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Stop Press! The Care Experienced Conference #careexpconf Press Release!


A new conference aimed at changing the care system in England by learning from people of all ages who have experienced it will take place this month. The event hopes to highlight how key decisions are made about the nation’s care system and urge politicians and civil servants to listen more to ordinary people with first-hand experience. More than 150 people aged between 15 and 75 are due to attend the conference, which will take place at Liverpool Hope University on Friday 26 April.  Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, said the conference represents a “unique opportunity” to learn from the past. “I would like to give my full support to this ground-breaking conference,” she said. “In my role as children’s commissioner I am fortunate to hear directly from a lot of young people who are in care or who have recently left.  “But never before have we also heard the voices of such a wide spectrum of care experienced people. This conference gives us a unique opportunity to learn from the past and improve things for the future” The conference will feature workshops to capture the experiences and views of care experience people.  There will also be an exhibition of creative work and sessions which are informed by and support academic research. Ian Dickson, Chair of the team organising the event, said: “As somebody who grew up in the care system and then worked as an inspector for Ofsted it has been a long-standing ambition of mine to create a platform for care experience people of all ages to influence and change things for the better.  “As well as doing this, I am delighted that the conference will also celebrate the many successes of care experienced people and contribute to challenging stereotypes.  “We know that children in care face many challenges and often need special help.  “But we also know that the majority of children who have been in care go onto lead happy and successful lives.  “This conference will celebrate our many achievements.” Dr Michael Lavalette, Head of Liverpool Hope University’s School of Social Sciences, said the conference is an opportunity to “challenge existing thinking and policy”.  “Liverpool Hope University Social Work section are delighted to be able to host the Care Experienced Conference,” he said. “This is a significant event which will allow the Care Experienced voice to be heard.  “Given the age range of participants, it offers the chance for academics, policy makers and politicians to gain fresh insight into the lives of people with care experience and will challenge existing thinking and policies in the area.” Registration for the conference is closed due to high demand from delegates, although organisers hope to stage another event in the future. A report will also be produced after the conference, which can be followed on social media via @Careexpconf on Twitter and Facebook.

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