This has been an eventful few days for us and this week also sees the service take on something different. My first Blog entry was based on a paper on bullying and agency, submitted to the International Journal of Youth Studies and was at that time, awaiting publication, well Professor Sercombe and I have been informed the peer review process is complete and it will now be published. (Small round of applause)
I am delighted that this paper will be published and hope that it starts some interesting and hopefully challenging debate around how we define bullying and how we respond.
Critiquing definitions that have been used for years should challenge thinking on bullying. This is done to get practitioners focussing on what really matters; what they do when bullying is happening. Focussing on the impact behaviour has not trying to fit the people doing it into what are fairly rigid stereotypes.
This has coincided with the EUSARF Conference being held in Glasgow this week over three days. I shall be delivering a presentation titled – ‘Why a focus on agency for bullying makes for more effective outcomes’. This is a first for me and the service, getting to present and discuss our learning and our approach to anti-bullying to researchers, academics and practitioners.
While our focus always has and always will remain on providing practical solutions and resources to people that help them on a daily basis, it is good that we are now in a position to contribute to the debate at an international level.
It is the fact we focus on pragmatic solutions that need to work in practice that has enabled us to reframe and sharpen our thinking. While this is working at the level that matters most, we have learned a great deal and we should and can seek to influence thinking and approaches based on the success we have had in Scotland. I will be meeting colleagues in Dublin soon to share the learning and success we have had delivering the service here.
We have also launched our new cyberbullying booklet for children and young people and it seems all of the places who received this have opened their mail on the same day! We send every school and registered children’s service 2 copies and then they get in touch to ask for more – fair to say we can look forward to a few paper cuts over the next week.