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Looking to the Future: DDP Connects UK, a fantastic one-day conference

30 October 2017
DDP Connects UK logo

Over 130 people attended our successful one-day conference on 29th September 2017 in Worcestershire to officially mark the setting up of the Community Interest Company: DDP Connects UK.

The theme of the day was ‘Looking to the Future’, and all the presentations reflected the path we have been on to make this future happen.

DDP Connects UK Launch attendees

We were pleased to welcome Dan Hughes, as our patron, to open the conference with the keynote presentation: ‘The Experience that is DDP’.

Dan gave a personal and thought-provoking talk which reflected his own path to developing DDP and also highlighted how much this is a model that keeps developing, in line with latest research. As commented on the day, it is never just a refresher when Dan speaks. Always there are new ideas and thoughts. Dan has provided us with a summary of this talk as part of the conference proceedings.

Dan Hughes - DDP Connects UK Launch

Julie Hudson - DDP Connects UK LaunchJulie Hudson is a DDP trainer and treasurer of DDP Connects UK. She is also a board member for DDPI. She followed Dan to provide us with an overview: ‘DDP Connects UK – Arrival & Next Steps’.

Those who have not been around from the beginning were especially interested in Julie’s history of the development of DDP in the UK, leading up to the development of the company that is taking us into the future. It certainly brought back some memories for those of us who were with her in the early days. Julie has provided an information sheet about the CIC which as part of the conference proceedings.

Anita Huggins, Alison Keith -DDP Connects UK LaunchAnita Huggins supported by Alison Keith moved us on to reflect on DDP in practice in a presentation entitled: ‘Are we doing DDP? Social Workers Journey’.

This presentation was also supported by Debbie Havill. Although not able to attend in person, Debbie bravely allowed her video clips of work she has done to be shown in her absence, alongside Anita’s, to illustrate the work she and Anita have been doing. This presentation contains confidential information so cannot be part of the conference proceedings.

Our final presentation of the day was provided by Julie Elliott and Jan Blazak: ‘Children Always First Foster Care: our DDP Journey’.

This was another example of the way that DDP is developing in the UK with the fostering agency Children Always First becoming the first organisation here to be DDP certified. Julie and Jan shared their experience of going through this process. They have kindly shared their presentation as part of the conference proceedings.

Julie Elliott, Jan Blazak - DDP Connects UK Launch

The remainder of the day was focused on the further development of ‘DDP Connects UK’.

Anna Binnie-Dawson facilitated: ‘The Market Place: Developing your CIC’; providing all of us with an opportunity to think about what we wanted and what we could contribute towards the further development of the company. All the ideas have been typed up and can be read as part of the conference proceedings.

We even had a go at some live tweeting helped by Kim’s daughter, Lily.

The day ended, for those who decided to risk late Friday afternoon traffic, with an opportunity for questions and discussion with the directors and presenters. This included a lively discussion about directions for the company and income generation.

Alongside this programme we also presented an update on research and the results of a research project conducted by Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Megan Wingfield, supported by Ben Gurney-Smith. This was a qualitative study of ‘Adoptive parents’ experiences of DDP’. The update and a summary of this study can also be found as part of the conference proceedings.

Finally, we used the conference to also celebrate some achievements. Books published this year by Dan Hughes and Kim Golding; and a life time achievement award for Dan. We also announced a new book for 2018. Details of these are coming soon.

All conference proceedings can be found in the DDP Library, under:

DDP Connects UK Launch Conference 2017