Social Care Future Past Events

It's social care Jim, but not as we know it!

A gathering of people who want to build a positive future for what we currently call social care took place on 14th & 15th November 2018.

An amazing gathering of over 300 people took place in Manchester, coinciding with the National Children and Adult Social Care (NCASC) conference, organised by  the volunteers through the  #socialcarefuture initiative (see

This is a developing network of people discovering, sharing and building from glimpses of the future. Places, groups and people who, right now are building a future where public services, people and communities are jointly finding better ways to include, serve and support local people. They are making "pieces of the jigsaw" for a positive future including using all local resources, shifting control to people and communities, building non-institutional approaches to support and growing human sized, community led, organisations. They are developing different, more equal relationships between professionals & people supported and promoting professional autonomy and self-management so that workers can have non-controlling, non-bureaucratic relationships with the people they support.  We want to build a future where these things are much more supported by the wider public and politicians because they make sense to people and are seen as relevant to everyone's well-being and success.

  • At the gathering there were active contributors. People came who want to be part of this future and are committed to playing a part in building it by sharing, learning and organising. They included local citizens, professionals, politicians, managers, providers of support, user and family led groups.
  • There were a range of ways helping learning and sharing - what people have done, what difference has it made, what lessons have been learned, what helped, what the next steps are, what would help these happen? As well as structured sessions there were "open-space" sessions responding to people's interests.
  • The gathering was energising and social as well as informative and action-focussed. Below is a link to presentations from the sessions
  • There were opportunities for people with similar interests or energised by things they have heard and discussed, to plan for action after the gathering. #socialcarefuture will offer whatever help it can to support these action groups with links and contacts and communication over the following year. The gathering deliberately ran to coincide with the National Adults and Children's Social Care Conference which took place nearby at the same time. There were good links and some joint sessions and chance to bring together all voices with a stake in the future to find ways of working to make it a reality.

Two days of impacting topics and sessions

The two days were full of opportunities to take part in lots of sessions the full list, details and presentation slides are available below, but some of the sessions included:

Glimpses of the future in the toughest of times - Working with SCIE, Nesta, In Control, Shared Lives Plus and Think Local Act Personal who brought in learning from six localities around the country. These are places were able to share exciting "glimpses of the future" where significant shifts are being made to share power with people and communities, use all local resources and build better approaches to support that are human sized and shaped. Some of the places are under the most severe resource pressures but system leaders, politicians, community and voluntary groups, local citizens shared the pieces of the #socialcarefuture they are putting in place and seeking ideas about new pieces.

Building a social movement - We shared learning from other movements for social change from around the world about how we can act together to make faster change towards the #socialcarefuture.

Closing the Care Act Rhetoric-Reality Gap - There was a practical session of sharing and learning about how people can get the support they need and the lives they want. Including: using the law, getting great staff, choosing how you manage the money, planning for a good life, co-production in action, knowing your rights, effective local tactics and more. Helping build this network of local user and family led organisations, community groups, charity branches and others - networking for mutual support and bringing in useful national expertise and help.

Providers for a better local future - Sharing the best ideas and planning for action about how organisations providing support can be real assets in the communities they serve. Including using their capacity and expertise to support local community groups, assisting small community businesses and more.

Unleashing the power of community enterprise and business - How we can grow human sized and shaped support organisations that add to communities. Alternatives like user -led organisations, co-operatives, mutuals, community business, self-managed teams, micro enterprises. We heard about initiatives that can help make this change happen.

Social work in the #socialcarefuture - We explored the role of social work in our desired future. What should social work do? How do relationships between social work, citizens and communities need to develop? How can we make this future? The Principal Social Workers Network shared ideas and plan with citizens and we heard of examples of how social workers in some places are being liberated…to be social workers.

Researching a better future - What kinds of research can support a positive future? Colleagues from Disability Rights UK working with DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living) and the School for Social Care Research got together to talk about planning its next five years of work. What should be researched to help build a better future for social care? Who should play what roles?

Shaping a better future with older people who need long term support - The focus was on alternatives to institutional options and more traditional models, including housing options. The session was run in way that allowed older people and others to consider ideas and models and identify appealing options.

Ears against loneliness - We had a fantastic performance from the Jonny Barlow theatre company and students from the Pennine Care Health & wellbeing college. Ears against loneliness is a social movement tackling loneliness and isolation, learning from people's direct experiences.

Escaping the Invisible Asylum - We experienced the world premier of a new musical theatre piece developed and performed by MiXiT inspired by Alex Fox's recent book and the core themes of #socialcarefuture.

Living Well Alliance A better future for mental health support? - Lambeth shared an example of a new approach they are using to try to build a proper partnerships. The session brought together the partners - people using the support of the Alliance, the support providers, CCG and social care directors to tell the story so far of the Living Well Alliance

A great evening of networking and socialising - There was an evening of food, music, fun and friendship at the end of the first day where we were thoroughly entertained by the talented MIXit folk and a performance from the wonderful Dance Syndrome.

Bringing it All Together - At the end of the second day the two gatherings NCASC18 and #socialcarefuture came together at Manchester Central giving us chance to share our vision for the future and what we plan to do to make it real - and invite the local managers and politicians from around the country to partners with us and, to coin a phrase - Make it Real.

For more information see socialcarefutureevents

Last Updated : 30 October 2019. Page Author: Gaynor Cockayne.