector brings.

Emerging Conversations

It was inspiring to see engaging conversations emerge between directors of Children’s and Adults’ Services and people who are passionate about the places in which they live and work.

Laura’s closing reflection of the talks she attended at NCASC 2019 was that “we need to take a continuous improvement approach to services beyond service and system design, regularly reviewing them to meet changing needs and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the people using them.”

At Capacity, we work with brilliant people and organisations to change their communities for the better and improve people’s lives. Find out more about what we do in our blog section, including our work with Clore Social Leadership and supporting Wirral Borough Council to redesign their Early-Help Children’s Services.

We look forward to NCASC 2020 in Manchester next year to find out how services are developing and changing across the country.

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