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Nigel Priestley invited to speak at major conference on grandparent and kinship carers rights

by Ridley&Hall in News posted March 28, 2011.

Nigel Priestley, Senior Partner with Ridley and Hall Huddersfield has been invited to speak at a major conference organised by Children in Wales.

Commenting Mr Priestley said “It is a privilege to be asked to address this major conference in Wales. It is a feather in the cap both for Huddersfield and Yorkshire Solicitors.

“The aim of the conference is to bring together leading policy makers and professionals in the field to review policy and practice around kinship care and to highlight legal, financial, practical and emotional issues associated with it. Good practice examples from across Wales and the UK will be examined. The conference will also give delegates the opportunity to consider their own policy and practice alongside sharing experiences and best practice. The conference will also help put a spotlight on the important, but often ignored role grandparents play in Wales in supporting sometimes very vulnerable children.”

Richard Jones the Administrator of Children in Wales said:

“During the day, delegates will have the opportunity to: • Learn about what works in kinship care and contact issues, based on evidence from research and practice • Understand the social, emotional, financial and physical impact of kinship care on grandparents and the needs of their grandchildren • Hear about the legal and financial implications of kinship care for Local Authorities and for grandparents themselves • Gain practical ideas and examples for supporting grandparents who provide kinship care to better support their grandchildren • Gain an understanding of the role of Family Group Conferencing

Who will be attending?
Children’s Services (statutory and voluntary sectors); Managers in Children’s Services; Social workers, including frontline staff; family workers; Policy makers, Commissioning managers; Fostering providers and those provides support to kinship carers and their families.”

Nigel Priestley will be sharing the platform with a distinguished team:
Speakers: Professor Bob Broad is Visiting Professor at London South Bank University and Visiting Professor at De Montfort University, Leicester where he was previously Director of its’ Children and Families Research Centre. He was also Director of the Research and Evaluation Department at the National Children’s Bureau, London, was a Lecturer on the MSc Social Work Studies course at London School of Economics and Political Science, and before that a senior probation officer and teacher in London. Over the last twenty years he has undertaken and published research about kinship care, young people leaving care, foster care, and grandparenting. His recent journal article about kinship care, entitled ‘Kinship care: What works, Who cares? appears in Social Work & Social Sciences Review 13, 1, 59-74. The research report “Grandparents Voices” about grandparents who are either kinship carers, or who are denied contact with their grandchildren or who provide significant weekly childcare was published by the Grandparents’ Association in 2009.

Ruth Marks took up her post as the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales on 21st April 2008. She is independent of government and her role is to champion, promote, safeguard and protect older people in Wales. Ruth has legal powers to investigate many public bodies in Wales, offering a scrutiny and challenge function. Ruth’s previous appointments include Director of RNIB Cymru, 2005-2008 and Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg, the leading Welsh women’s economic development agency, 1999-2005. Ruth holds a number of voluntary appointments and was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2007 for services to welfare to work.

Lynn Chesterman has been Chief Executive of The Grandparents’ Association since 1999. Lynn started her career with Hackney Social Services moving on to manage the support team for social services in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. She moved into the voluntary sector, and spent 10 years as the CEO of a countywide charity for older people. She currently represents the interests of grandparents and grandchildren on a number of working parties and committees, and is a member of the Kinship Care Alliance and founder and chair of the Alliance on Family Contact. She has given evidence to both the Labour and Conservative parties helping them to inform their policies on children and families.

Carol Salmon, Head of Social Services for Children, Flintshire will talk about kinship care in Flintshire and about Family Group Conferencing.

Children in Wales is the national umbrella children’s organisation in Wales, bringing organisations and individuals together to:
• Make the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a reality in Wales
• Fight for sustainable quality services and fair shares for all children and young people
• Ensure special attention and treatment for children in need
• Give children and young people a voice

For more details contact Nigel Priestley, Ridley & Hall Solicitors on 01484 538 421

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