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3 November 2023

Online and in-person


3 November 2023



GAPS National Conference: Finding Hope in a Dark Place – stories of innovation and activism – reigniting the fire in our bellies

About this event

This event has now expired

We warmly invite you to join us at our national conference where we will welcome three excellent keynote speakers to respond to our conference theme.

The GAPS National Conference is a hybrid event, both online and in person in Birmingham. However you choose to join us, there will be opportunities to connect in small facilitated discussion groups to reflect on and talk about what you have heard. There will be a hot vegetarian lunch for those joining us in person.

The conference is open to Social Work Practitioners, Students and Educators. GAPS members and non-members are welcome. Attending in person is FREE to GAPS members and £28 to non-members. Those paying £28 will receive a year’s free membership of GAPS which includes a hard-copy and online subscription to the Journal of Social Work Practice. Online attendence is free.

Helping us connect our conference theme to contemporary research, Professor Chan Hellman (University of Oklahoma) will open the day via a recorded interview. Chan’s current research is focused on the application of hope theory to predict adaptive behaviours, and hope as a psychological strength that buffers stress and adversity.

Keynote Presentations

The Transformative Power of Hope in Dark Places – Rich Devine & Tim Fisher

In this keynote speech, Tim and Rich will explore the transformative power of hope in dark places. Through disruptive methods, relational approaches, and storytelling, Tim and Rich will showcase how we can all make a meaningful difference, empowering children and adults. By valuing lived experiences and embracing relational risk-taking, we can inspire change and work collaboratively within a Local Authority context. Join us for this inspiring and thought-provoking keynote speech exploring pathways and avenues that generate change, foster authentic connections, and cultivate hope.

If This Time
Siobhan Maclean will join us virtually to support us in guided reflection around our experiences of the last three and a half years. Social work changed considerably during the pandemic and as we are now recovering, social workers are arguably operating in a situation of permacrisis compounded by a daily battle with lack of resources and the sense of not ‘being enough.’ Siobhan will help us to explore the changes through the use of crisis theory, enabling us to consider the impact of moral injury on relational practice and reflect on what we have learnt that might nurture hope.

The event will run 9.30am-4.30pm.

3 November 2023

Sign up today

3 Nov 2023

Online and in-person


3 November 2023


GAPS is a UK based charity which promotes relationship-based approaches and psychodynamic and systemic thinking in social work. It is funded by its ownership of the ISI ranked Journal of Social Work Practice, which was established by the group in the 1980s. GAPS offers spaces for Social Workers, Social Work Students and Academics to connect and reflect, and to develop skills in and understanding of relationship-based practice.

Gaps is a UK based charity which promotes relationship-based approaches and psychodynamic and systemic thinking in social work.

This event has now expired.

Admission into this online event is free.

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