What do we want to achieve?

This is a post by Sarah Phillimore, wearing her ‘conference organiser’ hat. The Transparency Project is supporting CPConf2016 as an example of an event that aims to improve public understanding of the family law system. 

It is not the remit of the Transparency Project to argue for change or reform to existing law and practice, therefore any reference to ‘we’ in this post is to those directly involved in organising the conference and the delegates attending. 

Broad aims and concrete proposals

‘Manifesto’ is derived from the Latin manifestum, meaning clear or conspicuous. Having discussed whether or not we thought the child protection system was fit for purpose in 2015, and deciding that it wasn’t, the time has come for a clear declaration of what action is now needed.

Please do contact Sarah Phillimore at sarah.phillimore@stjohnschambers.co.uk or comment on this post if you have any ideas you would like us to explore further.

What we want to achieve at #CPConf2016 clear identification of both broad and specific goals and to get moving on practical projects. Hopefully then at #CPConf2017 we can be examining some tangible changes to the child protection system.

For more details about #CPConf2016 and how to book a ticket, please see this post. The conference is on June 3rd in Birmingham.

What we aim to do

  • Identify ‘What Needs Doing’ (including what we are already starting to do)
  • Identify how we can work together more effectively
    • Understanding the role of existing alliances
    • Working in collaboration to achieve shared goals
    • Harness the positive elements of the parent and activist networks without giving platform to or supporting activity that is unlawful or obviously harmful to children and families
  • Identify how to make better use of existing resources, what gaps remain and how they can be filled
  • Identify how we can tackle the ‘Big Picture’ issues such as:
    • de-politicising child protection
    • addressing the role of the media
    • encouraging major political parties to have coherent, informed child protection policies
    • tackling perverse incentives that may be operating on local authorities
    • making poverty and inequality central to discussion about the child protection system.


How these aims can translate into action – suggestions so far

  • Supporting the launch of Surviving Safeguarding’s scheme to train advocates for parents in child protection proceedings;
  • ‘Mapping’ groups/charities/individuals who offer direct humane service provision for families at all stages of the child protection process. This will help identify good practice and improve access to it. We can also identify what resources are lacking in various parts of the country and how this could be improved. This is particularly important when considering what access families have to therapeutic/mental health intervention and advocates;
  • Explore further the aims and objectives of the Your Family Your Voice Alliance, with particular regard to their Parents’ Charter;
  • Consider what topics would benefit from further written Guidance from the Transparency Project – completed guides so far include parents recording social workers and on section 20 accommodation.