Sunderland conference gives a voice to children in care

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WEARSIDE will host a national conference listening to the needs of children and young people.

The University of Sunderland is hosting the event, The Voices of Children: Listening to Children who are Adopted or Looked After Children, next month.

Some of the UK’s leading experts in this area of work will be attending the one-day conference at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus.

Organised by principal lecturer Margaret Parsons and senior lecturer Wendy Thorley, from the university’s childhood studies team, the conference reflects upon the needs of children and young people at a time when the Government’s recent reforms prioritise the welfare of children, and attempt to simplify adoption processes, so that decisions and placements for children and young people are dealt with much more quickly.

The conference is supported by organisations including Adoption UK, Who Cares Trust and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

As well as speakers, workshops and discussions with young people who were themselves looked after, the conference will showcase an exhibition of art, photography and poetry, which captures the voices of children and adults.

Margaret Parsons said: “We want to encourage people working with children and young people to think about how these children feel, what is happening to them outside of their institution and what the children may be going through.”

Places at the conference can be booked at, costing £54 or £42 for students, including lunch and refreshments.