Monthly Archives: April 2016

Unity through Relationship Annual Conference, November 2016: Call for Papers


Maurice Fenton sends this Call for Papers for Unity through Relationship’s  annual conference in Dublin. Unity through Relationship is a partnership between Empower Ireland, Gateway Organisation, CYC-Net and Transform Action International.


The Ecology & Impact of Trauma: Relational Responses to Disrupted Development

7th – 9th November 2016
Regency Airport Hotel (Whitehall), Dublin, Ireland

At this time we are sending out a Call for Papers for the 3rd annual ‘Unity through Relationship’ International Conference, an inclusive learning & development event which builds and strengthens connections, relationships and interdisciplinary working. All who are involved in the provision of care and services to children, youth and families are welcomed, including but not limited to: front-line practitioners (social work, social care, teachers, family support staff), clinicians, educators, justice professionals, mental health staff, researchers, managers, carers and students.


Conference theme: The impact of trauma on mental health and relational responses.
We all begin our physical, mental and social development from the moment of conception, a process, which, even at that early stage, is influenced by genetic and inter-generational factors. As we travel along our life course we encounter many factors within our ‘ecology’ and these can impact on our development. Positive and nurturing factors augment healthy development and resilience. However, the converse is also true, negative experiences can stunt or arrest development. We refer to such deeply distressing experiences as ‘trauma’. It is here that the conference has its foundation.

In 2016, the Unity conference is seeking to draw from the expert knowledge of colleagues who have particular interest in the understanding of how ‘’disruption within ones ecology’’ can impact on growth and development. This includes pre-birth disruption (such as contributes to syndromes such as FASD), abuse/neglect and any other type of event which can contribute that what is seen to be a ‘mental health issue’. A focus should also be on how we can optimally respond to such trauma using relational approaches.

The objectives of this 3-day conference are (within a relational framework):

i)  to provide a forum to present thinking and share the views and practice experiences;
ii)  to aid carers and professionals to understanding how early and inter-generational trauma can impact on the mental health needs of young people;
iii)  to share progressive and contemporary knowledge, with a focus on a relational response.

At this time we are sending out a Call for Papers seeking applications to contribute to the conference. If you have an idea you would like to propose or want some help with the application process, we will be happy to provide support. This conference will be innovative, programmatic, participative, comparative, critical and empowering.

We are also seeking expressions of interest from prospective presenters who may have associated 1 or 2 days trainings which they would be willing to deliver on the Thursday 10th and Friday 11th as part of a suite of trainings related to the conference theme being made available as we have done in each of the previous events. This has proven to be an excellent opportunity to make available innovative trainings that may otherwise not be accessible and thereby positively influence practice. It is also an opportunity for professionals to make available trainings that they may be in the process of developing.

Submissions can be made at or alternatively forms can be downloaded from the website or are available from and must be completed and returned to: prior to 16th May 2016


Bookings via Eventbrite @

‘Balancing Care :  Recognition and regulation in the Era of Professionalisation’ Social Care Ireland’s Annual Conference, April 2016 .


Social Care ireland’s  2016 National Conference ‘Balancing Care: Recognition and regulation in the Era of Professionalisation’  takes place on Thursday 14th and 15th of April at the Killashee House Hotel , Naas, County Kildare.

The keynote speakers are Denise Lyons, Fred McBride, Mark Smith, Ginny Harrahan and Ben Charnaud.

There will be further parallel presentations and workshops from EPIC*, John Digney, Maxwell Smart, Carol McGinty, MacGowan, Hazel Gough, Karen Sugrue, Aoife Colleen, Lillian Byrne, Drew Murphy, D.Wiliams and F. McSweeney, Mary Hardiman, Carlos Kelly, Catherine Byrne, Leon Ledwidge, Mark Smith, Ben Charnaud, Dan Lawrence, Lhara Mullins, Sharon Horan, Pat McGarty, P.J. Garnett, Attracta Brennan, Fiona Walshe, Judy Doyle, Anne-Marie Shier, John McHugh, Denis O’Driscoll, David Power, Darragh MacCullagh, Jonathan McGookin and Adrian McKenna.

*Empowering People in Care

Full conference attendance , students discounts, and day attendance tickets are available. Bookings can be made at