From the Chair

It has been a busy start to the year for the CYPF Executive Committee. We had the pleasure of meeting in person at BACP House, where we had the opportunity to meet and greet many BACP colleagues (and were treated to biscuits!). This created an extra dimension to our activities since we were able to connect with other divisions within BACP. Rebecca Stew, Communities of Practice Lead, shared a presentation and Kylie Vaughan joined us for the first time as our Special Interest Lead (SIL). To maintain strong relationships with the divisions, dedicated roles are available for existing BACP staff to help represent the interest and views of the CYPF Executive to BACP, and share news on BACP policies and procedures. Kylie works in the Member Resources team as Senior Events Organiser and has previously worked closely with us to plan the CYPF conference. We are delighted to have her on board. 

Over the last year, we have welcomed new members to the Executive Committee, and have reviewed the skills and experience to share this with you, the members. From academia, we benefit from PhD researchers, lecturers, writers, training facilitators and course developers. From specialist fields, we have expertise in developmental trauma, post-adoption care, early years care, bereavement, care-experienced and looked-after children, neurodiversity, additional learning needs and working with primary school children. We have acquired knowledge and experience from colleagues working across different sectors, ranging from primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, community, third sector and digital services.

Overall, we are a varied bunch, but we still have room to grow. We are looking for two new members and would welcome representation from:

  • members in Scotland
  • members working with families
  • members working with boys and dads
  • members from underrepresented communities.

When we were not at BACP House enjoying biscuits, we were fulfilling our divisional duties at events up and down the country. Cathy Bell, co-Chair attended the Making Connections event in Edinburgh, where she heard updates around BACP’s Ethical Framework review, and attended presentations on supervision and the ‘Loneliness of loneliness’. Cathy chaired a ‘Connecting together’ table discussion where participants were keen to ask questions relating to good practice guidelines and the culture and context of multidisciplinary working.

I attended the National Education Show for Schools and Academies in London. Wellbeing was a key topic on the agenda and there were several talks about supporting the mental wellbeing of young people and school staff. However, I was surprised that counselling was under-represented in both the presentations and exhibitions. From my connections with over 100 school staff and leaders, it was evident that counselling for secondary schools, primary schools, additional learning needs schools and colleges was at the forefront of their minds. There was an appetite for digital innovation and access to quality online wellbeing support and resources. Counselling must be part of the discussion in education and at conferences in the future, and this is something that we are working closely to achieve.

Speaking of conferences… we hope to see you at the CYPF conference this month. Please come and say hi! There are still spaces to book, see our BACP CYPF Conference 2024 events page