We are excited to announce that the 12th International Signs of Safety Gathering will be held in Dublin Ireland, co-hosted by Tusla Child and Family Agency, from 6–8 November 2018.
Join us to hear presentations from child protection practitioners and leaders from across Europe and around the globe. This Gathering will also feature presentations from many Irish practitioners working in Tusla Child and Family Agency who, with their leaders, will describe their use of the Signs of Safety in the first whole country implementation of the approach.
The 2018 Gathering will be held in the beautiful seaside town of Dún Laoghaire, 12 kilometres south of the centre of Dublin. Irish culture, hospitality and warmth is famous around the world and we have chosen the fabulous and historic Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire for the 2018 Gathering because its meeting and accomodation facilities are prefect for all participants to share a fantastic three days learning.
Signs of Safety Gatherings are special because they celebrate good child protection practice through presentations from practitioners and from leaders who are supporting them. Focusing on success creates hope and inspiration for child protection professionals and renews our enthusiasm for the work. Join us at the 2018 Signs of Safety Gathering in Dún Laoghaire and be part of changing the child protection story.
This Gathering will feature presentations from:
- Leading international Signs of Safety practitioners and agencies
- TUSLA child protection professionals presenting their work from their nationwide implementation
- Researchers describing the rapidly expanding Signs of Safety evidence base
- System-wide Implementation experiences, reflections and strategies
Spread over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there are approximately 30 presentation slots for agencies and practitioners that will focus primarily on front-line practice. Other topics will include implementation experiences and strategies and results of the latest research on Signs of Safety that has been undertaken.
The Gathering will conclude by 4.00pm on 8 November 2018 .
A complete PDF of the program will be available for download on this page closer to the date of the gathering.
Ceili (Dinner/Dance Party)
Ceili: a social event with Irish folk music, singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.
Feedback from previous Gatherings tells us that some of the best learning happens through the conversations and connections that are made around the formal program, and so we will continue the tradition of having a party at the venue on the Wednesday evening (starting 7:00pm) with dinner and live music. This event has been a real highlight of past Gatherings and will include a fabulous band (The Borderers) who are guaranteed to get us up dancing.
Places to this event are limited, so we recommend booking early. This can be done as an option when booking for the Gathering itself at the bottom of the page.
Signs of Safety Leaders Day
Forging organisations that support the practice
Monday 5 November
Presenters: Eileen Munro, Andrew Turnell, Jon Reeves, Fred McBride, Cormac Quinlan, Sue Kane, Jacky Tiotto and Deirdre Mahon
The Signs of Safety has been created by practitioners over 25 years. While the approach makes sense to social workers and they want to use it, the biggest challenge to actually applying the Signs of Safety in practice lies in transforming the compliance driven culture and operations of their child protection organisations to align with participatory practice. This is simple to say but so very hard to achieve. Organisational change depends on determined, courageous and intelligent whole system leadership.
Over the past 12 years, large scale implementations of the Signs of Safety have been undertaken across the world. Working together with these agencies and their leaders we have distilled the lessons of this international effort into a clear, whole system framework for organisational implementation. In this Leader’s Day the presenters will share their experience in Signs of Safety implementation:
Fred McBride, Cormac Quinlan and Sue Kane will describe Tusla Child and Family Agency’s whole system Signs of Safety Irish implementation, the most comprehensive and detailed implementation of the approach yet undertaken.
Jon Reeves will detail the practice and system realignment he and his colleagues undertook that secured a lasting 75% reduction of court presentations and greater than 30% reduction of out of home placements in Calgary, Canada.
Jacky Tiotto will draw on experience working in local authorities, Ofsted and Department for Education to describe her work leading the implementation of Signs of Safety in Bexley Social Care within the highly proceduralised English system.
Deirdre Mahon will present on the implementation work that begun this year across Northern Ireland.
Dr Andrew Turnell will overview the latest developments of the Signs of Safety implementation framework and methods.
Professor Eileen Munro will draw on her experience in decision-making, organisational change and risk management, and in supporting and reviewing Signs of Safety implementations in England and Ireland to articulate what whole system change means; getting beyond a tick-box compliance culture to achieve real changes in services for children and their families.
This will be a unique learning opportunity for children’s services leaders to come together in Dublin with international colleagues to share experiences and draw inspiration from the presenters to strengthen our efforts to forge organisations that can support participatory Signs of Safety practice.
Tusla Site Visits
An International Learning Exchange
Monday 5 November
Tusla Child and Family Agency is implementing the Signs of Safety across Ireland as its national child protection framework. This is the most comprehen- sive and detailed implementation of the approach yet undertaken.
As part of the international Signs of Safety Gathering to be held in Dublin, Tusla and Resolutions are offering children’s service professionals attending the Gathering the opportunity to visit local Tusla offices in and around Dublin on Monday 5 November. Visitors will hear and learn directly from Tusla staff about their experience of using the Signs of Safety including:
- A presentation of the Tusla whole system implementation from local leaders and the opportunity to discuss the local experience in detail
- Tusla practitioners presenting about their use of the approach
- The opportunity to meet with local teams to discuss their successes and struggles and how they are making the approach work with their cases.
The day will include time for the international visitors to introduce themselves and their own and their agency’s experience with Signs of Safety to better enable a shared learning experience for both locals and visitors.
Signs of Safety is a practitioner’s model being used around the world. Since child protection work is often so siloed it is a powerful experience to bring children’s services practitioners and professionals from different countries together. In meeting and sharing their experiences, this cross-cultural/cross-country exchange builds important connections and relationships and always generates mutual recognition together with lasting insights and learning.
Sign up for a Tusla site visit and get the insiders’ look at the Irish Signs of Safety implementation!
When you register for the Gathering, you can add a FREE site visit at checkout.
Royal Marine Hotel, Dublin (Gathering venue)
Marine Road Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, A96 K063, IRELAND
T: +353 1 2300030
Rooms starting at: €115 (plus state tax and service charges)
Other nearby hotels are:
Rooms starting at: EUR €140
Distance from Royal Marine hotel (Gathering venue): approximate 6-minute walk.
Tara Towers Hotel
Rooms starting at: EUR €118
Distance from Royal Marine hotel (Gathering venue): approximate 20-minute train ride.