Looked After Children: Safeguarding Welfare-Fulfilling Aspirations

  • Tuesday, 03 December 2019
  • Manchester Conference Centre
  • 08:30 - 16:30
  • Overview

Open Forum Events invite you to join us at Looked After Children: Safeguarding Welfare-Fulfilling Aspirations.
This conference formulates part of an extensive event portfolio on children and young people and is the second meeting focusing specifically on the lives of children within the care system.
The number of children taken into care is at a ten-year high, according to government figures published in November 2018. The official data shows that England has 75,420 looked after children, which represents a 4% increase on the previous year.
The increasing numbers, coupled with cumulative pressure on local authority budgets, means that children’s services are struggling to provide the quality care provision children have a right to expect. Any failings within the system can impact on life chances, make children more vulnerable and expose them to a greater risk of harm and exploitation.
The Looked After Children: Safeguarding Welfare-Fulfilling Aspirations conference will provide delegates with an informed analysis of the current system and provide a clearer understanding of:
• The programmes of work being undertaken to ensure children in care can flourish through educational attainment and encourage general achievement
• Some of the current issues within the system that are impacting on the progress of children and curtailing their development into happy and successful adults
• Factors that influence the health and wellbeing of children in care and some of the measure being adopted to combat them

With an agenda full of expertise, this conference will bring together key stakeholders who are involved in children’s services and who are committed to ensuring the welfare and opportunities for children or young people in care are not diminished because of the circumstances in which they find themselves. A difficult and often traumatic start in life must not be allowed to dictate children’s futures.

The number of children being removed from their families, due to the risk of neglect or abuse, continues to rise. To add to the increase in the number requiring local authority care, the adoption rate fell by 13%, year on year, to 3,820 compared to the peak in 2015 of 5,360. A reduction in programmes such as Sure Start, which supported families to stay together, have also impacted on the number of children entering the care system, putting it under escalating pressure.

73% of looked after children are in foster care, with an increasing number being placed in kinship care where extended family and friends take on responsibility for the child. One in ten children are allocated  residential accommodation, however, out of borough placements are commonplace with four in ten living outside their local authority area and one in five being more than 20 miles away. This, along with multiple placement moves from care home to care home, has created a situation where vulnerable children have been described as being ‘treated like cattle’.

Children in unregulated accommodation and those living independently, without any adult supervision, are also finding themselves in less than ideal circumstances. Stability in accommodation, education and social work support is a major influence on a child’s development and happiness.

Children in care are more likely to be victims of criminal exploitation, such as ‘county lines’, or else become embroiled in the criminal justice system themselves, which can have a devastating impact on their long-term future. To prevent looked after children and care leavers from gaining a criminal record, the government has published ‘The national protocol on reducing unnecessary criminalisation of looked-after children and care leavers’ which provides a framework to help local areas reduce criminalisation and promote better outcomes.

Difficult and sometimes traumatic experiences early on in life can impact on children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing, however, for many children expressing themselves is not easy. Support can be found in many guises, however, with digital technology and social media platforms firmly ensconced in youth culture, it is no surprise that the use of apps is the way forward in allowing children to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

 

 The Looked After Children: Safeguarding Welfare-Fulfilling Aspirations conference will take an insightful and informative analysis of the care system and how it can best support children to fulfill their potential and lead happy, successful lives.  

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  • Confirmed Speakers

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  • Event Programme

08:30

Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area

09:25

Chair’s Opening Address

  • Joanna Hunt, Area Manager, Greater Manchester, Children's Society (invited)
09:30

Keynote Address

Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education (invited)

"Making a Difference to the Futures of Looked after Children"

We know that looked after children often have early experience of trauma and adversity, however, a difficult start in life should not predict their future. How can we ensure that looked after children progress into becoming successful, happy and healthy adults?

09:50

Lynsey Burridge, Chair,The National Association of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH)  (invited)

"Improving Educational Attainments"

Children who are growing up in care often do not do as well in school as their peers.
All children should be adequately supported to do well and reach their full potential, whatever their background. There needs to be greater attention on the needs of learners who are looked after, to support them do better in school, and transition successfully into the next stage of their education or employment.

10:10

Emma Lewis-Kalubowila, Academic Enrichment Officer, Student Recruitment and Widening Participation, The University of Manchester  (confirmed)

"Sharing Educational Success Story"

The Greater Manchester Looked After Children's Forum (GMLACF) is the recipient of the first ever NEON Widening Access Partnership Award. The award recognises organisations that have worked together and supported each other to effectively widen access.
The GMLACF was formed in 2011 with a primary focus of supporting the educational progression of Care Leavers and Looked After Children.

10:30

Main Sponsor

10:50

Question and Answer Session

11:00

Coffee in the Networking Area

11:45

Case Study

12:05
"Accommodation- The Issues Surrounding Unregulated and Independent Placements"

The number of children in care living in unsafe and unsuitable accommodation is on the increase. A recent report revealed that over 5,000 teenagers are living in unregulated accommodation – up 70% from a decade ago. A report also reveals that thousands of teenagers in council care are living in B&Bs, flats and even tents and caravans - with no live-in adult supervision.

 

12:25

Speaker TBC, Become (confirmed)

"Safeguarding Pinball Kids with Stability and Consistency "

Thousands of children in care face multiple changes to their home, school and social worker. During 2016-17, nearly 2,400 children changed home, school and social worker, while 9,060 had two of those changes, putting them more vulnerable and at greater risk of exploitation.

 

12:45

Case Study

13:05

Question and Answer Session

13:15

Lunch in the Networking Area

14:15

Chair’s Afternoon Address

14:20

Case Study

14:40
  • Justine Currell, Director, Unseen and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Bedfordshire Police (confirmed)
"County Lines"

Vulnerable children, including those that are in the care of social services, are targeted by criminal gangs to undertake criminal activity such as the criminal enterprise called ‘county lines’, where children are used to distribute drugs, supplied by large city gangs, to rural and coastal areas.

15:00

Speaker TBC, Howard League for Penal Reform (confirmed)

"Unnecessarily Criminalised"

Research suggests that children in care are 13 times more likely to be criminalised than other young people. At the end of 2018 a national protocol on reducing criminalisation of looked-after children was published by the government which is a framework to help social care and criminal justice agencies keep looked-after children out of the criminal justice system.

15:20

Question and Answer Session

15:30

Afternoon Refreshment Break

15:40

Penny Earney, Designated Nurse for Looked After Children, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (confirmed)

"Safeguarding Emotional Wellbeing"

Evidence shows that the mental health of looked after children is poorer than that of the general population. Children in care are four times more likely than their non-looked after peers to have a mental health condition and almost half of those in the care system have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

16:00

Cara Holden, Mind of My Own App Development Worker, Action for Children (invited)

"Mind My Own App"

Hundreds of looked after children, supported by Action for Children, are to be given access to unique app technology from Mind of My Own, which encourages them to share worries and concerns, directly with their social workers.

16:20

Question and Answer Session

16:30

Chair’s Closing Remarks and Event Close

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Jonathan Smith
  • Gain an insight into the current situation and trends within the care system in the UK
  • Hear about how agencies plan to support better outcomes for looked after children. Extending them the same opportunities to their peers
  • Improve understanding of the reasons why children in care perform worse at school compared to other children and learn how their education attainment can be improved
  • Hear how successful transition can be supported and achieved into the next stage of education, training or employment
  • Listen to examples of successful programmes that are furthering educational aspiration
  • Discover more about the challenges facing children that are in unregulated accommodation or those teenagers that are placed in accommodation where there is no adult supervision
  • Hear more about ‘pinball kids’ and the importance of consistency and stability in placement, education and social work support
  • Learn why out of borough placements take place and what the impacts are on children when they are removed from their local area
  • Better understand how child exploitation is manifested, particularly the link between children in care and the ‘County Lines’ drug operations
  • Become more aware of the unnecessary criminalisation of LACs and how the new government protocol intends to address it
  • Learn how technology can assist children to communicate their feelings and concerns to promote better health and emotional wellbeing
  • Share best practice and experiences
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow delegates
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain CPD credits

 

  • Contact Details
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details

Supporters

Venue

Manchester Conference Centre

Manchester Conference Centre

Manchester Conference Centre is the ideal solution when searching for conference venues in Manchester. Top-of-the-range conference suites, 3 star value hotel accommodation, delicious dining and friendly service are the ideal components for a successful conference or event in the heart of the city centre.

The 18 conference rooms are decked out with all the mod cons including state-of-the-art AV technology, projectors and screens, free Wi-Fi and flip charts. Our clients cover the whole spectrum and include government organisations, trade unions, large corporate companies, non-profit organisations, health and education sectors and small to medium-sized businesses.

From the get-go we strive for excellence in everything we do and our dedicated team of conference professionals go all out to make sure your conference, event or exhibition runs like clockwork.

Featured Events

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  • Safeguarding Children: Finding Solutions for Better Protection

    • 24 May 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:30
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  • Safeguarding Children: Promoting Welfare-Preventing Harm

    • 23 May 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
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  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: From Early Intervention to Improved Services

    • 12 February 2019
    • 08:25 - 15:45
    • Mary Ward House Conference & Exhibition Centre, London
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Providing Effective Support

    • 03 July 2018
    • 08:30 - 17:00
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  • Safeguarding Children: Effective Collaboration for Child Protection and Wellbeing

    • 11 May 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health: Taking Early Action

    • 06 July 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
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  • Children and Young People's Mental Health: Improving Care, Treatment and Support

    • 12 December 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

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who will attend

  • 14-19 Partnership Teams
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Director/Heads Adoption and Fostering Agencies
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinators
  • Asylum and Immigration Officers
  • CAFCASS
  • Care Leavers Champions
  • Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioners
  • Child and Educational Psychologists
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Teams
  • Child Protection Officers
  • Children’s Health Service Professionals
  • Children’s Services Officers
  • Heads of Children’s Trusts and Children’s Centres
  • Commissioning Managers
  • Community and Voluntary Organisations
  • Community Development Managers
  • Director/Heads Connexions and Jobcentre Plus
  • Director/Heads Corporate Parenting Boards
  • Designated Nurses and Health Advisors for Children in Care
  • Director/Heads Local Education Authorities
  • Director/Heads Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards
  • Director/Heads Local, Regional and National Health Services
  • Director/Heads Looked After/Children in Care Teams
  • Director/Heads NEET Strategy Teams
  • Director/Heads Permanency Teams
  • Director/Heads Regional Adoption Agencies
  • Director/Heads Welfare Rights Organisations
  • Directors/Heads of Children and Young People’s Services
  • Domestic Violence Co-ordinators
  • Director/Heads Drug and Alcohol Action Teams
  • Early Years and Childcare Practitioners
  • Education and Welfare Officers
  • Education Providers
  • Director/Heads Employment and Training Services
  • Families Services Officers
  • Family Intervention Project Workers
  • Family Pathfinder Workers
  • Family Placement Teams
  • Family Support and Outreach Team Leads
  • Heads of Children’s Strategy
  • Members of Health and Wellbeing Boards
  • Director/Heads Homelessness Teams
  • Director/Heads Housing Service Providers
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Looked-After Children Team Managers
  • Members of Police and Fire Service
  • Mental Health Practitioners
  • Post Adoption Support Services Leads
  • Psychotherapists
  • Residential Children’s Home Managers
  • School Nurses and Health Visitors
  • Schools, Colleges and Further Education Providers
  • Social Workers and Social Services Officers
  • Director/Heads Supported Housing Teams
  • Teachers and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators
  • Teenage Pregnancy Co-ordinators
  • Third Sector Representatives
  • Youth Inclusion Teams
  • Youth Workers and Youth Offending Teams