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Critical Conversations in Child Protection: A Webinar Series

The Centre for Child Protection’s ‘Critical Conversations in Child Protection’ is a webinar series aimed at facilitating learning from the latest research, practice knowledge, theory and lived experiences around safeguarding children and young people. It is designed for a multi-disciplinary group of child protection professionals – ranging from health, social care, education, police, fostering, third sector organisations and more – living in the UK and abroad. Speakers will range from members of the Centre for Child Protection’s team, our academic affiliates, our experienced student/alumni populations, and individuals with a variety of lived experiences relevant to understanding child protection matters. The ‘Critical Conversations in Child Protection’ webinar series is free to attend and will be held virtually via Zoom. Registration prior to attending is required.

2023 Speakers

Prolife photographs of four people
Prolife photographs of four people

10 October 2023, 10.00-11.00

Is it time for a ‘legitimacy turn’ in child protection?

Speaker: Jo Warner

 This session will focus on the concept of legitimacy as applied to the use of power in statutory work with children and families in the UK. It will draw on literature from police studies, in which the concept of legitimacy is heavily researched. Police and state child protection workers such as social workers bear comparison in respect of legitimacy because of the significant powers they use on behalf of the state. Their decisions have direct implications for the civil and human rights of their fellow citizens, and in each case there have been concerns about disproportionality in the use of their power with particular groups. Yet, despite these parallels, the concept has received little explicit attention in child protection. The session will make the case for a ‘legitimacy turn’ in child protection based on the example of disproportionality in the use of state power with families living in poverty.    

24 October 2023, 10:00-11:00

Voluntary Accommodation Agreements in Child Protection: The Law and Practice of Section 20 Children Act 1989

Speaker: India Hughes

Positioned between care proceedings and family support work, Section 20 Children Act 1989 (“s20”) allows social workers to accommodate children in local authority care on agreement with their parents. The provision has clear benefits to both social work teams and families, but the position of these agreements outside of the court system leaves room for misuse and misinterpretation. This session will summarise early findings from a socio-legal study examining the use of s20 in practice while unpicking the ambiguous guidelines from law and policy.

31 October 2023, 10:00-11:00

Safeguarding Separated Young Migrants: What difference might gender make?

Speaker: Dr Rachel Larkin

Each year thousands of children and young people become separated from family and carers and cross national borders alone. The reasons for child and youth migration are complex but can include trafficking, exploitation and high levels of risk for young people.  This session will draw on research with separated girls to explore how young people’s experiences, and professional responses to young migrants, can be affected by gender. It will consider how states are responding to young migrants, some of the challenges this work poses for child protection services and what might constitute best practice.     

7 November 2023, 10:00-11:00

Embedding Trauma Informed Approaches in Police Responses to Child Sexual Exploitation: A Collaborative Simulation Design

Speakers: Dr Tracee Green, Dr Aravinda Kosaraju and Emma Soutar

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), a collaboration between the Centre for Child Protection and Kent Police was created with the aim to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls – or ‘VAWG’. This project specifically focused on sexual exploitation of girls through the creation, application, and evaluation of a trauma-informed pilot-training simulation tool for police. This session will provide an overview of the project’s history, the reasons for its focus on a trauma informed approach, and early evaluation results of its implementation.

14 November 2023, 10:00-11.00

What intersectionality and critical race theory offers child protection professionals

Speakers: Vanisha Jassal and Isobel Drew

Ethnic, racial and cultural disproportionalities continue to exist across UK child protection practice, services and outcomes for children, young people and their families. This is known and accepted across agencies and policy sectors and efforts to address the problem, although evidential, have made limited impact overall.  This session discusses the importance of integrating relevant theoretical approaches to develop practitioner skills in adopting a more interrogative approach with the aim of improving the lived experiences of children, young people and families.      

2022 Speakers

Speakers from left to right

21 September 2022, 10.00-11.00am

Relationship themes and dynamics between Social Workers and Parents

This webinar explored PhD findings on relationship dynamics between parents and social workers from the parents’ perspective. It touched on key research findings from within the field of social work and psychology to better understand the potential challenges faced within these relationships. 

Webinar by Dr Alice Loving

26 September 2022, 9.00-10.00am

Standardised Measures; Friend or Foe? Parenting Assessments in Court with a focus on Parenting Assessment Manual Software (PAMS).

Decisions being made within care proceedings can result in potentially life altering outcomes for families whereby children can be separated from their carers and placed for adoption. Judges and magistrates utilising parenting assessments to help make these decisions need to be able to rely on consistently good practices to inform them; however, there are indications that the quality of these assessments can vary. This webinar explored the value of standardised measures informing assessments with a particular focus on findings from a study looking at the perceived value of incorporating Parenting Assessment Manual Software (PAMS) within parenting assessments for court.

Webinar by Dr Tracee Green

12 October 2022, 1.00-2:00pm

Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse: Dilemmas and Prospects for Child Safeguarding Practitioners     

This session examined the nature of Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCSEA), prevalence and challenges confronting child protection practitioners. It looked at the Online Harms Bill 2022 considered by the UK parliament and drew attention to complexity emerging from an intersection of technology, rights, responsibilities, harms and wellbeing of children and young people.

Webinar by Dr Aravinda Kosaraju

24 October 2022, 9.00-10:00am

Addressing ethnic inequalities in child protection practice: Why it’s time we move beyond the research   

Ethnic inequalities in UK child protection practice have been documented for many years, negatively impacting the lives of many children and families. This webinar threw a light on current data and research and urge practitioners and organisations to remain sufficiently cognisant about the issue, and the implications for vulnerable children from continuing inequalities.

Webinar by Vanisha Jassal

3 November 2022, 1.00-2.00pm

How child protection simulations create safe spaces to learn and practise practice

This webinar explored how CCP’s suite of simulations (serious games) facilitate a unique learning environment to develop skills in complex child protection landscapes. It demonstrated how professionals can practice engaging with complex families and why this matters. It examined how training skilled child protection professionals in the grooming suite of simulations can increase confidence to tackle difficult issues. It does this, in part, by providing scaffolding for discussions when engaging in direct work with children which activates critical analysis. 

Webinar by Emma Soutar

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