THE Western Trust held a major conference in Derry’s Waterfoot Hotel, to address the impact of neglect on the health and development of children and young people.
The conference was organised by the Western Area Safeguarding Panel (WASP) with the support of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) as part of activities to provide a focus on and address neglect more effectively in Northern Ireland.
The conference was part of WASP response to the recent Neglect Multi-Agency Strategy developed by SBNI.
Leading specialists from across the UK attended the event including, Jenny Molloy, author of ‘Hackney Child’. Jenny experienced neglect as a child resulting in entering the care system and shared her personal experience of living with neglect.
Lynne Peyton, a former senior manager in Health and Social Services, both in statutory children services and mental health services also spoke at the event.
Lynne gave an insight into her work on the issue of neglect having published an eBook and audio programme ‘Tackling Childhood Neglect’.
Also contributing on the day Juliet Ramage, Action for Children; Juliet provided an overview of learning from innovative programmes delivered by Action for Children to address neglect.
Dr John Devaney, Queens University was present, discussing his recent publication, ‘Childhood Neglect – the Northern Ireland Experience,’ outlining the prevalence and characteristics of neglect in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the event, Deirdre Mahon, Assistant Director, Safeguarding Children and Family support, Western Trust, and current chair of the Western Safeguarding Panel said;
“We believe that by bringing a range of inspiring and authoritative contributors on the impact of neglect, to the conference, can help stimulate discussion and continue to raise awareness, and identify best practice to respond to the challenges, children, suffering from neglect provides.
“This includes identifying the issues earlier and supporting families to enable them to provide a good quality of life for their children.”
Dawn Shaw, Chair of SBNI Neglect Sub Group said; “The event offered the opportunity to hear from leading contributors in the field of neglect.
“We heard from those in attendance their views and experiences, as they gave their personal insights. SBNI were delighted to support the event on the issue of neglect in Northern Ireland.”
The event was the first of a number of activities by the Western Area Safeguarding Panel to provide a focus on the impact of neglect as a theme for their work over the coming two years.
As part of the day, delegates got the opportunity to reflect on the continuing challenges in addressing childhood neglect and identify supports that may help respond to the impact of neglect more effectively.
This feedback will be used by the Western Area Safeguarding Panel to inform and shaped actions on this issue.Tags: