Culture in Child Protection Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group Launch Meeting – View at this link

Chair: Isobel Drew

Vice-Chair: Vanisha Jassal

What is culture?: defining culture in the context of child protection

For the purposes of this SIG culture refers to factors relating to a child’s race, ethnicity and religion. Ethnic, racial and cultural disproportionalities continue to exist across UK child protection practice, services and outcomes for children, young people and their families. This is known and accepted across agencies. Many scholars and practitioners have worked intensively to explore the lived experiences of children and families in the child protection system where cultural issues have needed greater recognition and understanding. This SIG seeks to bring together existing research, best practice and wider learning, to support practitioners and child protection organisations to continue to make developments in this area and to adopt proactive and purposeful working practises so that racial and ethnic disproportionalities can be more effectively addressed.

The launch event
This launch event is an introductory discussion into Culture in Child Protection. Hosted by our SIG Chair, Isobel Drew, and Vice-Chair, Vanisha Jassal, this meeting aims to familiarise you with the subject area, and guide your expectations of the SIG. So, what can you expect from this session?

  • A (re)introduction to culture in child protection: gain insights into the complexities setting the stage for future discussions.
  • Meet the Chair/Vice-Chair: get to know Isobel and Vanisha, our expert leaders of this SIG.
  • Learn about the AoCPP: a brief introduction for non-members to learn how they can actively participate and benefit from the AoCPP.
  • Hear the Terms of Reference (ToR) and join the discussion ensuring it becomes an effective catalyst for real change in the field of child protection.

What to expect from this Special Interest Group

Beyond the launch event, this Special Interest Group meets throughout the year to:

  • Highlight research: shedding light on research findings impacting practice.
  • Share best practice: exchanging examples of good and innovative practices.
  • Discuss current issues: engaging in dialogue on emerging issues and changes in national guidance.

Isobel Drew is a Lecturer within the Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has an active design and teaching role on the new blended learning Master’s course in Advanced Child Protection. She entered academia from professional practice as a social worker and social work manager (strategic and operational).

Isobel completed a BA Sociology, Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Hull before progressing to postgraduate study. After completing an MA Social Work she continued her professional development with a clear focus on child protection. She is a qualified ‘Practice Teacher’ and has held a number of professional roles within statutory social work, including frontline services, Cafcass and LSCB.

Vanisha Jassal (Vice-Chair) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent (UoK) and a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She is Director of Studies for the MA Social Work and MA Advanced Child Protection programmes and teaches across both programmes. She is co-chair of the BAME staff network at the university and works to address racial inequalities experienced by staff and students, and support the design and implementation of appropriate policies.

She has been a Trustee of ANBU since 2019, a charity which supports survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) from the UK Tamil community and is soon due to submit her PhD thesis which examines CSA of females in Britain’s South Asian communities. She seeks to improve CSA practice and services for minoritised ethnic children, young people and families.

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