Disability hate crime and forced marriages of people with learning disabilities are among the subjects under discussion at a conference today organised by The Ann Craft Trust.
The conference, focussing on the impact of recent initiatives for safeguarding disabled children and vulnerable adults from abuse, is being attended by Sir Roger Singleton, Chair of the new Independent Safeguarding Authority, who is discussing the new vetting and barring scheme which is currently being implemented.
The Ann Craft Trust, which is based in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at The University of Nottingham, is one of the leading organisations in its field. The Trust responds to the needs and concerns of staff working in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, such as social workers, the police, barristers and other charitable organisations. It also provides valuable information, support and advice to professionals, carers and people with learning disabilities.
The conference entitled ‘Recent Initiatives: Enhanced Protection’ is being held at the National College for School Leadership on Jubilee Campus at The University of Nottingham.
Attracting professionals working with vulnerable adults in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors it will examine the effectiveness of and responses to safeguarding legislation. There will be keynote presentations on legal, professional and societal responses to disability hate crime, the need to balance independence and safeguarding in view of the new personalisation agenda and the reasons for and consequences of the forced marriage of people with learning disabilities.
Deborah Kitson, Chief Executive Officer of The Ann Craft Trust said: “In the light of the appalling cases that we have seen in recent months it is imperative that we have clear and effective safeguarding strategies in place. The deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Francesca following long term bullying and harassment from the community and Steven Hoskins following a catalogue of abuse from those supposed to be ‘friends’ are examples of how far we still have to go before people with learning disabilities are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve”.
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 came as a result of the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman when the systems in relation to safe recruitment and practice were found to be flawed. The Act has introduced a number of measures that have addressed these flaws in safeguarding the most vulnerable people in our society and to ensure that safeguarding strategies are in place.
Additional information about the Ann Craft Trust can be found at
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The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
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Additonal information: Deborah Kitson is available for interviews on request.