June 2021

June 2021 A zoom meeting was held on June 16th and 17th. Contributors included Carmen Pinto from the Maudsley Hospital on Formulating complexity in adopted and looked after children. A link to Carmen's paper is here. Dominic Abrams from the University of Kent on Policy framework, development and delivery in the COVID decade – possibilities and prospects - his slides are here. Sarah Blower from the University of York on Enhancing Social-Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years (the E-SEE project) - her slides are here. Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin the Dartington Service design Lab director in Scotland on Achieving similar ends via differe…
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March 2021

The (zoom) seminar opened with Ken Taylor from Wisconsin offering lessons from current US children's services for the UK. He discussed fragmentation, rising demand, race, equality and equity, demographic changes and political beliefs. Ken's slides are here. Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute for Health Equity, University College, London, charted recent trends in health inequalities in the UK and compared the findings in Ten Years On and Covid-19 Review with those in his 2010 report Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Tim Hobbs, CEO of the Dartington Service Design Lab, then talked about New Horizons for Evidence and economist Tony Ellison explained why income and wealth inequal…
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December 2020

A zoom seminar was held on the 2nd and 3rd December 2020.  The programme opened with Jenny Simpson (Nottingham Trent University) discussing A reconceptualisation of 'contact' between separated young people and their families in the light of new technologies.(SLIDES). Then, Patrick Diamond (Queen Mary College, London), Tim Hobbs (Dartington Service Design Lab) and Roger Bullock (CSP) discussed How should research, journal publications and social science teaching respond to the ideologies underpinning Brexit and the political drift to the right, manifest in the thinking and policies ideas of many current international leaders? On the second day, Finlay Green (Dart…
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October 2020

A joint Mulberry Bush Child Care History Network/CSP webinar on Care of Young Offenders Progress or Decline? was held over two half days on October 9th and 12th. The first day's discussion covered the history and demise of approved schools, provision for girls and young peoples' experiences of the system. The second day focused on current issues in youth justice, new developments in YOIs and issues affecting the treatment of trauma in secure settings.  A report of the day is here.  …
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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 the supporting paper 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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