Please note that this event is now finished

Safeguarding Children: Promoting Welfare-Protecting from Harm

  • Thursday, 28 March 2024
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

Open Forum Events' Safeguarding Children conference will bring together stakeholders with safeguarding responsibilities to share their expertise, best practices, resources, challenges, and successful experiences of making child safeguarding measures more effective and accountable.

Across society individuals and organisations have the responsibility to protect children from abuse and harm and while there are many examples of best practice there are on occasion critical gaps in child safeguarding procedures which puts vulnerable children at risk.

Building on resilience and effective multi-agency practice, including a strategy for information and data sharing, are crucial in reducing risk factors.

The Safeguarding Children: Promoting Welfare-Protecting from Harm conference will feature an agenda of plenary presentations designed to inform and induce best practice, discussion forums to exchange ideas and networking opportunities to expand associations.

This well-regarded conference attracts delegates from all sectors who have child safeguarding responsibilities and aims to create a safer, more consistent approach to protecting and safeguarding children and young people.

Book today to secure your place.


This conference is designed to induce change with knowledge, innovation, and inspiration.
Any transformation of a process or service requires the input of products and services devised to make improvements such as digital technologies; training provision; workforce planning; outsourced services; data and analytics etc.
If your organisation supports change through your products and services, our delegates and conference participants will be ready to engage with you.

  • Confirmed Speakers

Event Sponsors and Supporters

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address

  • Ashleigh Searle, Commissioning Officer - Children’s Services and Lived Experience Consultant , London Based (confirmed)

Keynote Address

  • Kenny Gibson, National Head of Safeguarding, NHS England (confirmed)
"Keeping Children Safe- Robust Practice in a Resilient System"

This presentation will focus on the NHS statutory assurance contribution for Child Social Care Reforms (inc CPIS, Special Educational Needs & Disabilities, Learning Disability & Autism, data sharing, corporate parenting) and Working Together 2023, along with the mandatory duty to reporting child sexual abuse.

"How Lived Experience Can Positively Impact Culture and Improve Safeguarding"

Michelle and Kat share their reflective practise on their lived experience in different settings. They will illustrate some important key aspects in shaping culture change and enhancing safeguarding.

  • Lucy Croxton, Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager, Together Trust (confirmed)
"What Does Care Mean to Children?"

This presentation will summarise the findings from several recent reports in the sector to provide insight about what children in care and care leavers need to thrive, including Article 39’s ‘What Does Care Mean to 16- & 17-Year Old’s’ survey. Additionally, it will compare the new Ofsted inspection and regulation regime for semi-independent accommodation with existing Children’s Homes Regulations to suggest that safeguarding standards are not strong or consistent enough.



Question & Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

  • Gavin Day, Client Relationship Lead, Trilateral Research (confirmed)
"CESIUM. Safeguarding Children with Ethical AI"

How CESIUM identified 16 vulnerable children up to 6 months before a safeguarding referral and 3 children that
were entirely missed and not referred

  • Laura Durán, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Research , ECPAT UK (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking UK) (confirmed)
"Missing Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum"

In July 2021 the Home Office began to unlawfully accommodate unaccompanied children in hotels following a notice from Kent County Council they would no longer accept these children into their care. Following an investigation by The Observer, revealing children have been emotionally abused by hotel staff and that of those known to have gone missing, some were subjected to human trafficking ECPAT UK launched a legal challenge, the first in its history, on the legal basis of this practice. The High Court found in 2023 that Kent County Council has acted in breach of its Children Act 1989 duties by failing to accommodate and look after all unaccompanied children seeking asylum when notified of their arrival. The High Court has also found the Secretary of State for the Home Department to have acted unlawfully in routinely and systematically accommodating newly arrived unaccompanied children in hotels, denying them the protection of a local authority corporate parent. Despite this victory, hundreds of children remain missing to this day.

  • Sarah Goff, Researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University Co-chairs National Working Group on Safeguarding Disabled Children, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)
"Safeguarding Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Missed by a One Size Fits All Approach"

Disabled children and young people’s families may lack the help and understanding they need to support their care of their child.

Disabled children and young people, diagnosed and undiagnosed, are more likely to experience abuse and exploitation than their non-disabled peers. They experience harm across a range of settings like all children but experience greater levels of harm online, away from home in residential settings and services, and they are more likely to experience breakdowns at home and school.

Harm and abuse of disabled children may be more severe; involve multiple forms, involve recurrent episodes of abuse; and be less likely to come to light.

Those children learning disabilities and neuro-diversity at higher risk of exploitation and modern slavery. There are also key
intersectionality points to importance of recognising specific needs of ethnic minority, and LGBTQ+ children in practice.


Case Study

  • Donna Ohdedar, CEO & Founder, Review Consulting, Review Consulting Ltd (confirmed)
"Fostering an Appreciative Stance in Reviews & in Leadership"

Do we really need an other review to tell us ‘information sharing could have been better’? We know that one reason information isn’t shared is a fundamental misunderstanding of data protection legislation. It’s not the only reason. Until we drill down into the ‘in the moment’ reasoning of practitioners faced with dilemmas like these we are in the realms of hypothesis. Is there a way forward without adding more reorganisations, more recommendations & more action plans?


Question & Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chairs Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Ashleigh Searle, Commissioning Officer - Children’s Services and Lived Experience Consultant , London Based (confirmed)
"The Role of Affirmation in Safeguarding and Outcomes for our Children"

This presentation is an exploration of stigma and unconscious bias, and how this translates to children and young people’s outcomes and how we protect them from harm.

  • Elizabeth Whittington, Regional Outreach Adviser (East Midlands), Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) (confirmed)
  • Jo Wheatley, Regional Outreach Adviser – West Midlands, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (confirmed)
"Harmful Behaviour Outside of the Workplace – should this be referred to DBS?"

Jo Wheatley and Lizzie Whittington from DBS will explore how harmful behaviour displayed outside work/voluntary settings may impact upon safeguarding and could lead to someone being included in a barred list



Question & Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break


Sharing Best Practice

  • Laura Leadbeater, Volunteer and Training Manager , Nacoa (National Association for Children of Alcoholics) (confirmed)
"Understanding and Supporting Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents: Nacoa's Training for Professionals on the Impact of Hidden Harm"

In this insightful presentation, we delve into the vital work of Nacoa, the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. Unravelling the complexities of alcohol as a family illness, we explore the intricate roles within families dealing with alcohol dependency and the pervasive concept of hidden harm, shedding light on the profound impact on children. Through real-life experiences shared by callers and speakers, we gain a nuanced understanding of how children are affected by parental alcoholism and delve into effective responses to their struggles. The presentation extends beyond awareness, providing valuable information for professionals working with these children and elucidating Nacoa's supportive model of care. A poignant exploration of personal experiences adds depth to the narrative, culminating in a Q&A. Join us on this journey to comprehend, respond, and support those navigating the challenging landscape of parental alcoholism.


Closing Keynote Address

  • Mor Dioum, Co-Founder and Director, The Victoria Climbié Foundation UK (confirmed)
"Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief "

Abuse linked to faith or belief is where concerns for a child’s welfare have been identified, and could be caused by, a belief in witchcraft, spirit or demonic possession, ritual or satanic abuse features; or when practices linked to faith or belief are harmful to a child.


Question & Answer Session


Chair's Closing Remarks


Event Close

  • Register for event

You can no longer register for this event
  • Contact Details
  • News
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details


  • Safeguarding Children: Finding Solutions for Better Protection - Event Report

    • Posted on 25 May 2018
  • A Brief Introduction to Safeguarding Adults in Sport

    • Posted on 25 August 2022
    • by Emma Gibson




The Royal National Hotel, London

The Royal National Hotel, London

Offering breathtaking views across Russell Square the hotel is within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Well located with Russell Square underground station a 2 minute walk away.

Featured Events

  • Safeguarding Children: Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation

    • 22 April 2015
    • 08:30 - 13:30
    • The Place Aparthotel, Manchester
  • Safeguarding Children: Effective Collaboration for Child Protection and Wellbeing

    • 11 May 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Safeguarding Children: Finding Solutions for Better Protection

    • 24 May 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Safeguarding Children: Promoting Welfare-Preventing Harm

    • 23 May 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Safeguarding Children

    • 22 March 2022
    • 09:00 - 16:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Safeguarding Children 2022

    • 15 June 2022
    • 09:30 - 15:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Safeguarding Children 2023-London

    • 16 March 2023
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Royal National Hotel, London

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.
  • Speaker Presentations.
    Speaker Presentations.

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
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
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