Safeguarding and Child Protection Conference 2017

8 November 2017


I just want to share this amazing day with you. I won’t be giving too much away as Dr. Stuart Shanker’s clip, VT recordings and presentations & key documents will be available soon by emailing

As Laura lives close she kindly offered me a lift to the conference in her Uber. “Six thirty pick up ok!!” I’m no early bird, but always get a buzz helping set up.On the way we noticed a crime scene taped off with police guarding the site. A haunting police hut silhouetted against the sky line. We agreed that it looked like the worst case scenario which will be bringing devastation and grief to a local family. How poignant on the day of Laura’s safeguarding conference. Later it was confirmed by Leroy Logan, one of the speakers, as the 19th death in the area this year. (Please see speaker profiles here

The many speakers throughout the day brought messages of how important our role is to protect children from a cycle of trauma. We are on the ground looking for those signs of stress that might lead us to suspect all is not right in their world. Stuart Shanker said “We are the barometer of children’s stress.” So we need to be on pointe to reduce the stress, not add to the chaos.

Two speakers spoke about very personal safeguarding issues.

Hibo Wardare made my eyes water as she spoke openly about being a survivor of FGM adding her magical humour and inner sparkle to make a difficult subject to hear about a little less daunting, while at the same time realising the brutal reality that it still goes on. While I have been watching out for the children in my setting, I confess to not looking out for Mums who may have been victims. I am more aware now Hibo!

Jemma Mortlock gave a compelling personal account of her story of being fostered after being a victim of abuse. So open and honest, such a star of a lady! Sarah Goff reminded of children with SEND and their vulnerability to abuse and how we can help detect these children, with a note that Early Intervention is key. Anne Marie Christian gave us a reminder of the role of the DSL with a healthy amount of useful links to legal documents and helpful sites to visit.

Jane Evans, a favourite of mine, talked about the long term affects of trauma. Jane has been a bit of a game changer in our practice, and we have used some of her techniques very successfully with our children. Change in practice always takes a bit of a leap of faith, but sometimes we need to be open to new suggestions. If they work their better for the child and ultimately easier for us.

Wow! So much information! We needed a drink! So off we went to All Bar One for wine and chill. Laura Henry, I’m sure all attendees will agree, you deserve a medal for pulling together another amazing conference! Inspirational!