Local authorities, health services and the courts are focussed on making plans and decisions for a group of children who have experienced early and subsequent maltreatment. These children are among the most vulnerable in society. Planning and decision making for these children is urgent, complex and has to address fundamental questions in understanding what has happened, what will happen and how to provide interventions that improve their safety, welfare and outcomes.
Research makes clear that such maltreatment is associated with short-term mental health problems in childhood. Much less is known about what happens to those affected by maltreatment in the long-term – as they become adolescents and adults. Do original problems continue? Do other problems emerge? How do they impact on their relationships and daily functioning? Are their individuals who prosper despite all adversity? Does fostering and adoption improve outcomes for maltreated children?
This gap in knowledge is due to the previous lack of well-designed prospective studies of sufficient power and scope to give a representative and reliable picture. This means we have often had to rely on case studies and anecdote for our information. In recent years, this situation has changed dramatically with the publication of a series of seminal studies with longitudinal designs providing answers to these questions.
The aim of this interactive seminar is to provide professionals working in educational, social care and mental health sectors with an update on the key messages from these studies.
There will be a focus on the young adult findings on the mental health and wellbeing of the adoptees who suffered devastating levels of deprivation in the Romanian orphanages of the 1980s that were recently published in the Lancet. These outcomes will be compared with those in other seminal longitudinal studies of vulnerable children using other designs – from maltreating families, adopted at birth from high risk backgrounds and with those at elevated biological risk. By comparing these studies, we will explore whether problems seen in children exposed to extreme deprivation generalise to other groups. There will be a special focus on the lessons we have learned from these studies for practice and policy.
To this end the seminar will have two related parts:
Morning session: There will be presentations from leading researchers in the field who will describe the most recent results from their studies.
Afternoon session: The floor will be open up to discussion, so that practitioners can comment on the studies, provide interpretation and describe their own experiences. Our ultimate goal is to explore what the data mean for the individuals concerned and the services that support and help them.
Who should attend:
This event will be of particular interest to policy-makers, mental health practitioners, therapists, clinicians, children’s services social workers and managers, adoption social workers and managers, fostering social workers, adoption and fostering panel members, foster carers, children’s guardians, independent reviewing officers, adoptive parents and foster carers.
Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke – English and Romanian Adoption Study (ERA) Principal Investigator & Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at King’s College London
Professor Sir Michael Rutter – Founder of the ERA Study & Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at King’s College London
Dr John Simmonds – Director of Policy and Research at CoramBAAF
Professor Gordon Harold – Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair & Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of Sussex
Dr Catherine Kay – Research Fellow at the University of Manchester
Fee: £94 including VAT. A booking fee of £5.66 will be added..
Please click here to book tickets.
Email: ERA@kcl.ac.uk Telephone: 02380 598506