Review of Last Year
Holyrood's Keeping Children Safe conference, which was held on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, was attended by over 120 delegates and speakers and covered a broad range of important topics for discussion.
The conference was chaired by Jacquie Roberts OBE, Former Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate and featured four thought-provoking and challenging sessions.
Session 1 opened by looking at the current state of GIRFEC and questioned where we were at with Child Protection. Bernadette Monaghan, National Convener and Chief Executive of Children;s Hearings Scotland, Pavandeep Kaur of the Cational Crime Agency's Child Protection Team and Prof. Julie Taylor, Chair of Child Protection, University of Edinburgh/ NSPCC all offered an overview of Child Protection in Scotland, and overview of the CEOP and discussed the role of the Named Person.
Session 2 focussed on the use of technology, and the role of the internet and social media in keeping children safe, Presentations from Brian Donnelly, Director of respectme, Marion Samson, Headteacher at Falkirk's Westquarter Primary School and Keiza Dugdale MSP, Co-Convener, Cross Party Group on Children & Young People all offered various perspectives on raising awareness of the new challenges and opportunities in fighting online threats.
Session 3 began with a presentation from Tom Wood, Independent Chair, East & Midlothian Adult and Child Protection Committees who discussed cross-agency collaboration. Matt Forde, National Head of Services, Scotland NSPCC followed by highlighting the potential for services that combine learning and models from mental health and social work practicioners to change children's lives. Mary Hepburn from NHS GGC then offered a view from the medical profession before David Freeland, Senior Policy Officer at the Information Commissioner's Office closed by discussing data sharing and the perceived barriers and concerns to sharing information.
Session 4, the final session, looked to the future and considered what needs to be done to ensure that we are getting it right for every child in Scotland. This session was supplimented by presentations from Sarah Blackmore, Depute Director, Children's Services and Criminal Justice at the Care Inspectorate, who looked at the outcome of the Care Inspectorate report; Louise Cameron, Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament who highlighted the need to let young people drive the change; and the conference was closed by Martin Crewe, Director of Barnardo's Scotland and Chair of the GIRFEC Programme Board who asked "Where are we with GIRFEC."