My Life My Choice – The right to a relationship

My Life My Choice – The right to a relationship: Addressing the barriers that people with learning disabilities face in developing and sustaining sexual relationships In our fourth webinar of the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) series, we share this research project led by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NTDi) in coproduction with My Life My Choice (MLMC). MLMC is a self-advocacy organisation for adults with learning difficulties, based in Oxfordshire.

People with learning difficulties have a right to develop sexual relationships. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) states that people with disabilities have a right not to be discriminated against in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood and relationships. The reality is that adults with learning disabilities face institutional and attitudinal barriers that prevent them from exercising and enjoying this fundamental right.

In 2018-19 NTDi and MLMC coproduced research looking at the multiple barriers people with learning difficulties face in developing and sustaining sexual relationships. The research considered the impact of policies and practices of support services, to identify barriers as well as examples of good practice. This webinar, presented by NTDi and MLMC, gives excellent insight into the coproduced research, the findings and recommendations.

Use of secure accommodation for welfare purposes in Wales

Secure accommodations are residential homes with approval to restrict the liberty of young people who are believed to be a serious risk to themselves or to others. Many young people are placed in secure accommodation for welfare reasons and there is little sign of this practice diminishing. This troubling situation is further complicated by a scarcity of secure placements in Wales which sees many young people being placed outside of Wales or having no bed in secure care due to a lack of availability.

At present there is little research evidence of what has led to this or what can be done to improve matters. To give better insight, a recent project commissioned by Social Care Wales and conducted by CASCADE at Cardiff University explored the experiences of young people from Wales prior to, during and following a referral to secure accommodation.

A recent webinar, presented by Dr Annie Williams (research lead) gave practitioners and managers an opportunity to hear about the study. The resources from the webinar are as follows:

Talking and listening to children and families: Putting Kitbag to work

Talking and listening to children was the first research project to directly observe close up what happens when social workers meet and communicate with children. This webinar highlights how each child must be understood as a unique individual and explains the Child-Case-Context model, which was developed out of the research.

The webinar also introduces Kitbag, a resource for social workers, designed to promote children’s emotional literacy.  Kitbag has been introduced in several local authorities with great success, helping social workers to communicate more effectively with children. The webinar finishes with reflective questions for social workers, including the context of virtual working in the Covid-19 crisis.

Child Practice Reviews in Wales

Dr Alyson Rees and Dr Tom Slater from Cardiff University report findings from a qualitative, multi-disciplinary analysis of 20 Child Practice Reviews (CPRs) (previously Serious Case Review) in Wales. The reviews were analysed from three different disciplinary perspectives: law, criminology and practice (social work).

The presentation identifies the following cross-cutting themes: (i) hierarchy of knowledge, where certain sources of knowledge were privileged over others; (ii) information sharing/recording, where deficiencies of sharing or recording of information were evident; (iii) partial assessment, where certain assessments were not always holistic; and, (iv) voice of the child, where the experience or perspective of the child was not always considered. This is the first study to explore themes emerging from (Welsh) CPRs and is also the first to do so from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

The workshop focuses on implications for practice and policy.


The Child Practice Reviews in Wales Report

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Access our range of video resources, podcasts, webinars and event presentations from conferences, leadership seminars, symposiums, and practitioner workshops that contribute to bringing together shared experiences and expertise for practitioners, service users and researchers. These training resources collate social care experiences and expertise in order to enrich the skills of the profession.

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Featured podcast

Young people discussing

Survey of social work practitioners in Wales

Join Dr Charlotte Brookfield and Dr Alyson Rees as they discuss a survey of social work practitioners in Wales undertaken… Read more

Featured webinar

Woman talking to young person

Talking and listening to children and families: Putting Kitbag to work

This research project directly observes what happens when social workers meet and communicate with children… Read more

Featured lecture

Father with young child

Annual adoption lecture 2019

This lecture gives an overview of open adoption practice in Northern Ireland, including post-adoption support… Read more

Meaningful participation of children and young people in decisions about their care

Meaningful participation of children and young people in decisions about their care

May 2019

This training webinar explores children’s participation, particularly in relation to children in care reviews and child protection conferences. It considers the findings of three studies which included interviews with children in care, children subject to a child protection plan, and their parents, senior managers, social workers and IROs. It discusses what good practice looks like in relation to meaningful participation by young people, particularly in children in care reviews, and outlines some of the barriers and enablers to high-quality child-focused practice.

Counting fathers in

Counting fathers in: How can social workers build better relationships with fathers involved in child protection services?

February 2019

This webinar draws on findings from recently completed research which studied men’s experiences of the child protection system in England. The project, called Counting Fathers In, studied the child protection system from the perspective of fathers involved in it, and also followed fathers’ lives (and cases) over a 12-month period.

2019 Annual adoption lecture

Birth family contact after adoption, Learning from the Northern Irish experience

January 2019

This lecture gives an overview of open adoption practice in Northern Ireland, including post-adoption support. It summarises case law in relation to post-adoption contact, and draws on research with adoptive parents to identify the unique benefits and challenges of children’s meetings with their birth family.