Safeguarding the vulnerable

18 Nov 2008 11:08:00.000

PA 290/08  

Experts will gather in Nottingham on Wednesday 19 November 2008 for a conference to discuss the protection of disabled children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

Organised by the Ann Craft Trust, which is based at The University of Nottingham, the conference “Safeguarding across the Generations”, will look at the issues of; safeguarding across the board from children to adults; the implementation of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act; adult protection legislation; and the key issues in safeguarding disabled children.

Adult abuse does not attract the same level of media attention as child abuse cases such as Baby P and Victoria Climbie. And while the tragic case of Baby P has renewed questions over whether child protection legislation is working there is no central or key piece of protective legislation relating to adults and no statutory duty to investigate. Research also demonstrates that disabled children are more vulnerable to all forms of abuse than non-disabled children and shows that current child protection policies and systems do not offer disabled children the same levels of protection as non disabled peers.

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Deborah Kitson, Director, Ann Craft Trust, said: “What the tragic cases of Baby P and Victoria Climbie demonstrate is the need for professionals to talk to each other and share information. This conference gives professionals that chance.  As the Government thinks about reform of safeguarding adults, this conference asks what lessons we can learn from safeguarding children.” 


The event will include a keynote presentation from Sir Roger Singleton, Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The ISA was created following the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.


Olive Stevenson, a renowned expert in the field of child and adult protection and the care of the elderly and former professor at The University of Nottingham, will present a paper asking why it is so difficult to learn from the lessons of the past.


Alison Brammer, a senior lecturer at Keele University, who specialises in family law, child care law, social work law, law and vulnerable adults, and elder abuse, will focus on the case for legislation.


Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, will look at the key issues in safeguarding disabled children and recent policy initiatives.


The conference is being held at the National College for School Leadership, Triumph Road, Nottingham, NG8 1DH.


The Ann Craft Trust works with staff in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors to safeguard children and adults with learning disabilities who may be at risk from abuse. It also provides advice and information to parents and carers who may have concerns about someone who they are supporting.


— Ends —


Notes to editors



: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


It 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.


Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.


The Ann Craft Trust (ACT) was founded by the late Dr Ann Craft in 1992. The Trust is a national charity uniquely dedicated to protecting children and adults with learning disabilities from abuse.


Many children and adults with learning disabilities need some support to help them do the things they want. ACT works to ensure that organisations that support disabled children and vulnerable adults are aware of safeguarding and protection issues. The Trust provides services to raise professional awareness and also to increase the knowledge and skills of professionals who can then help reduce the risk of abuse and support children and adults who have been abused.

Story credits

More information is available from Deborah Kitson on +44 (0) 115 951 5400

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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