The CALA Annual Conference is fast approaching!

The CALA Annual Conference is fast approaching!

Make sure to sign up for the day ASAP as there are still a few places available.cala-logo

The conference is taking place on the 30th of September (right around the corner!) at Greyfriars and Stratherrick Free Church, Balloan Road . We hope to see you there!

The conference this year is tackling some of the pressing issues facing modern families.

With a welcome by MSP Mark McDonald we will be kicked off to an exciting and engaging day.  Followed by a keynote speech from Karyn McCluskey, Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, in which she will discuss the long term impact of key factors in childhood and family dynamics.

This will be followed by a selection of delegate workshops covering a wide range of topics and a delicious 2 course buffet lunch.  Add to that more workshops in the afternoon and the availability of a children’s crèche to allow you to relax and enjoy your day fully.

Workshop summary below; to find out more click on the titles.

A Family Man: the role of men in 21st century FamiliesDavid Deveney

David Devenney, Head of Programmes with Fathers Network Scotland, will discuss the influence of men in the home and how to involve fathers in meaningful ways in the raising and caring of children.

Covering topics

  • Why focus on dads? What has changed?
  • Diversity of dads’ roles.
  • Who benefits when we include men in childcare /families?
  • What can we do as Early Learning and Childcare Practitioners – what works?

Healthy Minds, Happy Children

Linda Thom, Promoting Positive Relationships Team Lead & Emma Campbell, Primary Mental Health Worker, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service will be looking at how mental health can affect parents and children in different ways, the increasing incidence of mental ill health and what strategies we can use to support children and families.

Linda and Emma

Highland Council

Supporting Parents along the Journey of Child’s Development

James McTaggart, Educational Psychologist with Highland Council will be delivering a workshop discussing how Developmental Overviews can be used by professionals, the benefits to children and the impact on their development.Developmental Overviews

The other side of the coin: the impact of poverty on our children

Hanna McCulloch, Policy and Parliamentary Officer for the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) will be delivering a workshop discussing how child poverty affects children and families, including a look at the most recent research on this highly relevant and topical subject.CPAG Blogpost

Hanna McCulloch

New ‘sexting’ guidance from Thinkuknow

The following information comes from the September newsletter of Thinkuknow, an organisation dedicated to making the internet a safer place for children. Learn more about Thinkuknow by visiting their website.

“We know that a big concern for schools and colleges is handling cases where children and young people produce and share sexual photos and videos of themselves, often referred to as ‘sexting’.

Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people has been produced by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) for use by safeguarding leads, headteachers and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges in England. The new guidance has been created to support schools in developing procedures to respond confidently and quickly to incidents involving ‘youth produced sexual imagery’.
The advice covers:

  • How to respond to incidents
  • The appropriate way to handle devices and imagery
  • Effectively assessing risk
  • When to involve other agencies
  • How to record incidents
  • Whether and when you should involve parents or carers
  • Strategies to prevent such incidents from occurring

The document is available via the professionals download area of the Thinkuknow site.

Upcoming workshop: an introduction to aspects of Play into Practice


We are offering an exciting opportunity for those working with children in Out of School Care and childminders in Highland! We invite you to attend one or more of a series of four FREE practical workshops adapted from our ‘Play into Practice’ course. These sessions are suitable for those who may be new to working with children in OSC , those who want to develop their knowledge and practice or simply a refresher and a little inspiration! Content is linked to the National guidance “Building the Ambition” 2014.

For more information, including dates and booking information, click here to download the workshop flyer.


Training Opportunity for practitioners, childminders and volunteers working in Early Learning and Childcare in the Lochaber/Mallaig area

Places are still available on the Words Up level 1 Training at Mallaig Community Centre on Thursday 29thSeptember from 1 – 3 pm.

Please contact Highland Council CPD on 01463 703184, or contact:

Ruth Deplacido
Speech and Language Therapist (Speech and Language Development Team)
Children and Young People
01349 868700

Junior World Summer 2016

Alison Morrison Smith has sent over a blog article that describes some of the fun things the staff and children of Junior World got up to this summer.

If you’re having trouble reading the text on the image below, click here to download a PDF version of the report.


Thanks Alison! What a great summer you’ve all had!

North Kessock Red Kites & Culbokie Fun Club – October Holiday Planner

North Kessock Red Kites have sent over their October Holidays planner. They’ve got loads of fun stuff planned for the holidays, including a talent show, face painting, and trips to the park.

Click here to download the planner, or click here to download the booking form.

Please note that this holiday club is also open to the children of Culbokie Fun Club.

‘Off to the Park’ – a free audio book for children with additional support needs

Bookbug are offering a free audiobook version of ‘Off to the Park’, aimed at children with additional support needs. You can find it by following this link.

Come with us to the park! Which way shall we go? What shall we do? What will we find? A stunning interactive book for ALL children of all ages, with a delightful surprise at the end.

Thanks to Play Scotland for bringing this to our attention.

Sutherland Stepping Stones – October Holiday Planner

Sutherland Stepping Stones got in touch to share their October Holiday Planner. You can download the planner by clicking here, or download the booking form by clicking here.

Child Protection Training in Highland – update

The following information was submitted by Norma Ruettimann, CALA Training Development Manager:

Introduction to Child Protection – this is now delivered as an interactive e-learning course which is suitable for all those working with and for children and families in Highland who require introductory level training. To access your free place go to, click on Training, then click on CPC Training Office to request a voucher code, which will give you access to the CALA E- Learning Zone.

On the FHC Training page – you’ll also find a calendar for face to face deliveries of a range of Child Protection courses along with guidance on an appropriate training pathway.

Please note the following update:
The Developing Competence in CP and Highland Practice Model dates are now full until December 2016, please book early for 2017 to avoid disappointment!

Frugal Fun Friday – Bubble Painting!

Time for another Fun Frugal Friday! This week Mairianne takes a few simple household ingredients and turns them in to a green and bubbly mixture. Click the image below to play the video. Thanks Mairianne 🙂


Karyn McCluskey – Keynote Speaker for the CALA Annual Conference

Hello everyone!

Here is the final instalment in the series for the workshops and speakers in the upcoming CALA Annual Conference.

To find out more be sure to visit here!

Be sure to book your place at the conference as soon as possible, as it is first come first served! Click here to sign up!

We look forward to seeing you all there

We are delighted to welcome Karyn McCluskey as our keynote speaker for this year’s CALA conference.karyn

Karyn McCluskey is the Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, which is part of Police Scotland and is dedicated to reducing violent incidents throughout Scotland.

Karyn has twenty years’ experience working with police forces around the country, including Sussex, Lancashire, West Mercia, Strathclyde Police and the Metropolitan Police.

The Scottish Violence Reduction Unit is a national centre of expertise on violence. Part of Police Scotland, the VRU targets violence wherever it occurs whether it’s on the streets, in schools or in our homes. Supported by the Scottish Government the unit has adopted a public health approach, treating violence as “an infection which can be cured”. The VRU is the only police member of the World’ Health Organisation’s Violence Prevention Alliance. The VRU believes violence is preventable – not inevitable.

The aim of the VRU is to create long-term attitudinal change in society rather than a quick fix. The VRU also focuses on enforcement, seeking to contain and manage individuals who are involved with violent behaviour. The approaches taken have centred on the contributing factors leading to violent crimes, such as disruptive home life, domestic abuse, unemployment, etc.

This public health approach includes supporting ex-offenders to find employment, supporting their families, encouraging community cohesion and breaking the cycle of an unhealthy and abusive environment.

“Violence works like an infectious disease. It’s passed on. You can catch it. You might live and die in a square mile. Your life is not predictable or manageable. You may have alcoholic parents, suffer domestic violence. Nobody cares about you. You’re incapable of empathy: hard-wired for violence.”

– Karyn McCluskey, the woman who took on Glasgow’s gangs

Click here to read more about Karyn and the invaluable work she does with the Violence Reduction Unit.


My World Triangle – Child Protection

The following article was sent through by Training Development Manager Norma Ruettimann:

Learning gained from recent Serious Case Reviews in a few Local Authorities in Scotland included the need for adults involved with children and families to make accurate assessments of children an young people who may be at risk to take into account all factors with may impact on a child or young person to help identify support needs.

This reminded us that the My World Triangle provides us with a framework to consider the whole child or young person. The Scottish Government have provided a colour version of this along with separate descriptors for each side of the triangle to support us in assessing risk to children and identifying and planning areas of support which you may find useful in helping to consolidate your thinking where you have concerns about a child or young person.

If you have any trouble reading the text on the images below, you can download them as a PDF by clicking here.

my-world-trainglehow-i-grow-and-develop my-wider-world  what-i-need-from-people