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Conference to focus on how children in care can reach full potential

3 September 2015

For the first time in Wales, residential child care workers and foster carers will come together for a conference to discuss how to improve outcomes for children in care and those leaving care.

Billed as a ‘knowledge-exchange’ conference, the Cardiff event will be addressed by Professor Mark Drakeford AM, the Minister for Health and Social Services. It will allow those who work with children in care to share their knowledge, views and experiences.

The conference, hosted by Looked After Children Network, CASCADE (Cardiff University’s Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre) and the Care Council for Wales, will also explore the development of a common learning framework that will span across the residential childcare and foster care workforces.

Ann James, Workforce Development Manager at the Care Council, said: “While it is important to recognise the unique features of both types of care experience, we believe there are common elements in working with children in care. Using this conference as a springboard, we want to harness and enhance these so we can maximise the potential of those children in residential and foster care and achieve the best-possible outcomes for them.”   

The conference will include discussions on an approach to caring for children which combines education and care; an enhanced foster care programme; child sexual exploitation; and the contribution research can make to practice.

Dr Sophie Hallett, Research Associate in CASCADE, which is based in the University’s School of Social Sciences says: “We are delighted to have been involved in the planning and hosting of this event. CASCADE is all about collaborating and engaging with practitioners and policy-makers in order to share knowledge and research with the goal of improving outcomes for children. Research with looked after children is a particularly strong area of our expertise, and we are so pleased to have this opportunity to share and build on knowledge with those who work in this field.”

The conference takes place on Wednesday, 9 September at Cardiff University. A report on the outcomes from the conference will be available in due course.

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