Sadiq Adebambo, Senior Practitioner - ‘Three Conversations Model’, Trafford Council

Mark Albiston, strategic lead, central neighbourhood (lead professional adult social care), Trafford Council

Mark took up his current role as principal social worker for adults in Trafford Council in October 2016. As part of an all age integrated service he is also responsible for the strategic development of a neighbourhood team which includes community services provided by Trafford Council and Pennine Care (Trafford division).

He qualified as a social worker and learning disability nurse in February 2001. He has held social work roles in children’s and adults’ services in addition to senior leadership roles in safeguarding adults and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

As a keen advocate of trying new things to enhance one’s own knowledge, his career choices to date have seen him work for a number of different local authorities, which includes Dorset County Council and City of York Council.

Ruth Allen, chief executive, British Association Of Social Workers

Dr Ruth Allen became chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) in April 2016. Previously to that she was director of social work at South West London & St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and also had a research role with St George’s University of London.

She has a particular interest and experience in leadership development in social work and in developing social work’s role within mental health.

Dr Allen holds a master's degree in social work and a professional doctorate in education, both awarded by the University of Sussex.

Yogi Amin, partner, Irwin Mitchell LLP

Paul Angeli, assistant director of children’s social care & youth inclusion, London Borough of Merton

Vicky Brotherton, victim protection and partnerships lead, Office Of The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Vicky leads on victim protection and partnerships in the office, focusing on identifying good practice in victim support and encouraging and developing effective partnership-working across the UK.

Previously, Vicky worked at Anti-Slavery International for 5 years, the majority of which was spent coordinating the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group – a UK-wide coalition of anti-trafficking NGOs. In this role she led on the group’s research and advocacy work; monitoring the UK’s anti-slavery response and lobbying for improvements.

Prior to this role at Anti-Slavery International she worked on the ‘RACE in Europe’ project, a multi-country European project focusing on trafficking for forced criminal exploitation and forced begging. Vicky also has previous experience working within a victim support organisation in northern Thailand.

She has a background in health research and holds an MA in human rights from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, where her research focused on the UK’s criminal justice response to human trafficking. During her studies, Vicky volunteered with ECPAT UK supporting the running of the weekly youth group for young people who had been trafficked.

Liz Brown, senior company member, Geese Theatre Company

Steve Chamberlain, Chair, National AMHPs Leads Network

Steve Chamberlain is a freelance trainer and independent social worker, having left local authority employment in summer 2014. He qualified as a social worker in 1983 and trained as an approved social worker in 1987.

Since 1990, he has worked in adult social care and mental health. He practiced as an ASW/approved mental health professional (AMHP) until 2013. He was a borough’s AMHP lead from 2001 to 2013. During 2013-14 he managed an inner London assessment and care management service.

Steve was also his borough Mental Capacity Act lead until 2008. He was then seconded to the Department of Health as London implementation lead for MCA/DoLS until 2011. He trained as a best interests assessor in 2009 and continues to practice. He has delivered training since 1998, mainly on mental health and mental capacity issues.

Steve is a member of the British Association of Social Workers mental health practice, policy and education group, and has been chair of the national AMHP leads network since 2011.

Clare, foster carer who went on to adopt

Clare is a foster carer of 13 years who went on to adopt two sisters who had lived with her from coming in to care. She will describe her journey to becoming an adopter, what helped and the challenges along the way.

Judy Cooper, editor, Community Care

Mathieu Culverhouse, senior associate, Irwin Mitchell LLP

Mathieu Culverhouse specialises in community care, patient rights and mental capacity law. He acts for clients who have ongoing difficulties with social services, the NHS and other public bodies, and has brought judicial review cases on behalf of children and adults seeking appropriate care from their local social services and the NHS.

He also acts for clients opposing the closure care homes, day centres and NHS services and seeking to challenge cuts to government funding in health and social care, and has acted for disabled refugees, securing accommodation for them from local authorities under their community care duties.

In addition, Mathieu acts for the Official Solicitor, independent mental capacity advocates and the families of adults in cases in the Court of Protection under the Mental Capacity Act relating to their mental capacity, deprivation of liberty, health and welfare. He is also a founder and national committee member of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (‘CoPPA’).

Elaine Dibben, adoption development consultant, CoramBAAF

Elaine Dibben started her social work career in residential social work and qualified in 1988. She has 30 years’ experience of working in adoption and fostering in local authority and voluntary adoption agency settings. She joined BAAF in 2004 to become manager of the Independent Review Mechanism, which she set up and ran until 2009, when she moved to take on a wider role in BAAF as a trainer/consultant.

She is currently an adoption development consultant for CoramBAAF, alongside acting as a panel chair for both adoption and fostering panels. She currently sits on the National Recruitment and Matching Forum, a sub-group of the Adoption Leadership Board, and the Early Permanence Working Group established by the Department for Education in 2016. She has written several books and good practice guides published by BAAF/ CoramBAAF: The Role of Fostering for Adoption in Achieving Early Permanence for Children (2017) and Adoption by Foster Carers (2016) with Viv Howorth, Completing a Child’s Permanence Report (2014), Devising a Placement Plan (2012), Parent and Child Fostering, with Paul Adams (2011), Preparing to Adopt (2014), with Eileen Fursland and Nicky Probert and Undertaking an Adoption Assessment in England (2010) (third edition 2017).

Morag Duff, independent specialist continuing healthcare consultant

Liz Frost, associate professor of social work, University of the West Of England

Kate Garbers, managing director, Unseen

Keir Harding, clinical lead, Beam Consulting

Keir qualified as an occupational therapist in 1999 and has worked in a variety of mental health roles ever since. Over the past 10 years, he has specialised in working with those who have relationship difficulties, use potentially lethal self-harm and often feel suicidal – which may frequently lead to a diagnosis of personality disorder. Keir has won a number of awards for his work in this field and published literature on the subject. He recently completed his MSc in personality disorder and founded Beam Consultancy to help organisations work more effectively with this client group.

Cathie Jasper, senior lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

Michael Jones, barrister, Deans Court Chambers

Dr Wulf Livingston, senior lecturer in social work, Glyndŵr University Wrexham

Wulf is a senior lecturer in social work at Glyndwr University. He has been a qualified social worker for more than twenty years, with the majority of his practice, publication, research and teaching interests being with regards to alcohol and other drug use, mental health and well-being. His current research interests are; participatory methods, professional's knowledge acquisition and policy implementation.

Caroline Lynch, principal legal adviser, Family Rights Group

Having qualified as a barrister in 2003, Caroline practiced from chambers in Newcastle upon Tyne for seven years, specialising in public law Children Act 1989 work. She subsequently worked as in-house counsel in the children’s legal team within a busy London local authority for four years. Caroline joined Family Rights Group (FRG) in 2015 to lead the organisation’s research and policy work focussed upon young parents whose children are involved with the child welfare system.

In her role as Principal Legal Adviser at FRG Caroline is the legal lead for all of the organisation's policy and legal work. In 2016-17 she led a 12 month Knowledge Inquiry examining the law, policy, research and practice concerning section 20 Children Act 1989 voluntary arrangements.

Caroline regularly delivers training and seminars about child welfare law & practice and children's rights. Caroline is also an Economic and Social Research Council funded doctoral researcher at the UCL Institute of Education, researching in the fields of the sociology of childhood and children's rights.

Jennifer McErlain, business change analyst, Vision 2031 Portfolio Team, Trafford Council

Kathy Marriott, area director, children and families, Hampshire County Council

Dr Barbara McKay, director, the Institute of Family Therapy

Barbara has been the director of the Institute of Family Therapy since 2006. Prior to this she was head of training for a national voluntary sector organization where she developed a new national family counselling service. Barbara qualified as a social worker in 1982 and has worked in both adults’ and children’s services, including in mental health fields. She worked briefly in the probation service.

Barbara qualified as a systemic psychotherapist in 1997 and a systemic supervisor in 2001. She completed her professional doctorate in 2014.

Her current interest lies in the application of systemic practices in organisational change and development and to this end has created a range of courses relevant to strategic teams. She continues to work in private practice offering therapy, consultation and supervision services.

Anna Moore, solicitor, Leigh Day

Anna Rickards, practice development lead for the nations, Pause

Alex Ruck Keene, barrister, 39 Essex Street

Alex is a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers in London, and recommended as a ‘star junior’ in Chambers & Partners for his Court of Protection work. He has been in cases involving the MCA 2005 at all levels up to and including the Supreme Court. He also writes extensively, has numerous academic affiliations, including as Wellcome Research Fellow at King’s College London, and has his own website www.mentalcapacitylawandpolicy.org.uk on which he publishes news and blogs on MCA law and policy.

Janine Saleh, Pause practice lead St Helens, Pause and St Helens Council

@Sectioned_, mental health and human rights tweeter, writer and speaker with lived experience of the compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act

Under the pseudonym "@Sectioned_" (please remember the underscore at the end, otherwise you'll be reading about a club night in Huddersfield), she tweets about mental health topics including human rights, inpatient and community care and media representations of mental ill-health, as well as hashtags such as #pillshaming and #headclutcher. Her blog sectioneduk.wordpress.com has been shortlisted for the Mind Media Awards twice, and she has been published in Penguin's "Dear Stranger - Letters on the subject of happiness". She has been a panellist at the Maudsley Debates and at the Mental Elf's Mental Health Question Time, speaking on topics including human rights, being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and women's experiences of mental health care. She can be found on Twitter blathering on about herself, annoying public figures by asking them not use mental health slurs or banging on about human rights.

Shefali Shah, director and lead trainer, Kingsley Knight Training

Kingsley Knight offers specialist legal training for social workers, foster carers, adoption and fostering panel members and multi-agency professionals across the UK. Shefali Shah has over 21 years’ experience in children’s social care law, including 17 as a solicitor and manager in various local authorities. Shefali was formerly legal adviser to Adoption UK and to the Independent Review Mechanism. Shefali also has experience teaching children’s law academically on social service degree, undergraduate law and postgraduate legal practice courses.

Shefali is author of Key Changes of Family Justice, published by CoramBAAF.

David Shemmings, professor of child protection research, University of Kent, and visiting professor of child protection research, Royal Holloway, University of London

Prior to moving to Kent in 2007, David was professor of social work research at Middlesex University. He qualified in 1974 and worked with traumatised children for a number of years. He spent 17 years at the University of East Anglia, where he completed his PhD under the supervision of Professor David Howe.

David is the author of over 70 articles, books and chapters on relationally-based social work theory, research and practice. He also co-directs with Yvonne Shemmings, the attachment and relationship-based practice training in over 40 child protection organisations across the UK and Europe. Finally, he is co-director, with Professor Jane Reeves, of the online Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent, which has recently established a multi-disciplinary and international distance-learning MA in advanced child protection as well as ‘serious, interactive games’ to enhance practitioners’ skills.

David was awarded an OBE for services to child protection in the June 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dr Prospera Tedam, academic lead – social work practice quality, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Prospera Tedam is the academic lead for practice quality at Anglia Ruskin University. She has a practice background in frontline children and families social work and in adoption. Prospera is a member of the Independent Families Return Panel of the Home Office, where she advises on safeguarding in relation to children in families who are being considered for return to countries of origin. As a social work academic, Prospera has research interests around reflection and reflective practice. She recently collaborated with colleagues to publish SHARE: A new model for social work. She has previously offered coaching mentoring and supervision to social workers in the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Nadine Tilbury, policy officer and senior research associate, University Of Bristol

Nadine is a lawyer with considerable experience of the criminal and family justice systems.

She was a contributing author to the Law Society’s Related Family and Criminal Proceedings – A good practice guide (2007); Working Together To Safeguard Children (2006) and (2010) HM Government; Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings; Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures. (2011) HM Government; Aequilibrium. Instruments for Lifting Language Barriers in Intercultural Legal Proceedings. EU Project; and Effective Investigation of Child Homicide and Suspicious Deaths. David Marshall, QPM. Blackstones. Oxford University Press. 2012.

She currently works as Policy Officer for the Working Together with Parents Network. The Network, run from the University of Bristol, supports professionals who work with parents who have learning disabilities. It has over 900 members from the social care (children and adults), health, legal and independent advocacy sectors.

In 2016, Nadine updated the 2007 DH/DfES Good Practice Guidance on working with parents with a learning disability. This Guidance is increasingly relied upon by courts in care proceedings, when considering applications to remove children and when considering whether the families’ human rights have been breached by the manner in which the local authority intervened in their lives.

Steve Walker, director of children’s services, Leeds City Council

Steve Chamberlain is a freelance trainer and independent social worker, having left local authority employment in summer 2014. He qualified as a social worker in 1983 and trained as an Approved Social Worker in 1987.

Since 1990, he has worked in adult social care and mental health. He practiced as an ASW/AMHP until 2013. He was the borough’s AMHP lead from 2001 to 2013. During 2013/14 he managed an inner London assessment and care management service.

Steve was borough MCA lead until 2008. He was seconded to DH as London implementation lead for MCA/DoLS until 2011. He trained as a Best Interests Assessor in 2009 and continues to practice. He has delivered training since 1998, mainly on mental health and mental capacity issues.

Steve is a member of the BASW mental health Practice, Policy and Education Group, and has been chair of the national AMHP leads network since 2011.

Andy Watson MBE, artistic director/CEO, Geese Theatre Company

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Chair, Independent Review Of The Mental Health Act 1983

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals. He is also past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

His doctorate is in epidemiology, and he has over 700 original publications, with an emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, population reactions to adversity, military health, epidemiology and others. He has co-authored books on chronic fatigue syndrome, randomised controlled trials and a history of military psychiatry.

Professor Wessely is also President of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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