Zebra’s Day in Dublin and Radical Social Work

The Zebra learnt a lot from our day with the Irish Association of Social Workers Advocates and Allies Conference in Dublin. We were invited to speak on a topic on the theme of relationship-based social work, and chose to introduce Hilary Cottam’s work as presented in her recent book Radical Help, to provoke thought and see if it contains clues and possibilities for social workers in 2019.

Also speaking were: Michael, a Dublin man who’s benefitted from the work of some of the social workers present, about what he found most helpful; Vasilios Ioakimidis, Prof of Social Work at Essex Uni, on lessons from the history of social work; and Guy Shennan on “radical hope” and the Solution-Focused Collective.

The day was designed such that most of the time the delegates were talking in smaller groups, perhaps stimulated by the presentations, and taking their conversations wherever they went.

The closing plenary discussion was rigorous and balanced awareness of the constraints under which professional social work teams operate in 2019, with plenty of energy for thinking and operating beyond these constraints.

Guy and Zebra are wondering if there might be appetite for us to return offering solution-focused training.