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26th April 2012

CFW helps organise Wales' first residential childcare conference in more than decade

TODAY sees the first national conference on residential child care to be held in Wales for more than 10 years.

The conference, being held in Cardiff, was organised by Care Forum Wales in partnership with the Care Council for Wales, to look at how far residential childcare has come in Wales since the publication of the Waterhouse Report in 2000 on findings from an inquiry into the abuse of children in care.

The aim is to show how residential childcare can make a positive contribution to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children and young people in society today.

It will also focus on the responsibility of everyone in the care sector to supply high-quality workers to deliver the best-possible residential care for children in Wales.

Speakers at the event include Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services; Keith Towler, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, and Richard McCann, the Sunday Times No1 best-selling author, whose first book, ‘Just a Boy’ sold almost 400,000 copies and has been translated around the world.

There will also be contributions in words, artwork and film from children and young people who have had experience of residential childcare.

A range of workshops will focus on specific practice issues, including attachment therapy and person-centered planning. They will also include a joint workshop run by the Care Council and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), which will focus on the future development agenda for residential childcare workers in Wales.

Steve Elliott, chair of Care Forum Wales’s Residential Childcare Special Interest Forum, said: "Since the publication of the Waterhouse Report there have been significant developments in Wales including the advent of a Children’s Commissioner and the registration of residential childcare workers and managers. The partnership between the Care Council for Wales, Care Forum Wales and other key organisations has helped continue the development of the residential childcare workforce and provides the foundation for us all to aspire to a high-quality residential childcare service in Wales."

Arwel Ellis Owen, chair of the Care Council for Wales, said: "We are pleased to be working with Care Forum Wales to deliver this conference which provides an ideal opportunity to evaluate the progress of residential childcare and education over the past 10 years. The Care Council’s focus is on securing the best workforce possible by making sure it is made up of staff who have the right skills and are properly trained and supported to deliver this hugely important service."

The conference is being held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff today (26 April 2012).

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