In 2015 the question we asked was Is the Child Protection system fit for purpose? Having concluded that sadly the answer was ‘no’, CPConf2018 hopes to continue the success of discussions from some very different perspectives on the system, including social workers, lawyers and parents who don’t often – or at all – get the opportunity for open discussion on a level playing field.

Anyone with an interest in child protection (which hopefully is most people) is welcome to attend.

The issue up for deliberation is ‘future risk of emotional harm’ – how is this a reason to justify removing children from their parents? What are the historical explanations for this, how is it working in practice and how is it defined and perceived by those working in the system, and those subject to it?

The conference will start at 11am and will hear short presentations from Professor Lauren Devine of the University of the West of England, journalist Louise Tickle, parent ‘Annie’ who blogs at ‘Surviving Safeguarding’, social worker Simon Howarth and lawyers Lucy Reed and Sarah Phillimore of The Transparency Project.

After lunch the plan is to have wider discussions between the audience and panel, which will include Emeritus Professor Andy Bilson who will present the findings of some of his recent research. The group ‘Special Guardians and Adopters Together’ will also produce the findings of their recent survey about how ‘emotional abuse’ is understood by their members.

The aim of the conference is not only to promote discussion about the notion of ‘emotional  harm’ and how it is relied upon in care proceedings, but also to produce a Transparency Project Guidance Note about the production and content of risk assessments in care proceedings.

Tickets are £30 plus the Eventbrite fee. For more details and how to buy tickets please visit the EventBrite site.

If you can’t join on the day, please follow the discussions via social media #CPConf2018