Presentations and Workshops

The Congress theme of Thinking Outside the Box reflects our desire to learn and develop, encouraging all participants to be creative and reflexive, and to interact with each other. A large part of this is the programme of free papers, posters, workshops, symposia, and training events presented by congress participants. We are looking forward to a great programme with lots of engaging presentations by practitioners, researchers, experts by experience and others.

If you have a good idea, some original research or innovative practice that you can present, or if you are able to draw on your own experience as a survivor of abuse or someone who has been involved with family support services, we invite you to submit an outline (abstract) of your presentation.


How to Register

There will be three registration categories:
Category A for members and those from small, not-for-profit organisations
Category B for non-members
Category C for students, those from low-income countries, and those who are unwaged or with a low family income

Click here to find out about the registration categories, fees and accommodation


Guidelines for Abstract Submission

Artwork: Harry Venning, Congress artist in residence

N.B. Please read all information on this page before submitting an Abstract.

Abstracts must be submitted using the online submission formfound at the bottom of this page and following the submission guidelines.

All abstracts will be scored anonymously by a panel of peer reviewers and judged according to originality, relevance, methodological rigour (as appropriate), and validity.

We are looking for people from all backgrounds to submit their ideas for presentation as a free paper, as part of a symposium, or as an interactive workshop. We are keen to include original research, ideas stemming from professional practice in safeguarding, and individuals’ personal experience.

In submitting an abstract, presenters will need to indicate which of the congress themes best fits the work they will be presenting, and which participants the work is most relevant to.

Please note that presenters of accepted abstracts will be expected to register for congress, at least for the day on which they are presenting. Presenters who have not registered by the deadline will have their papers withdrawn. In the case of abstracts submitted under ‘partnerships for practice’ or ‘partnerships for learning’, both presenters will be expected to register.

Please note that Abstract Submission is now extended until the 10 October 2017!


Submission Categories

1. Free Papers Presentations, Interactive Posters, and Symposia – Choice of four types

Abstracts may be submitted for free papers, interactive posters and symposiums covering original research, a practitioner focus, or personal experience. We particularly encourage submissions under our partnerships for practice stream (collaborative presentations involving experts by experience and researchers or practitioners, researchers and trainers working together, or practitioners with researchers or trainers).

Free papers (presentations)Each accepted free paper will be allocated a 15 minute presentation slot within one of the parallel sessions. As far as possible, free papers will be grouped with similar papers according to the congress themes and participant streams. Parallel sessions will be 90 minutes long allowing for 5 free papers and 15 minutes at the end for joint discussion and questions involving all presenters. Presenters will not be permitted to go beyond their allocated 15 minutes. Guidelines on preparing a presentation will be sent to all presenters of accepted papers.

Interactive posters: Each accepted poster will be allocated a board on which to display their poster for the duration of the congress. The posters will be open to view by congress participants throughout the congress. Each day there will be designated interactive poster slots when presenters will be encouraged to stand by their posters in order to discuss their work with congress participants. Guidelines on preparing a poster will be sent to all authors of accepted posters.

Please note that given the limited number of slots available for free papers, some authors may be offered the option of presenting their work as an interactive poster rather than a free paper.

Symposia: will consist of a collection of 3 or more papers from different presenters on a particular theme that should tie in with the overall congress themes. The symposium may include any one of the four categories for free papers, or a combination of these, and should follow the guidelines for each category. Each symposium will be allocated a 90 minute slot within a parallel session. The abstract should be submitted by a symposium chair, who may be one of the presenters. The abstract must include the overall aims of the symposium, justification for the work, its relevance to the intended audience, an outline of the papers to be included and how they tie together. For each included paper, an additional abstract should be included, according to the guidelines above under free papers.

a. Original research

This may include both quantitative and qualitative research, along with structured or systematic literature reviews carried out according to appropriate, robust methods. The abstract must indicate the aims and hypotheses/research questions, justification for the research, methods used along with a statement of ethical practice, results, and conclusions. Abstracts that do not include results or that state ‘results will be presented’ with no further detail are unlikely to be accepted.

b. Practitioner focus

This may include presentations of service development or evaluation, personal practice, and descriptive case studies/case series. Priority will be given to innovative practice, service development that is clearly informed by evidence, evaluations/audits carried out using sound methodology, and case studies/series that are of relevance to practitioners. Abstracts should include the aims and objectives of the work carried out, justification for the work, including where relevant a clear indication of how the work is informed by research, any methods used for service development or evaluation or for gathering case information, and clear outcomes as appropriate. Where case-based material is to be presented, there must be a clear statement of ethical practice including consent and confidentiality.

c. Personal experience

Presentations by Experts by Experience (survivors of abuse and users of family services) should aim to link personal experience as a survivor or service user to learning for practitioners or researchers. We encourage submissions that explore personal experience through poetry, art and other creative media, as presentations or posters. Priority will be given to presentations that can clearly demonstrate reflective thinking and learning from experience and that show how other congress participants may learn from the presentation. Those presentations that can show positive learning and ideas for improving or building on good practice are more likely to be accepted. Presentations that simply look at problems/examples of poor practice without offering any positive alternatives are unlikely to be accepted. Abstracts should include a brief outline of the presentation and what others may learn from it.

d. Partnerships for practice

The focus of these free papers is on partnerships between different groups: experts by experience (survivors of abuse or service users) working in partnership with practitioners, trainers or researchers; researchers and trainers working together; or practitioners working with researchers or trainers. This may include examples of service user/survivor involvement in service development or evaluation, participative research, learning and training initiatives, and approaches to learning from survivor/user experience. Abstracts must be jointly submitted by at least two presenters from different participant streams, both of whom must be clearly identified and will have been involved in both the preparation and delivery of the paper. Abstracts should include the aims and objectives of the work carried out, justification for the work, a clear description of the partnership working, and where appropriate outcomes of the work. Abstracts should include a statement of ethical practice. Please note that, if accepted, both presenters will be expected to register [link to registration categories] and attend the congress to present their work.


2. Workshops – Choice of three types

A workshop is intended to be a more interactive session that involves the audience in learning from each other. These may include a discussion forum on a particular topic or theme, a training or continuing professional development event, or a partnership learning approach involving participants from two or more of the participant streams. Each workshop will be allocated 90 minutes.


a. Discussion forums

These forums will take the form of a facilitated discussion on a particular topic or theme. This may involve a brief presentation of the topic, followed by a guided discussion, or group work with set tasks with feedback to the entire workshop, or a facilitated debate on a controversial area. Those wishing to lead a discussion forum should outline in their abstract the topic or theme to be covered, justification for running a discussion forum on this topic (i.e. why is it important), how they propose to run the discussion forum to ensure it is inclusive and meaningful for all participants, the methods they will use, and their credentials for running such a forum. Priority will be given to those discussion forums that are clearly relevant to more than one participant stream, and that can demonstrate approaches that facilitate true engagement.

b. Training/continuing professional development

These workshops should focus on a particular area of training or continuing professional development. They will provide an opportunity for practitioners, including trainees, to learn and improve their knowledge or skills in relation to safeguarding practice. Workshops should be designed taking account of adult learning, and using appropriate methods to facilitate such learning. Abstracts must outline the topic and content of the proposed training, the target audience, the expected learning outcomes (by the end of this session, participants will…), the learning methods to be employed, and the credentials of the facilitators.

c. Partnerships for learning

These workshops will be of relevance to two or more participant streams and should involve two or more facilitators from different streams (e.g. a researcher and a practitioner, or an expert by experience and a policy maker). They will provide a forum whereby experts from different backgrounds and disciplines can come together to learn from each other and to improve their understanding or practice. Abstracts must be jointly submitted by at least two facilitators from different participant streams, both of whom must be clearly identified and will have been involved in both the preparation and delivery of the workshop. Abstracts should include the aims and objectives of the workshop, justification for the work to be covered, and the approach to be used to ensure full and inclusive engagement of participants. Please note that, if accepted, both presenters will be expected to register and attend the congress to facilitate the workshop.

Click here to submit an abstract