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Welcome to Conferences

Our Safeguarding Children Partnership holds an annual conference. In addition to this we also host other topic-specific events such as our most recent half day conference which was held in November 2023 and focussed on:

Inclusive Communication - Safeguarding Children and Young People with Disabilities"

This half day conference was underpinned by our goal of putting the child’s lived experience at the very centre of what we do and by the belief that that participation can be protective and supportive for children and young people.

Participation can be protective

“Not working with young people is a risk in itself for our knowledge and their recovery” (YRAP)

  • Effective participation can support children to understand their identity, make sense of the past and build lasting relationships.
  • For children who have experienced disruption, harm, danger or trauma, being seen and heard is crucial. It is the job of child and family professionals to ensure this happens

We delivered this conference for professionals as a direct response to what C&YP told us earlier in the year

Focus on changing attitudes about disability – awareness / education for all

  • Promote enabling attitudes from early on (child to adulthood)
  • Raise awareness of barriers (physical and attitudinal)
  • Provide more training for those working with C&YP with disabilities
  • Communicate in a variety of accessible formats

And it is vital that we feed this back to C&YP – that we heard them, this is the influence they have had and that we did this because of what they said.

Legislation requires that the wishes and feelings of children are ascertained and given due consideration when making decisions about providing services to meet a child’s needs and to do this safely we need to encourage and shield

  1. Encourage C&YP to participate in matters affecting them, seek their opinion about what we are doing for them 
  2. As well as (so far as is reasonably practicable and consistent with the child’s welfare) shield them from the harsh reality of abuse

Speakers referred to the United Convention on the Rights of the Child throughout the day and we felt that particular efforts should be made to enable participation of young people not heard as often and the views that we seek represent the diversity that exists in Cornwall.

We need to hear from all children, especially those with fewer opportunities, those who are vulnerable or affected by discrimination…

Article 23 of the UNCRC relates to children with a disability – “A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and, as far as possible, independence and to play an active part in the community”.

The Lundy Model suggests that if participation is to be effective, meaningful and sustainable, it needs to be understood as a process and not a one-off event, it requires ongoing commitment in terms of time and resources – it’s a dynamic and evolving process and what we learnt here today will keep that work going.

We asked you to think about how young people in your area are enabled to participate: 

  • in decisions about their own support and care?  
  • in work with peers to influence change? 
  • in influencing research, policy, and practice collectively?  

How can you prioritise time, rapport building and trust in your relationships with young people?  

The suggestion is that professionals talk to young people about this. How could you share this model and way of working with young people, and listen to their voice about it?

Click this title to view the speaker videos from the day



"I took a huge amount from the event, and, judging the responses of those attending, I don’t think I was the only one.  Thanks for bringing to life such an important topic and linking it into Article 12 of the UNCRC.  It was a really well-crafted day with great inputs that were really thought provoking.  The videos were amazing and will stick in my mind for a long time to come. We were able to use learning from the conference for a conversation we held the very next day so it shows just how relevant it was” 

John Clements OSCP Independent Chair

Some children and young people need support from friends or trusted adults to make sure they are able to communicate their views and feelings

Click this title to view some of the top tips from children and young people in Cornwall

top tips from children and young people on how to communicate with them

Adults have a responsibility to make sure that happens and the Me First communication model also provides advice about how this should be done. 

Click below to view information and resources from some of our past conferences.

Past OSCP Annual Conferences - information and resources

Whenever possible we add the PowerPoint slides and video of the conference presentations to the website pages after the event so that as many people as possible can access the material.  Lots of information and useful resources from previous conferences can be found below.

1. OSCP Annual Conference 28th March 2023

Safety and Identity - hearing from children and young people

Our conference this year took on a different shape as we involved children and young people in a meaningful way, providing an opportunity for them to be heard and to engage directly with safeguarding decision makers across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, particularly in relation to issues of safety and identity.

We had a wealth of input from YAY!, WILD, Carefree, YZUP, Active8, Camborne Youth Council, Young People Cornwall, Members of the Youth Parliament via Action for Children, year six pupils from Trewirgie Junior School, Health & Social Care Students from Truro College, Cornwall Accessible Activities Program and the Mind the Gap Project from Devon and Cornwall Police.

These groups did some prework in their existing settings - their safe spaces, where they have trusted, established relationships.  Their responses focussed on the following questions:

1)            What feels unsafe to me

2)            What helps me to feel safe to be me

This slideshow demonstrates the wealth of valuable input we had to work with from a wide variety of groups of children and young people (double click to view full screen).

On the night we all participated in a series of facilitated workshops based on the prework ‘presentations’ between delegates and the representative children and young people who felt confident enough to be there.  We reflected together and this is a summary of the priorities that have been taken back to OSCP board for a response…

  • Thinking about safety and security in different settings.  A shared perception of safety.  The importance of love, trust / trusted adults, safety, routine, choice, opinion, having a voice. 
  • The need for children & young people to have a valid voice.  To be heard, at all levels and to feel supported & empowered.  The right to have a voice.  Work towards C&YP consistently having a voice at all levels e.g., across OSCP, to the OSCP Board, all town councils & Cornwall Youth Council
  • Changing attitudes re: disability – awareness / education for all, promoting enabling attitudes from early on (child to adulthood).  Raising awareness of barriers (physical and attitudinal).  More training for those working with C&YP with disabilities.
  • Ensuring that OSCP is an inclusive organisation.  Inclusivity awareness across OSCP – having a voice, hearing, listening, getting feedback from C&YP from minority groups [practice theme national panel - giving central consideration to racial, ethnic and cultural identity and the impact of this on the lived experience of children and families - develop practice frameworks that take account of intersectional thinking to explore how ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality and other social factors including age, sexuality, poverty shape the identities and experiences of children and families. Be more inquiring about how cultural assumptions and biases shape how we ‘see’ and safeguard different groups of children.]
  • This was a really good start of an ongoing conversation, maintain the momentum & keep this going.

Feelings from children and young people taking part on the night…

  • Relief
  • Joy
  • Enthusiastic
  • Curious
  • Adventurous

We are planning a follow up event to give responses back to contributors from OSCP Board, feeding back to all children and young people groups about the extent of their influence and the impact they have had.  We will meet back up virtually in approximately three months, date tbc.

A note on the venue

Our approach to this year’s conference was completely different, and we wanted the setting to be different too.  The working group chose the Royal Cornwall Museum as a venue, to tune people into ‘childhood’ and encourage a ‘night at the museum’ type exploration, most people who grew up in Cornwall will have done at least one school trip here.

For a conference exploring identity, it was felt to be a place of Cornish culture and heritage and somewhere that ‘belongs to us all’.

The museum is free for all under 18s to visit at any time.

They have been working hard to ensure accessibility for all, in a safe, welcoming and inclusive space

  • There are wheelchair accessible toilets and nappy changing facilities, ramps and a lift.
  • They have created a sensory map and a social story to empower people visiting with information they need about what to expect e.g., exhibits that could be potentially triggering or over stimulating in sensory terms.
  • It is a place that is keen to ensure that narratives from Black and Ethnically Diverse communities are included in conversations and continue to reflect on topics such as “Cornish history and Collections, Colonialism, and the Ugly Truths of our Past” and we were lucky enough to still have the flags on display celebrating ‘A history of Pride’ and LGBTQ+ Histories in Cornwall.

2. OSCP Annual Conference January 2021 -The Key Principles of Children's Rights

“The pandemic has had a profound impact on all of us. However, the repercussions for children have extended into every single aspect of their lives, from their education, to their homes, their mental health, and much more. Every child matters; we want to see all our children thrive, develop and reach their potential; every child has rights, even during a pandemic.” CEO, Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2020

The virtual 2021 Annual Conference focused on Children's Rights and provided the opportunity to reflect on our own practice and that of our organisations.

We were delighted to welcome Professor Laura Lundy, Co-Director of the Centre for Children’s Rights and a Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast and co-Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Children’s Rights, as our keynote speaker. We were also joined by colleagues from a range of organisations working in Cornwall sharing examples of promotion of the rights of children in their work with children and families locally.

The powerpoint presentation is available through this link OSCP Annual Conference- The Key Principles of Children's Rights

Videos of the presentations can be viewed here:

What Children's Rights are and are not:

Tackling Health Inequalities:

The Role of Housing Associations in Championing Children's Rights:

3. GP Safeguarding Conference October 2020

This conference was aimed primarily for GP safeguarding leads. It provided a mix of topics including practice administration issues, child protection referrals, domestic abuse and some adult safeguarding training relevant to GPs. 

Further GP Practice Safeguarding Lead resources can be found by following this link.

For GP Useful links 

For GP Safeguarding advice, please contact the Named GP for Safeguarding Children:

     Dr Mark McCartney, General Practitioner

     Tel : 07557 641423

     email: mark.mccartney@nhs.net

4. Child Sexual Abuse in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly- Developing a Multi Agency Approach September 2018

On 24 September 2018 Our Safeguarding Children Partnership launched the Child Sexual Abuse Strategy at this multi agency conference for consultation and feedback.

A wide range of organisations attended for an interesting day with inspiring speakers:  Dr Debbie Allnock, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bedfordshire and co-author of No-One Noticed, No-one Heard (NSPCC, 2013) as our keynote speaker;  David Poole from the Truth Project; Josette Lawrance on recognising perpetrator behaviour and Suzzan Blac, artist and survivor of childhood abuse.

View or download the conference pack

Keynote speaker: Dr Debra Allnock ‘Understanding the complex ways in which children communicate CSA: Why we should not rely on verbal, direct disclosures’

conference video image


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