Jenny Gray, OBE has been in children’s services social work, management and policy development since 1979. She joined the Department of Health, UK in 1991 and led the development of the new inspection methodologies. In 1995, she was appointed as the safeguarding children professional adviser to the British government, firstly in the Department of Health and then the Department for Education. She led policy development on the assessment of children in need, reviews of serious cases and child deaths and commissioning of safeguarding children research. Jenny held this post until September 2012; since then she has been a social work consultant in the UK and internationally. She was President of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect from 2012 – 2014.
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KEYNOTE: Developing and sustaining effective national systems to protect children from harm
Developing and sustaining effective national systems of services to protect children from harm is a major challenge for all states, irrespective of their economic status. These challenges are even greater for societies’ most vulnerable children. Those living apart from their parents and fending for themselves are some of the most vulnerable. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) provides a common framework for all governments, organisations and professionals to work within. It should be incorporated into domestic legislation and it requires the allocation of adequate resources – both human and financial. Services need effective data collection systems, competent staff – who have opportunities for training at all levels – and research and ongoing evaluation. Above all it is important that all parts of the system work effectively together and maintain their focus on improving outcomes for children. The voices of children can help to keep key stakeholders fully informed about the quality of service provision, and their views provide the best indicators of how well the system is meeting their needs and upholding their rights.
WORKSHOP: Hope for Children and Families: assessment and analysis using evidence-based approaches Part 1 (with Stephen Pizzey)
This workshop will give participants experience of how staff working in early intervention/family support services are using the Hope for Children and Families approach – with a case study involving a single mother and three siblings in middle childhood. Participants will make assessments of each child’s experience in the home environment and formulate individualised child focused plans to help each child and their mother and measure the outcome. This training approach for early intervention services uses evidence-based approaches for assessment, analysis and intervention, based on the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (Department of Health et al 2000). The assessment approaches include the HOME Inventory (Caldwell & Bradley 2003). The HOME was further developed by the creation of a semi structured interview, that takes the child and main carer through a specific day thus eliciting detailed information about the child’s experiences in the home environment (Cox, Pizzey & Walker 2008), and inclusion of the Family Pack of Questionnaires and Scales (Cox & Bentovim 2000). A model of analysis was developed to help practitioners maintain their focus on the child’s health and development after they have undertaken an assessment, and to analyse the factors and processes affecting the child’s progress and predict the outlook for the child’s health and development if nothing has changed (Pizzey et al 2015).