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Arrival, refreshments and exhibitor viewing


Welcome and introduction 

CHAIR Christine Davies CBE, Trustee, Early Intervention Foundation


OPENING KEYNOTE: Making the case for early help: examining the real impact on children’s outcomes

  • The present-day challenges for local authorities and partner agencies in delivering a coherent, effective early help offer amid rising social need and reduced budgets
  • Refocusing attention and resources towards early help to ensure statutory prevention duties are met, and avoiding children’s social care becoming a ‘blue light’ service

SPEAKER Rachel Dickinson, President, Association of Directors of Children’s Services


Unlocking innovation in children’s services 

  • How the principles of the Troubled Families programme can be used to transform relationships between families and practitioners in our neighbourhoods through integrated place-based teams
  • The latest research on redefining the role of children’s services with a council and within a community; and practical examples of great practice from across the UK

SPEAKER Donna Hall CBE, Chair, New Local Government Network; former CEO, Wigan Council


Giving every child the best start in life: the role of public health

SPEAKER Penny Greenwood, Associate Lead Nurse Children, Young People and Families
and WHO CC Nurse Advisor, Public Health England




Refreshments and exhibitor viewing


CASE STUDY: Tackling serious youth violence and gang involvement    

St Giles Trust and Islington Integrated Gang Team are working in partnership to develop early help practices which are delivering intensive help to young people exposed to or at risk of violence, vulnerability and exploitation. Using a trauma-informed approach, they are working holistically to support young people with issues around housing, health, employment and education, and challenging offending behaviour.

SPEAKERS Junior Smart, Founder, SOS Project, St Giles Trust; and Catherine Briody, Head of Youth and Community, Islington Integrated Gangs Unit


PRACTICE SEMINAR 1 (choose 1A, 1B or 1C)

1A Public health approach to early intervention in crime and justice

  • How Policing, Criminal Justice and Public Health in Wales are responding to Adverse Childhood Experiences through the introduction of trauma-informed practice to both community and secure settings
  • How the Welsh partnership approach is rolling out trauma-informed practice across the crime and justice systems; what is the evidence base; and how to apply similar thinking to other kinds of settings

SPEAKERS Dusty Kennedy, National Partnership Lead, Early Action Together partnership between Public Health, Policing and Criminal Justice in Wales

1B Relationships for learning: a case study in developing trauma-informed practice

One in three children in the UK experiences trauma across the course of childhood, so trauma-informed practice for those working with children and young people is vitally important. At the heart of trauma informed practice are connected relationships. Drawing on discoveries from neuroscience, this session will share knowledge about attachment, trauma and resilience to provide a basis for practitioners and services to develop trauma-informed practice.

SPEAKER Sally Poskett, Director, Kate Cairns Associates 

1C Relational activism in early help – thinking differently about who helps and what helps

This workshop will explore how local areas are re-orientating the idea of helping early, where helping is a shared endeavour and a collaborative, interdependent effort, and where daily practices and relationships in all aspects of life are the locus for social change. The session will consider Camden’s experience of re-imagining ‘who helps’, co-facilitated by parents with lived experience of giving and receiving help.

SPEAKER Becca Dove, Head of Family Support and Complex Families, London Borough of Camden and Tim Fisher, Family Group Conference Manager, London Borough of Camden. Becca and Tim will be joined by two parents with lived experience.


Lunch and exhibitor viewing 


PRACTICE SEMINAR 2 (choose 2A, 2B or 2C)

2A Changing the Conversation about Language

The Changing the Conversation about Language project helps parents, regardless of background, give their children the best possible start in speech and language. It is led by I CAN in partnership with EasyPeasy and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. This session will cover the rationale behind the project, what it set out to achieve, and what was learned along the way.

SPEAKER Anne-Marie Cray and Susan Richards, Speech and Language Therapist, I CAN; and Jane Bradbury, Head of Education, EasyPeasy  

2B Coventry Family Drug and Alcohol Court: preventing recurrent care proceedings  

FDAC is a problem-solving court and a model of trauma-informed intervention that can help parents regardless of the outcome of court proceedings to continue working towards abstinence and good enough parenting. The model does not just address the substance misuse but the holistic needs of the individual and underlying traumas, helping them work towards stability, change and recovery, and seeing the world through the child’s eyes.

SPEAKERS Jane Marie Dunne, FDAC Team manager, and Dr Jenny Whyatt- Sames, FDAC Clinical lead, & Tom Borrow, FDAC Senior Practitioner, Coventry City Council - Coventry Family Drug and Alcohol Court

2C Trusted Spaces: using relationship models to tackle social exclusion

  • Trusted Spaces is a Home Office pilot run by St Christopher’s Fellowship to tackle serious youth violence in West London. The co-produced project provides 24/7 support, mentoring and advocacy to young people who are at risk of school exclusion, gang involvement, exploitation and county lines, and allows them to build positive relationships with adults in their own community.
  • This workshop will explore how having one trusted adult they can speak to is helping them to move away from dangerous situations, and how the team raises awareness amongst professionals about the vulnerabilities caused by school exclusions.

SPEAKERS Ione Fraser, Manager, Trusted Spaces Project, St Christopher’s Fellowship anChristina Evers, Contextual Safeguarding Coordinator, London Borough of Ealing 


Refreshments and exhibitor viewing 


CASE STUDY: Alleviating youth homelessness

The Bridge (East Midlands) has a strong track record for partnership working, innovation and developing best practice models to prevent and relieve youth homelessness. It provides mediation for young people and their families to overcome issues, as well as supporting young people to return home or find suitable alternative accommodation. It operates a strength-based approach, encouraging young people to make positive informed decisions. Be empowered to assume responsibility and take control, lead and set the agenda.

SPEAKERS Paul Snape, Head of Business Development, and Leanne Fletcher, Advice Services Team Manager, The Bridge (East Midlands)


CLOSING KEYNOTE: The importance of evidence to realise the full potential of early intervention

  • An overview of the latest ‘what works’ evidence in the early help sector
  • Overcoming the challenges in making an evidence-based case for investment in early help

SPEAKER Donna Molloy, Director of Policy & Practice, Early Intervention Foundation




Close of conference