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Helen Richardson Foster - UCLAN

Dr Helen Richardson Foster is a Research Fellow in the Connect Centre For International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm, University of Central Lancashire. She researches domestic abuse and safeguarding work with children and families and has over 20 years’ experience working in primary research and programme evaluation in a range of settings. Helen completed her PhD examining child protection conferences in cases of neglect at the University of Sheffield. The study was funded through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) CASE studentship scheme and was a collaboration with two local safeguarding children boards.  Helen has been a member of the AoCPP since she was a PhD student and is a former Trustee of the Association.

Child protection conferences are a central part of child protection practice- but are these meetings always child-focused? This webinar presents findings from a qualitative study of child protection conferences in England. A four-part conceptualisation of child-focused practice was used to analyse practice in conferences addressing child neglect. This session will explore key findings from the study regarding: children’s participation; child-focused decision making and planning; the importance of pre-conference work with children and families; and the central role of the conference chair. In this lunch and learn session participants will have the opportunity to share their skills and experience, and we will discuss other barriers and facilitators to child-focused practice, including changes since the covid-19 pandemic.

Helen Richardson Foster is a Research Fellow in the Connect Centre, University of Central Lancashire where she works on a number of research studies in the areas of domestic abuse, children’s social care and family support