December 2019

The seminar at Buckfast Abbey on December 4th and 5th had five contributions. Nigel Lowe, Emeritus Professor at Cardiff Law School discussed an international project to harmonise European family law and construct a charter giving an ‘ideal type’ and standard for countries to compare themselves with others when fashioning policy. Nigel’s slides are HERE. The second session showed the final version of the recording of the interview with Mervyn Murch, Emeritus Professor at Cardiff Law School, covering his life’s work in reforming family law and recommendation in his recent book Supporting Children whose Parents Separate. Matt Woolgar, consultant psychologist, then discus…
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November 2019 (2)

November 2019 CSP fellows were invited to a discussion about future plans for the Pembroke House Settlement in Walworth, London. The ‘settlement movement’ was a late 19th century initiative in the UK and USA whereby prestigious educational establishments, such as public schools and universities, set up residential centres in poor parts of cities. Students were involved with the aim of providing education and cultural activities as well as welfare services to the local residents. Pembroke House was founded by the undergraduates at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1885 and has been a centre for social action and a residential community ever since. The discussion explored how the sett…
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November 2019 (1)

November 2019 Fellows attended a public lecture at Bristol University by Roger Bullock on Abolishing the Public Schools: Lessons from Research and History. It began by unravelling the complications surrounding intentions to abolish public schools and all forms of private education in the UK. It then discussed the economic, social and political factors likely to affect plans and the importance of considering wider moral issues of social justice, fairness, opportunity and freedom of choice. It concluded by reviewing reforms that might be realistic. View slides here.  …
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June 2019

  The June 2019 seminar was held at the Lab’s offices at Buckfast Abbey and had four contributions. Patrick Diamond from Queen Mary, London spoke about what it means to be a social policy expert in an age of ‘post-truth’ democracy. It explored the current state of evidence-based policy in the UK and the developments that strengthen and challenge its use. Patrick's slides are here. Tim Hobbs, director of the Dartington Service Design Lab, then discussed the Lab’s achievements in its first two years and outlined future plans, inviting observations and advice from fellows. Martin Knapp from the LSE described the dementia challenge caused by the growing num…
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May 2019

A joint seminar with the Mile End Institute, Queen May College, London, entitled ‘Parents, Poverty and the State’, was held in the Graduate Centre on May 23rd at which the main speaker was Naomi Eisenstadt, first director of SureStart UK. She described her experiences after arrival from the US of working in family centres in Edinburgh and Buckinghamshire and how she was asked to direct the national SureStart early years programme for children and families initiated by the Labour Government of 1997. She outlined the conditions necessary for successful implementation at national and local levels and outlined the benefits that SureStart offered alongside other statutory and voluntar…
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March 2019

The seminar held at the Lab's offices comprised four contributions. Vashti Berry from the Exeter Medical School discussed a new service being trialled in the South West, Life and Leadership Coaching - a promising behaviour change approach for improving the empowerment, efficacy and well-being of carers who are parenting alone following domestic violence. Kate Tobyn from the Dartington Service Design Lab then explained how findings from a the Lab's research in Scotland is informing the development of services designed to prevent suicide among young people - currently a matter of some national concern. On the second day, Mervyn Murch then led a discussion of his new book Supporting C…
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February 2019

An evening seminar was held at Somerset House on Working with Gang Culture. The discussions were led by Sherrylyn Peck, CEO of Safer London; Anthony Gunter, Principal Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of East London and Andrew Whittaker, Associate Professor, School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University. The seminar began by considering the concept of 'gang' and the extent to which it was useful in understanding the situations charted in the various research studies and official reports. The relationships between young people's behaviour, family backgrounds, education, health, culture, deprivation, environment, policing and public and me…
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December 2018

The December 18 seminar held at Buckfast Abbey comprised four presentations. The first was by Nick Axford from PenCLAHRC at the University of Plymouth who discussed the concept of early intervention and how thinking on this is changing in view of the findings from its application in a variety of settings. Heather Price from the University of East London and Mike Staines from the Mulberry Bush School then described new developments in researching therapeutic practice for severely traumatised children, drawing the outcomes from a series of projects undertaken at the school. Professor Martin Platt, director of PenCHORD, University of Exeter, explained the methods used by NICE to evaluate the …
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October 2018

The autumn seminar at King’s College, London discussed on The Role and Value of Reviews, Investigations and Inquiries in Order to Learn Lessons in the Field of Public Services. The contributors were Gillian Downham (mental health), Androulla Johnstone (NHS), Jill Manthorpe (adult care), James Blewett and Wendy Rose (children’s services). The seminar analysed the way the context in which reviews were undertaken had changed over the past decade and explored the inherent tensions between the different perspectives and expectations of their functions among the parties involved. It then considered the conditions auspicious for an effective review in terms of clarifying what happened, …
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July 2018

  A joint CSP/Child Care History Network seminar on Children’s Homes: what were they really like? Have they a future? was held at King’s College, London on July 17th. The seminar opened with Peter Higginbotham speaking about his recent book, Children’s Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain’s Young and Roger Bullock complemented this by reviewing what research has told us. A former resident then described his experience of living in residential care. In the afternoon sessions, David Lane drew out the lessons from the Northern Ireland Inquiry into historical abuse in residential care and to conclude the proceedings Professor Ray Jones discussed the pol…
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June 2018

The summer seminar was held at the new Lab Offices, Buckfast Abbey on June 5th and 6th. Mary Anne McFarlane, CSP fellow and former Chief Probation Officer for Devon and Cornwall, described her work in setting up a programme to deal with with low-level young offenders in Romania. She discussed the theoretical, practical and cross-cultural issues that had to be addressed and the development process that led to the final design. Ross Hommel, Foundation Professor of Criminology at Griffith University, Queensland, then discussed his plans for setting up a national centre for prevention science infrastructure in Australia (see CSP website papers). The next day, Caroline Davis from Families for Chi…
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March 2018

The March 2018 seminar was held at Dartington Hall. There were presentations by Josh MacAlister, CEO of Frontline, the social work training programme which offers graduates a speedier entry to the profession, David Gordon from Bristol University who talked about current concepts, measures and trends with regard to national and world poverty, and from Ben Hartridge who described the Design Lab's work with the housing charity CRISIS. Tim Hobbs, Director and CEO of the Dartington Service Design Lab, also laid out plans for the future of CSP. David Gordon's slides are available here.…
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December 2017

The December 2017 was held at the London School of Economics. Professor Ian Gough, SCP Fellow and Visiting Professor, Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE, London. His presentation discussed the relationship between climate change, capitalism and sustainable well-being. It was based on his recent book Heat, greed and Human Need, Elgar Publishing, 2017. Professor Gough outlined the ways that catastrophic global warming can be averted in an economic system that is greedy for growth without worsening deprivation and inequality. He argued that the satisfaction of human needs – as opposed to wants - is the only viable measure for negotiating trade-offs between climate change, ca…
/ Professor Ian Gough

November 2017

The November 2017 seminar included contributions from David Lane on the findings of the Northern Ireland Child Abuse Inquiry and the significance of such reviews for child care policy; Chris Hanvey on proposals for a new book, FracturedChildhood, fashionoing a comprehensive approach to meeting children's needs; Christine Bradley, John Whitwell and John Diamond on their new book Revealing the Inner World of the Traumatised Child and the relenace of therapeutic work in children's services today, and finally, Jean Harris-Hendriks discussing a paper by Mary Lindsay on Sick Children and their Parents - a history of the family contacts of children in hospital.…
/ David Lane

June 2017

June 2017 Contributions included:   Improving Mental Health Services in a Coastal Town   Tim Hobbs (Dartington Social Research Unit) Member(s) of South Devon and Torbay Mental Health Team.   Mental health services are facing huge difficulties everywhere but are under particular pressure in coastal towns. South Devon and Torbay is no exception. Despite the Riviera image of palm trees and golden sands, the availability of cheap accommodation and benign climate mean that there is a growing prevalence of mental health difficulties, emerging in childhood and becoming entrenched in adulthood.   The South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are seeking innovative…
/ Tim Hobbs, Jonathan Dawson,Roger Bullock, Stephan Harding