Tag Archives: annual research conference 2014

Annual Conference 2014

academic%20conference‘Problem solving: accessing decent services and support for children with complex needs and their families’

On Tuesday 7 October 2014 we held our annual conference for academics, practitioners, educators and carers. The day provided up to date, evidence-based information on the commonly encountered barriers experienced by disabled children and their families in accessing their legal rights and practical approaches to breaking down these barriers.

We’d like to thank everyone who attended and our excellent speakers for making the day a success.

Videos of the presentations and speaker slides from the day can be accessed by clicking on the the speakers names below.

Key speakers included:

    • Professor Chris Oliver (University of Birmingham): Meeting the needs of children with severe intellectual disability: From response to strategy.
    • Professor Richard Hastings (Warwick University): Parents’ and service users’ experiences of challenging behaviour services.
    • Dr Janet Read and Dr Claire Blackburn (Warwick Medical School): Socio-economic influences on outcomes for disabled children.
    • Alison Thompson (Parent and author): Accessing services: the view from a parent.
    • Dr Maggie Atkinson (Children’s Commissioner for England): ‘We want to help people see things our way’.
    • Nigel Ellis (Executive Director and Local Government Ombudsman): Commonly occurring problems experienced by disabled children and their families.
    • Polly Sweeny (Associate solicitor, Public Law Department Irwin Mitchell): Educational, Health and Care Plans: legal rights of disabled children under the Children and Families Act 2014.
    • Professor Luke Clements (Cardiff University Law School): Helping families to access their legal rights.

Please click here to see the Question and Answer Session for the day.

Sponsors for this event:

Irwin Mitchell Cerebra would like to thank Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who are sponsoring and supporting this event.

Full colour Irwin Mitchell logo

The Big Lottery Fund Cerebra would like to say a huge thank you to the Big Lottery Fund, who have provided a grant of £9,900 towards the charity’s annual conference.

Other sponsors

Olympus Community logos         Great%20Portland%20Estates         Print     scot bader

Polly Sweeney

Polly%20SweeneyEducation, Health and Care Plans: legal rights of disabled children under the Children and Families Act 2014

Affiliation: Associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell LLP

Biography: Polly has experience in a broad range of public law practice, and specialises in community care, healthcare and medical treatment and education law (including representing parents at special educational needs and disability tribunals). She is also experienced in cases in the Court of Protection regarding mental capacity, best interests and deprivation of liberty, and is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor to act on behalf of vulnerable adults on a range of health and welfare matters including capacity to marry or engage in sexual relations and disputes about contact and residence. She is involved in a number of pro bono initiatives and regularly delivers legal advice workshops to parents, carers and charities.

Invalid button attribute.

 

Nigel Ellis

Nigel Ellis picCommonly occurring problems experienced by disabled children and their families


Affiliation:
Executive Director, Local Government Ombudsman

Biography: Nigel joined the Local Government Ombudsman in June 2010. Before this he was Head of National Inspection at the health and social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission. Previously, Nigel was Head of Investigations at the Healthcare Commission, where he led high profile NHS investigations, such as the one into Mid Staffordshire Trust. He has worked in different roles in the voluntary sector, including several years as Director at the MS Society, a national charity for people with multiple sclerosis.

Invalid button attribute.

Dr Maggie Atkinson

Maggie‘We want to help people see things our way’


Affiliation:
Children’s Commissioner for England since March 2010

Biography: Dr Maggie Atkinson is the second post holder in this vital role, which enables her to promote and protect the rights of the child, and to encourage children and young people, families, opinion shapers, policy makers and practitioners to join her. After a 35-year career working with and for children and young people, she is a fearless defender of their entitlement to be valued and heard as young citizens making positive contributions to the society in which they will, in their turn, become adults. Maggie has led the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in a period when its influence has continued to increase, leading to positive changes in the life chances of England’s children and young people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised among them. Her office’s small team has helped to prompt policy and practice changes for asylum seeking and refugee children, children in contact with social care, the family courts and other vital services, those excluded from school, in conflict with the law, or struggling with mental and emotional health difficulties. She is now leading the Office of the Children’s Commissioner through the strengthening of its role and remit that will follow from legislative change being made during 2013-14. She is a member of the Department of Health’s Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum, with a particular focus on challenging England’s many social inequalities and their negative effects on children’s health.

Maggie is a Cambridge graduate. Training at Sheffield University, she was a secondary school teacher of English and Drama, including leading a high school department, before working on a National Curriculum English Language initiative and then in training, inspection, school and service improvement in local government. She was the first Director of Children’s Services for Gateshead during radical changes following the Children Act 2004. During her six years there she was the first solo President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) in 2008-09.

Maggie graduated as a Doctor in Education (EdD) at Keele University in 2008 and is now an Honorary Professor there. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Letters (DCL Hon Causa) from Northumbria University in 2010.

Alison Thompson

Alison%20thumbnailAccessing Services: the view from a parent


Biography:
Alison Thompson is an author, speaker and mum to Daniel, who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six. Frustrated with the lack of ADHD books written for parents in the UK, Alison wrote her own book, The Boy From Hell: Life with a Child with ADHD in 2013. Since then she has spoken at many events and conferences, and has written articles for Primary Times and SEN Magazine. Alison is the voluntary parent advisor for her local support group, ADHD Oxfordshire, and is currently training to be a coach, specialising in supporting parents and teachers who want to help ADHD children reach their full potential.

 

Professor Janet Read and Dr Clare Blackburn

Janet%20read%20photoSocio-economic influences on outcomes for disabled children

Professor Janet Read

Affiliation: Warwick Medical School

Biography: Janet Read is an Associate Professor (Reader) Emeritus at the University of Warwick Medical School and an Honorary Professor at Cardiff Law School. Her research and teaching focus on the human rights of disabled children and adults and their families, together with the development of provision to enable them to exercise those rights. Her recent work is concerned with the characteristics and circumstances of disabled children and their households in the UK and elsewhere with particular reference to the impact of socio-economic factors. Her publications include Disabled People and European Human Rights (2003), Disabled People and the Right to Life (2008) both with Luke Clements; Disabled Children. A Legal Handbook (2011) with Steve Broach and Luke Clements.

Dr Clare Blackburn
Affiliation: Warwick Medical School

Biography: Dr Clare Blackburn is a Principal Teaching Fellow in Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. Her research and teaching interests are in the field of health inequalities and tackling health inequalities. She is primarily interested in the way social and material circumstances shape health and experiences of caring and being cared for, particularly for disabled children and their families. Recent research has examined the social and material circumstances of disabled children and their families in the UK, and the association between exposure to socio-economic disadvantage in early childhood and the development of disability in later childhood.

Invalid button attribute.

 

 

Professor Richard Hastings

Richard%20HastingsParents’ and service users’ experiences of challenging behaviour services

Affiliation: Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), University of Warwick

Biography: Richard Hastings is Professor of Psychology and Education and Cerebra Chair of Family Research in CEDAR at the University of Warwick. He carries out research on various topics in the field of learning disability and autism, including: psychological problems in children and adults with autism or learning disability, families, and educational interventions. Richard is a trustee for Mencap, the research advisor for Sibs (the UK charity for siblings of children with disabilities), and an external advisor for Ambitious about Autism.

Invalid button attribute.

 

 

Professor Chris Oliver

Professor Chris OliverMeeting the needs of children with severe intellectual disability: From response to strategy

Affiliation: Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham

Biography: Chris Oliver is Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. He trained as a clinical psychologist at Edinburgh University before completing a PhD on self-injurious behaviour in people with intellectual disability at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is currently researching early intervention, behaviour disorders in people with severe intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, behavioural phenotypes in genetic syndromes and neuropsychological and behavioural assessment for people with severe intellectual disability. He has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, is Editor in Chief for the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research and serves on a number of scientific advisory committees for syndrome support groups.

Invalid button attribute.

Research Conference Review

conferenceOn 7th October 2014 Cerebra held its Annual Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The conference looked at different ways to solve the problems faced by families in accessing services and support for children with complex needs.

The key message for the Conference was to look at practicable ways forward for service users to access services, as continual evidence and research shows that people face constant difficulties with this. Cerebra’s aim is not to make changes to the law but to look at ways of ensuring that service providers implement the law as it stands. Hopefully delegates feel that they enhanced their knowledge and understanding by attending our Conference.

With the exceptionally high calibre of speakers and the variety of topics covered the content proved to be informative to both professionals and parents/carers alike. All of the speeches were videoed on the day and will be available on our website soon.

The first section of the programme was entitled ‘Common problems faced by families of disabled children’. This part looked at the research that is being conducted by Cerebra’s Academic Chairs relating to studies into the experiences encountered by families in challenging services, the impact of socio-economic influences on disabled families and looking at the responses and strategies in meeting the needs of children with severe intellectual disabilities. The speakers included:

Professor Chris Oliver (Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham)

Professor Richard Hastings (Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick)

Dr Janet Read and Dr Clare Blackburn (Warwick Medical School)

Alison Thompson, a parent, who gave a powerful and very moving speech relating to her experiences of dealing with different service providers as a mother of child diagnosed with ADHD. You can read her presentation here.

After an amazing lunch, the second section of the programme related to ‘Moving Forward’. Here Cerebra was extremely lucky to secure as speakers:

Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner for England whose speech was aptly titled ‘We want to help people see things our way’. After having spoken to numerous disabled children, she urged the audience of the need to look past their disabilities and see them as wanting to be treated as every other teenager.

Nigel Ellis, Executive Director, Local Government Ombudsmen. He gave the audience examples of complaints that had been made to him that related to the failure of local authorities to provide children with the necessary services, of which education made up the largest area of complaints.

The final section of the day ‘Problem Solving’ comprised of talks given by:

Polly Sweeney who is an Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell. She gave an in depth look at Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014

Professor Luke Clements who is the key force in Cerebra’s Legal Entitlements Research Project. He discussed at length the focus of this project and relayed to the audience some of the legal opinions that had been produced in a Digest of Opinions that related to CAMHS, school transport and NHS services

At the end of each of the three sections conference chair, and Head of Cerebra Trustees, Professor David Rose fielded questions from the delegates which gave them the opportunity to clarify matters arising from the speeches. These questions were answered in detail and made some very complex issues clearly understandable and produced some thought provoking answers.

In addition to the talks, there were a number of exhibitors at the event who included Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Autistica, Firefly and Wizzybugs.

Along with these there were information stands from our Academic Chairs at: University of Barcelona, University of Birmingham, University of Cardiff, University of Leeds, University of Exeter, Cerebra Innovation Centre.

Cerebra would like to thank all of the speakers and exhibitors for giving up their time to join us on the day.  We are particularly grateful to have received sponsorship from the Big Lottery Fund and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors – their support made the conference possible.

Next year’s conference has been booked for Thursday 3rd December 2015 and will be at the Royal Society of Medicine again. Further details about this event will be forthcoming shortly.