Speakers

Over 25 internationally renowned experts will speak at the conference - giving delegates the chance to deepen their knowledge of current thinking and new research on street-connected children.

Meet international experts in: ending family violence, recovery from trauma and sexual abuse, missing children, reintegrating street-connected children, child development, clinical psychology, family therapy, arts therapy, and child protection.

Joanna Wedge (M.S.W.) is a specialist on international child protection, focusing on reintegration and emergency settings. Her research interest is reintegration of separated children; in 2012, she authored the inter-agency report Reaching for Home. She acted as lead drafter of the guidelines on children’s reintegration - the new global, inter-agency tool. Trained as a social worker with migrant and refugee communities in Canada, her career has taken her to over two dozen countries preparing for or struggling with the effect of a crisis. In addition to country-level work, she is part of the global implementation team for the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. She has just left Greece, where she was co-leading the inter-agency coordination of humanitarian efforts to protect refugee and migrant children.

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PLENARY SESSION: Reintegration as a process: an introduction to the Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration

Leading aid and development agencies have united for the first time to create Guidelines on Children’s Reintegration. This session will explore these guidelines - their call for greater investment in reintegration, as well the need for it to be pursued as the primary response before other permanent care options are considered. Ms Wedge will look at the principles for quality reintegration and provide practical guidance and case studies. Through the lenses of children, families, communities and schools, the global Guidelines demonstrate how reintegration is a sustained and complex process that must be handled carefully in order to be effective. Instead of being a one-off event, it involves extensive preparation and follow-up. It requires investment in both the case management of individual children and in the broader child protection, education, justice and social protection systems that surround them. It requires a rights-based, child-centred approach. The session will show how Guidelines can help organisations to design high quality programmes; train practitioners to respond more effectively to the needs of reintegrating children; and pursue national level systemic change in support of reintegration. A panel of experts will provide comments on how the guidelines can be applied in the East African context.