The PAS 2015 conference, Creating Loving Relationships, attracted over 140 participants from across the range of professions connected to children, young people, families and parenting whether as researchers, policy makers or practitioners. The spread of organisations represented emphasised just how extensive and important the issues are to so many areas of policy.
The conference was about 'relationships' because the importance of relationships within families is increasingly recognised. As Clare Simpson, PAS manager said in introducing the conference, 'Children do not come alone; they come as part of a family, with complex and intersecting relationships. We need to recognise this, and support the whole family. Being a parent isn't so much a job as a set of intersecting relationships. Like all relationships, being a parent has its good times and its bad times, and most families have times when they need some help. It's important that relationships between families and professionals are nurturing, and help families to forge loving relationships within their families.'
The conference gave participants the chance to hear about evidence and practice from different angles; to talk with others; and to think about their own work. The evaluations were very positive indeed (we've included a few in the report). One person said that we should 'repeat it all in every city in Scotland'.
We can't do that but this report summarises the presentations; outlines the workshop themes; and presents the conference conclusions.
PAS would like to thank Linda Dunion for chairing the conference; speakers; workshop facilitators; and all participants for making this such a successful and thoughtful event.
The main learning I will take away from this conference is: that it is OK to be a caring and loving practitioner and not be afraid of policy and that I CAN make a difference. Participant