Safeguarding children conference a success in Milton Keynes

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‘SUPPORTING families in our community‘ was the focus of the sixth Annual Milton Keynes Safeguarding Children Board (MKSCB) Conference that took place earlier this month at the Ridgeway Centre, Milton Keynes.

The conference explored the three adopted themes of MKSCB, which are the impact on children living with domestic violence, parental substance misuse and parental mental health issues. The themes were tackled through speakers, thought-provoking drama and interactive workshops.

More than 280 people from across different partner agencies attended including police, health professionals, probation, youth workers, nursery leaders, social workers and the voluntary sector.

Dr Lesley Ray, Consultant Paediatrician based at Wycombe Hospital, who runs a specialist neglect clinic, challenged delegates to consider how a parent’s early childhood experience can affect their ability to parent their own children.

A display of doors from Inter-Action MK, community arts charity, decorated by victims of domestic abuse and their children, gave delegates a further opportunity to explore the feelings and issues around domestic violence.

There were 35 Information stalls providing information on a range of services across Milton Keynes covering children’s centres, sexual health, probation, work with perpetrators of violence and support for victims, early intervention services and community safety.

Students studying for the second year of their National Diploma in Travel and Tourism at Milton Keynes College supported the MKSCB Team with the running of the day. They also got the opportunity to make their views heard by taking part in workshops throughout the day.

MKSCB chairman, Elaine Coleridge-Smith, said: “I am delighted that more and more people are attending the annual conference each year. The conference provides an opportunity for different organisations to come together to share experiences, develop networks, and explore methods of working together more effectively.

“The Milton Keynes College students did a fantastic job of hosting the day, showing their increasing confidence and professionalism. It was a joy to work with them.”

One of the exhibitors said: “I wanted to get in touch to say thank you for inviting us to the MKSCB conference today. It was a great day, very well organised and the presentations were brilliant. My personal favourite was the Drama piece; it was very thought-provoking.”