2021 Online International Signs of Safety Gathering Call for Submissions

This page contains information for people interested in presenting at the 2021 Online International Signs of Safety Gathering from 30 November – 2 December 2021. Registration and general information about the event is available here.

The closing date for applications to present is 7th July 2021.

Call for Presentations

Submissions are invited for presentations of 20 minutes in length. Presentations should focus on the actual impact that the Signs of Safety has made on direct practice.

Presentations involving the following will be favoured:

  • supervisors/practice leaders, front-line practitioners and those that capture the experience of families
  • communicate the detail of the practice in applying Signs of Safety
  • describe the differences and significance of the work for practitioners, service recipients and the agency
  • capture the enthusiasm and energy of you, your colleagues and your agency for this work
  • all aspects of applying Signs of Safety ideas and practice to the child protection task; from intake and investigation to on-going work, to case closure
    areas of practice such as assessment, Safety Planning, involving children and parents, conferencing, foster care, court work and building collaboration among professionals
  • organisational processes including training, supervision, management and implementation strategies, and research endeavours that support and sustain Signs of Safety practice


For inspiration, you can find presentations from the last two International Gatherings here:
2017 International Gathering – Kansas City, USA
2018 International Gathering – Dublin, Ireland

Presenter Support

Signs of Safety Gatherings are a showcase of the best work from around the world being done using Signs of Safety. To assist you in conveying your outstanding work, Kirsten Richardson will be your first point of contact. If you have questions about how to apply to present, please reach out to her via kirsten.richardson@elia.ngo

Once you have received confirmation that your presentation has been selected, Kirsten will contact you to provide you with additional information and connect you with your own presentation support person. They will then be your point of contact from preparing video and PowerPoints through to technical rehearsals prior to your actual presentation.

Presenting Online

The last International Gathering in Dublin involved over 400 participants and we hope to have many more attend the upcoming Online International Gathering.

Just as we would work with you to present confidently on stage at an in-person Gathering, we will work with you to ensure you look and sound great while showcasing your work in this online Gathering.

Through your internet, microphone and camera, 400+ Gathering attendees will experience your presentation. We will provide support, rehearsals and in some cases equipment to help you feel confident presenting.

We are seeking presenters that will make the time to work through their setups with us, to ensure Gathering participants can hear and see you loud and clear you have a good experience presenting. You can expect this to involve 3–4 Zoom calls and a full run through of your presentation over the 3 months leading up to Gathering. 

If you have multiple people presenting we will ask you to present from individual computers in separate locations. This helps ensure the quality of your individual sound, that your faces are clearly visible and that your interaction with other presenters is through Zoom which feels much more natural and inclusive for participants attending the Gathering through Zoom.


In-person Gatherings creates natural connection opportunities at breaks, with the person you sit next to and so on. As this Gathering is online we are working hard to create other connection and interaction possibilities.

Participants will have the opportunity while you are presenting to submit questions; the best of these will be asked later by an Elia facilitator. Drawing from Signs of Safety’s focus on questioning and Appreciative Inquiry, we will have clear guidelines for participants and moderation to keep questions focused on drawing out more learning and depth from the practice you are sharing. Following each group of 2–3 presentations, grouped by theme, you and the other presenters will come back as a small panel for a 20 minute Questions session. One of Elia’s Consultants will facilitate each Questions session, asking you and your fellow presenters questions about your presentation. The Consultant will draw on questions suggested by participants as well as their own. In this way, our goal is to create meaningful interaction for participants through suggesting questions but keep it well structured and with a positive learning focus. The Questions sessions are grouped and a little later in the day so there is no pressure for you to think about questions during your presentation — you can stay completely focused on your presentation.

Submitting to present at the Gathering

Please note that to be accepted to present you will also need to be registered to attend the Gathering. 

The first stage is to submit your interest in presenting. You don’t need a completed presentation to submit, you just need to give us a description (max 500 words) of what you want to present. We’ll also need an abstract (max 100 words) for the presentation which will go in the program should your presentation be accepted. The closing date for submissions is 7th July 2021.

Presenters will be notified by Friday 16th July 2021 as to whether their presentation has been selected.

What to expect if your presentation is accepted

When you receive your acceptance email, Kirsten will send you login details for your personal Presenter Portal which outlines in detail everything you will need to know right through to presenting on the day. Kirsten or your personal Elia team member will also reach out and talk you through the process and answer any questions you have.