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A multi-disciplinary national child protection conference

A fantastic conference with a difference aimed at professionals in the children’s services sector is being held on 18 May 2018 in London.

‘Wisdom from Failure: A Kaleidoscope on Child Protection’ sets itself aside from other national child protection conferences as the speakers range from a plethora of professions and backgrounds including adult survivors, barristers, social workers, lawyers, academics and historians – all experts in child protection.

The unique keynote speech will be delivered by Matthew Syed, the bestselling author of ‘Black Box Thinking’, a ground-breaking book which analyses the logic of failure, confronting complexity and coping with the blame game. He is also a leading columnist for The Times and regular presenter for the BBC. Read more on black box thinking.

Professor Johanna Sköld from the Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University in Sweden is also addressing the conference. Professor Skold is the author of ‘Apologies and the Legacy of Abuse of Children in 'Care' - International Perspectives’  which explores the historical abuse of children in care within the context of transitional justice. It examines investigation, apology and redress processes across a range of Western nations to trace the growth of the movement, national particularities and the impact of the work on professionals involved.

Dr Julia Brophy of the Association of Lawyers for Children will be speaking at the conference. Dr Brophy authored a report from the University of Oxford which was based on interviews with 23 senior judges sitting in 20 of 43 county courts across England and Wales and found that Independent Social Workers were highly valued in the court process. ISWs are regarded as practitioners at the 'top of their field', able to provide high-quality assessments in care proceedings in tight timescales. Their 'experience, expertise and wisdom' in complex cases influence outcomes for children and helps courts move forward with speed and confidence, the report found.

Many of you will have seen the recent drama Kiri featuring acclaimed actress Sarah Lancashire. The four-part Channel 4 series focused on social worker Miriam Grayson and nine-year-old Kiri, who disappeared on an unsupervised visit she arranges. Another speaker at the conference, Professor Anna Gupta, was the social services advisor on the drama. Having been recommended for the role, Professor Gupta’s role on Kiri was to advise quite broadly about some of the factual procedural issues within social work.

Speakers addressing this one-day conference in London include:

Martha Cover – Barrister & Co-Chair, Association of Lawyers for Children
Peter Garsden – President, Association of Child Abuse Lawyers
Professor Louise Jackson – Professor of Modern Social History at University of Edinburgh
Dr Chris Millard – Lecturer & Researcher at University of Sheffield
Philip King – Expert Social Worker in Child Protection & Abuse Claims
Iain O’Donnell – Child Abuse Compensation Lawyer

The morning sessions are chaired by Lord Justice McFarlane, Lord Justice of Appeal who was appointed to the High Court, Family Division and was for five years the Family Division Liaison Judge for the Midland Circuit. He was the legal member of the Government ‘Family Justice Review’ Panel. He was appointed as Lord Justice of Appeal in July 2011 and now sits full time in the Court of Appeal in London.

The number and range of speakers ensures that all practitioners from a variety of backgrounds will hear innovative ideas and new information to inform their practice and development.

The conference also provides a range of multi-disciplinary material designed to assist your continuing professional development.

The conference is open to all professionals working in child protection as practitioners (social workers, lawyers, charities) as well as academics and those with links to any aspect of child protection. As well as hearing presentations on a variety of themes, delegates will be able to participate in multidisciplinary discussions focused on three panels.

The day will begin at 9.00am for registration and tea and coffee, with a prompt 9.45am start, the conference will end at approximately 4.45pm with drinks and nibbles. A light lunch will also be provided.

The conference on 18 May at King’s College, London is presented by WillisPalmer and History & Policy in association with the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Lawyers for Children

To find out more information or to book a place visit the WillisPalmer website.

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