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Dublin 2013 Keynote Speakers
Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

Prof Marit Skivenes, Bergen University College

Dr. David Wolfe, University of Toronto

Dr. Marie Keenan, University College Dublin

Prof Aron Shlonsky, University of Toronto

Dr. Alberto Pellai, Medical School of Milano State University

Prof Peter Adriaenssens, Trauma Sensitive Communication with Parents of Maltreated Children

Mr. Gordon Jeyes, Programme Director Agency Establishment, Child & Family Support Agency in Ireland

Minister Frances Fitzgerald

In 2011 Frances Fitzgerald was appointed Ireland's first ever Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Among her key priorities are the need to protect children by putting Children First on a statutory footing, to deliver a Children's Referendum, to establish a dedicated agency for Children and Family Services, to continue to offer a free pre-school year for children, to develop youth services throughout the country, to end the practice of sending under-18s to St Patricks Institution, to open inter-country adoptions with countries such as Vietnam and to improve adoption and fostering systems in Ireland. Since taking office in March 2012 Minister Fitzgerald has;
  • Published revised Children First Guidelines
  • Published legislation to strengthen child protection
  • Secured funding to end the practice of sending under-18s to St. Patrick’s Institution over the next three years and has already announced the end of the practice of sending 16 year olds to St. Patrick’s
  • Developing legislation to provide for the operation of the new Child and Family Support Agency and has been given approval for the transition of existing HSE child protection and welfare services to this Agency
  • Received Cabinet approval for the development of Ireland’s first ever National Early Years Strategy
  • Launched the National Local Authority Play and Recreation Network
  • Confirmed that a license to operate the 116000 Hotline for Missing Children has been allocated to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
  • Launched a new joint protocol aimed at protecting vulnerable children between jurisdictions North and South of the boarder
  • Recommended to Retail Ireland that guidelines on the responsible retailing of children's-wear be produced – Retail Ireland are currently preparing these guidelines
  • Prioritized the development of a closer working relationship with many countries when it comes to adoption and recently traveled to Hanoi to meet with her Vietnamese counterparts to progress inter-country adoptions between the two countries
  • Engaged with the Centre for Effective Services to undertake a high level review of implementation of the 2001 Youth Homelessness Strategy and to make recommendations on a new Implementation Framework to address youth homelessness over the next 5 years.
  • Jointly published the Cloyne Report and personally took over the Chair of the Ryan Report Implementation Group. She has since delivered on the Ryan Report recommendation to recruitment an additional 60 social workers in 2011.

Prof Marit Skivenes: Child orientation – a contested concept or a "wicked problem”?

Professor Marit Skivenes (b. 1968) completed her PhD in political science in 2002 on a thesis evaluating the child welfare law in light of a deliberative perspective, and has in her research been concerned with theoretical and normative issues as well as the legitimacy challenges facing the child welfare system’s responsibility for children at risk. Using argumentation theory, she has contributed to the development of a framework for analysing and evaluating political programmes and decision-making processes. Skivenes has published numerous works on child welfare and broader welfare issues, as well as the impact of communication and publicity in theory and practice. Alone or in collaboration with others she has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and a book that has been peer-reviewed, and in addition reports, chapters in reports and feature journals. Skivenes regularly publishes her scientific results for a broader audience in feature articles in major Norwegian papers. She has broad experience in leading projects, supervising students at different levels, teaching and lecturing.


Dr. David Wolfe: Child Abuse Prevention: Past, Present, and Future

Dr. David Wolfe is a psychologist and author specializing in issues affecting children and youth. He holds the inaugural RBC Chair in Children’s Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), where he is Head of the CAMH Centre for Prevention Science located in London, Ontario. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto, and former Editor-in-Chief of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal. Dr. Wolfe has broad research and clinical interests in abnormal child and adolescent psychology, with a special focus on child abuse, domestic violence, and developmental psychopathology. He is internationally known for his work on child abuse and violence prevention, especially regarding the impact of early childhood trauma on later development in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Dr. Wolfe has been pioneering new approaches to preventing many societal youth problems such as bullying, relationship violence, and substance abuse. His research team developed and evaluated the school-based Fourth R program to promote healthy relationships and reduce violence and abuse among youth, which is widely used across North America.


Dr. Marie Keenan: Hindsight, Foresight and Historical Judgement: The Cascading Problem of Child Sexual Abuse within the Catholic Church

Dr. Marie Keenan is a Social Worker, Systemic Psychotherapist and Researcher and a College Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science, UCD. She is the current Chairperson of the Family Therapy Association of Ireland. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Criminology Institute, UCD. Before taking up a teaching and research position at UCD Dr. Keenan worked for more than twenty years as a social worker and psychotherapist. Some of the settings in which Dr. Keenan worked include Lambeth Social Services, Brixton, London; Psychiatric Unit of Cork Regional Hospital; Learning Disability Services, Warwick, England; Cluain Mhuire Adolescent Psychiatric Service; Probation and Welfare Service, of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; The Rutland Addiction Treatment Centre; The Granada Institute, Dublin (which offered services for victims and perpetrators of sexual crime) and in her own private practice.

Dr. Keenan has served on the Board of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, on the Advisory Group for the implementation of the Guidelines on Child Sexual Abuse for the Irish Episcopal Conference, and on the Expert Group [Ferns 5] set up by the Department of Health and Children to advise the Minister for Health and Children on the feasibility of establishing country-wide services for the treatment of adolescent and adult males who had perpetrated sexual offenses. She has served on several advisory panels for Religious Orders in Ireland.

Dr. Keenan has taught and led specialist workshops in a range of universities and training institutes in Dublin and she has presented her research and clinical work in the United Kingdom, Finland, the United States of America, Australia and South Africa.

 

Specializing in the area of crime, sexual abuse and sexual offending, Dr. Keenan's most recent research involves a study of Roman Catholic clergy who have sexually abused minors. Her research centres on the men's accounts of how it came to be that they sexually abused minors and their understanding of the conditions of their lives that contributed to this problem. She is currently studying the Churches response to the problem of child sexual abuse. She is currently lead investigator on a study of restorative and transformative possibilities in the aftermath of sexual crime. This research includes the voices of the abuse survivors, the abuse perpetrators and key stakeholders. Dr. Keenan is a regular contributor to discussions on radio, television and in the print media on these and other social problems.


Prof Aron Shlonsky: How do we get through this mess? Developing and using best evidence to inform practice.

Aron Shlonsky is Associate Professor and Factor-Inwentash Chair in Child Welfare at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, director of the Ph.D. program, and Scientific Director of the Ontario Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (OCANDS). Prior to his appointment at University of Toronto, he spent a number of years as a child protective services worker, sexual abuse therapist, and substance abuse counselor in Los Angeles. His professional interests center largely on child welfare and include risk assessment, kinship foster care, and sibling relationships in out-of-home care. His interests also extend to evidence-informed practice, systematic reviews, and evaluation research. He is co-author with Duncan Lindsey of ‘Child Welfare Research: Advances for Child Welfare Practice and Policy’ (2008, Oxford University Press), with Michael Saini of ‘Systematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research’ (2011, Oxford University Press), and has authored and co-authored numerous manuscripts appearing in scholarly journals and books highlighting the use of actuarial tools in child welfare settings, the predictors and effects of sibling separation in foster care, issues surrounding kinship foster care, the implementation of subsidized legal guardianship for relative caregivers, and the teaching and implementation of evidence-informed practice.


Dr. Alberto Pellai: Child sexual abuse primary prevention: What we need to know to stop the hidden epidemics

Alberto Pellai is a MD with a specialisation in Preventive Medicine and a PhD in Public Health. He is also a child psychotherapist. He works as a researcher in public health at the Medical School of Milano State University and as a psychotherapist in private practice. He has created the child sexual abuse prevention programme named "Le parole non dette" which is the best known and popular prevention programme for school-based child sexual abuse primary prevention in Italy. This programme has been adopted by ASPI in Switzerland as the official prevention programme targeting primary schools and, thanks to the EU Daphne project, has been replicated in four different European countries in the past two years. Dr. Pellai has authored many scientific papers and books for teachers, parents and children. In 2004, the Italian Ministry of Health awarded him with the Silver Medal for Public Health for his unique and innovative contribution to the field of primary prevention.


Prof Peter Adriaenssens: Trauma Sensitive Communication with Parents of Maltreated Children

Peter Adriaenssens (1954) is Professor Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the KU University of Leuven (Belgium) since 1993. He is clinical director of the Crisis Intervention Unit of the department of Child Psychiatry and director of the Confidential Child Abuse & Neglect Centre at the University Hospital Leuven. His research and publications cover the field of child & trauma, parenting, community child psychiatry.

 


Mr. Gordon Jeyes is currently the National Director for the HSE Children and Family Services in Ireland. He joined Cambridgeshire County Council in 2005 and held the posts of Deputy Chief Executive in charge of the Office of Children and Young Peoples’ Services. Prior to that he was the UK’s first Director of Children’s Services and has provided advice to governments in Scotland and at Westminster on the development of Children’s Services. Mr. Jeyes was Chair of the Anti-Bullying Network and a member of the SEED Review Group on Youth Crime. He was a member of the Ministerial Strategy Group on Continuing Professional Development (Teachers) and the National Youth Justice Strategy Steering Group. Mr. Jeyes also led the critical incident response to the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.

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