Westminster Education Forum

Child protection reform - multi-agency arrangements, and developing the role of social workers in child protection

Thursday, 23rd February 2017

Central London


This seminar will bring together key stakeholders from across the education and health sectors, as well as policymakers in local government and elsewhere, to consider latest thinking on priorities for the safeguarding of children. It comes with the National Audit Office (NAO) report into the delivery of child protection services finding that efforts since 2010 to improve child protection services have not yet translated into improved services.

Delegates will also discuss the implementation of the key recommendations of the Wood Report, published in March 2016, which reviewed the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) and will be implemented by Government, such as requiring each area to publish a plan detailing how multi-agency arrangements will be improved as well as the abolition of Serious Case Reviews and introduction of a national learning framework for inquiries.

They will also consider next steps for preventing and investigating instances of child sexual abuse - and supporting the victims - in light of work being carried out in the area by the Office for the Children’s Commissioner and as the government considers responses to its consultation into the possible introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect.

Further sessions will assess steps to reform the social work profession in light of measures included in the Children and Social Work Bill, currently progressing through Parliament, and the government’s response to the Education Select Committee’s recent inquiry into this area, which recommended that the government focuses on retention issues and abandons its plans to introduce a new regulator for the profession. Delegates will also reflect on the impact to date of attempts to increase graduate recruitment such as Frontline, in light of government plans to significantly increase funding for new routes into social work.

Guests of Honour

Lucy Allan MP

Member, Education Select Committee

Stephanie Brivio

Deputy Director, Children’s Services, Department for Education

Ashley McDougall

Director, Local Government, Health and Education, National Audit Office

Graham Ritchie

Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Guests of Honour

Graham Ritchie

Principal Policy Advisor, Office of the Children's Commissioner

Stephanie Brivio

Deputy Director, Children's Services, Department for Education

Lucy Allan MP

Member, Education Select Committee

Ashley McDougall

Director, Local Government, Health and Education, National Audit Office

Keynote Speakers

Professor Claudia Bernard

Professor of Social Work and Head of Postgraduate Research, Goldsmiths, University of London

Jon Brown

Head of Development and Impact, NSPCC


Baroness Tyler of Enfield

Chair, Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass)

Ann Coffey MP

Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Child Protection


Melissa Caslake

Director of Family Services, Westminster City Council

David Worlock

Programme Director, Frontline

Samantha Baron

Head of Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University

Jonathan Williams

Chief Executive Officer, East Coast Community Healthcare CIC

Ruth Pates

Senior Social Worker, London Borough of Bexley

Mark Burns-Williamson

Police and Crime Commissioner, West Yorkshire

Ruth Allen

Chief Executive, British Association of Social Workers