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Child protection expert contributes to protecting older people event

A child protection expert from the University of Kent has been invited to participate in a UK wide event that aims to develop radical ideas on how to protect older people in institutional long-term care.

Dr Jane Reeves from Kent's Centre for Child Protection is one of only 25 participants to have been selected for the Technology Strategy Board’s national Long Term Care Revolution workshop on 16-20 September. This workshop, also known as a 'sandpit', aims to stimulate ideas that will explore the potential for real social, structural and economic changes, as well as unlocking new markets in long term care provision fit for the 21st century.

Participants from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors were selected on the basis that they are 'already thinking in anti-establishment ways', having recognised that the current model is not fit for purpose or for the future, and - more importantly - that they are 'prepared to actually do something about it'.

Following on from the workshop, the Technology Strategy Board will be awarding up to £2.4m for the development of industry-led Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) projects.

Launched in 2011 following the Munro Review, Kent’s Centre for Child Protection provides high quality, targeted and innovative child protection training and research for health and social care practitioners worldwide. These include teachers, social workers, youth workers, probation officers, GPs, lawyers, police officers, health visitors and voluntary organisations. The Centre provides training opportunities, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) tools and research to raise professional and organisational standards.

Among its achievements, the Centre has developed a number of wisely used 'serious games', or immersive technologies, to enable students and child protection professionals undertaking CPD to practice and discuss difficult child protection cases in safe environments. Developed by Professor David Shemmings and Dr Jane Reeves, these games combine expertise from a number of the University's units, disciplines and academic schools, as well as external experts from organisation such as Special Branch, Kent Police, Kent County Council, Kent Probation and Child Health Services (Essex).

Dr Reeves, who is Director of Kent's MA in Child Protection and Co-director of the Centre, said: 'Being chosen to participate in the UK wide sandpit event gives us the opportunity to potentially apply the knowledge we have gained from the simulations developed to protect children, to protecting older people. It also gives us an opportunity to see how cutting edge technology is being planned to help older people in the future and to see if this has any synergy for training or working with children and young people. It is an exciting and innovative opportunity for creative thinking.'

In September 2013 the Centre was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award in the category ICT Initiative of the Year. The winners will be announced on 28 November.

The Centre's entry for the workshop challenge was facilitated by Kent Innovation and Enterprise, the University unit dedicated to building strong links between University research and business and to develop, support and create high-growth enterprise in the region.


Story published at 10:23am 17 September 2013

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Last Updated: 23/05/2013