Top experts debate children's social care issues at conference aided by a 'child' actress

Published: 27 May 2006 at 10:32

The Unit for the Law of Children and the Vulnerable from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, and the Institute of Health and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University, has staged a one-day conference at Jesus College on the subject of children’s social care issues entitled Local Authority Children’s Trusts – Can they Deliver?

The purpose of the conference, which was introduced by Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor David Tidmarsh and Graham Ritchie, Director of the Unit for the Children and the Vulnerable, was to highlight the problems of the care of Looked After Children, and Family Support work within the context of the new Children’s Trusts. Rebecca Cain, a ‘child’ actress, was there to help to recreate certain ‘real-life’ scenarios surrounding children in social care.

During the conference there was a review of the challenges faced by Children’s Trusts which have the responsibility to break the mould of failures in the care system. 

The most recent changes have come about as a direct result of the government’s Every Child Matters policy which has five main drivers including keeping children healthy, safe and helping them to achieve the most out of life.

The multi-professional conference is to be the first in a series of annual conferences to explore contemporary issues in the child care sector. Said Graham Ritchie:

“The conference was attended by a wide range of directors of children’s services together with legal practitioners, educationalists and academics and there was active dialogue among the group about the important issues which are shaping the future of children’s services.”

The speakers, who were Local Authority Commissioning Officers, and officers from Education, Social Care, Health, Police, and professional bodies, included Liz Railton, Director of Children’s Services, Essex County Council; Geraldine Macdonald, Business Director for Information and Knowledge of the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate and Judge David Pearl, President of the Care Standards Tribunal.