Staf is hosting a Summit for Senior Leaders within local government and the wider children's sector, including Chief Executive Officers, Chief Social Workers, Directors, Service Managers, and other senior officers, focusing on relationship-based practice and whole-system change.

In the context of a changing care system, this conference will equip senior leaders in organisations delivering services to care-experienced young people with an understanding of research and best practice on whole-systems change towards relationship-based practice.

What is the background to the Summit?
Local councils, third sector organisations, corporate parents and national agencies have in recent years been tasked with delivering a number of new national priorities, against a backdrop of increasing demand and significantly reduced budgets. Local councils will also undoubtedly feel the impact of political change on spending decisions, with a new majority government at Westminster and the UK now expected to leave the EU at the end of January 2020.

Now, as the Care Review completes its work, our care system faces its most significant change for decades. This will require us to seek new ways of working and innovative solutions. Importantly, it will require whole-systems change, which can only be achieved with the involvement of senior leadership.

Crucially, we agree with local government that a whole-system approach is required to support long-term financial sustainability whilst having the systemic capacity to tailor community services to localised and individual needs.

Why relationships?
Young people with experience of the care system have consistently noted the vital importance of consistent and nurturing relationships in providing not only support during, but in transitions from, care.

In 2016 'The Voices', a young people led research group, identified relationships as the key ingredient to good care. Similarly, relationships were recognised as one of 12 ‘intentions’ of the Independent Care Review, which were developed following consultation with 854 children, young people and adults with care experience.

Increasingly, research has shown the benefits of a relational approach to practice in improving the lives of people with care experience. Indeed, relationships are threaded throughout Care Inspectorate scrutiny, The Scottish Government strategy for care-experienced young people, Corporate Parenting guidance, National Health and Social Care Standards and the ‘Getting It Right for Every Child’ (GIRFEC) policy.

At the Summit we will hear how Brighton and Hove City Council put relationships at the heart of their systems and practice and, in doing so, improved lives, increased work satisfaction, increased staff retention and reduced complaints.

Who will be speaking at the Staf Summit?
At the Summit we will hear contributions from a suite of speakers that will highlight the importance of relationships from a breadth of perspectives: lived experience, systems leadership, academia, and practical application in both a local authority and third-sector setting.

This full day summit will feature:

  • Prof Gillian Ruch, Professor of Social Work at University of Sussex, an expert in the field of child care social work and relationship-based practice.
  • Tom Stibbs, Principal Social Worker at Brighton and Hove City Council, on how they delivered and sustained relationship-based whole-systems change.
  • Experts on systems leadership, including Kate Tobin, Dartington Society.
  • Contributions from the Designed by Society project in Falkirk, which is putting love and relationships at the heart of service delivery.
  • The Life Changes Trust on how they’re taking a transformational approach to relationships, including through their network of Champions Boards.
  • Young people with care-experience on why relationships matter, including Jade Kilkenny (Community Justice Scotland Apprentice, Staf Board Member and TEDx Speaker) and Kevin Lafferty (Participation Consultant with our Youth Justice Voices project).

Sponsorship and Exhibition Packages
We have a range of sponsorship and exhibition opportunities available for this event, and can create bespoke packages tailored to your organisational requirements. Please email [email protected] or complete a sponsor and exhibitor enquiry form below. 

Payment is required prior to the event commencing and is non-transferrable to any other event or programme.

There will be no refunds for cancellations received after 11th February 2020. Substitute delegates are encouraged. Please inform [email protected] if a substitution is required.

The early bird rate is now closed, however if you have any enquiries regarding price please do contact us on [email protected] 

Event Queries
If you have any queries, please get in touch with our booking team at [email protected] or call 0141 465 7511.

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price Enquiry

Individual Ticket (Early-Bird)

Sold out

Group Ticket (5 Delegates)

Decrease Increase £500.00

Pay by Invoice


Sponsor and Exhibitor Enquiry


Individual Ticket

Decrease Increase £170.00