Child Protection Focus of NUI Galway Child and Family Research Centre Conference

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D., will officially open the fifth biennial conference of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway later this month. The conference, entitled Protecting Children Through Family Support, will take place over two days, running from 16 to 17 June, in the Áras Moyola Building at NUI Galway.

Protecting Children Through Family Support will address the challenges and opportunities in effectively realising children and young people’s right to be cared for safely within their families.

The central theme of the conference is how to develop family support interventions that are mindful of children and young people’s right to be protected and child protection (and related) interventions which acknowledge their right to be supported within the family. The theme will be explored through keynote presentations and practice seminars addressing Family Support in universal and preventative settings, through to ’early in the problem’ targeted support services, and child protection and alternative care provision. It will enable practitioners and other key stakeholders the space to listen, reflect and discuss current challenges facing services for children.

The keynote speakers will include: Professor Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom; Professsor Bob Lonne, Queensland University, Australia; Helen Meintjes, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr Susan Bissell, UNICEF HQ, New York; Professor Mary Daly, Queens University Belfast; Carmel Devaney, NUI Galway; Professor Brid Featherstone, NUI Galway; Professor John Pinkerton, Queen s University Belfast; and special guest Róisín Ingle, journalist with the Irish Times.

Speaking about the conference, UNESCO Chair and CFRC Director Professor Pat Dolan, commented “With the imminent publication of new child protection guidelines and the establishment of a new child protection agency, the need for services to work effectively with parents, families and communities is critical - social work interventions alone will not protect children.”

For further information, or to register for the conference, visit www.conference.ie.

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