Advisory Forum

The Advisory Forum acts as a critical friend, informing and assisting the Innovate Project in several ways. First, it will be a key point of advice for the design and delivery of the project, to ensure it is useful for the range of stakeholders who have an interest in innovating to improve services: young people, parents and carers, policy makers, commissioners, practitioners, and academics. Second, while this is a four year project, the team will be producing outputs throughout, and in a range of formats. We will look to members of the advisory forum to highlight any opportunities for communicating with different stakeholder groups along the way to learn and to inform key policy and practice developments. Third, as the research findings emerge in the later stages, the forum will play a key role in identifying the implications of the project for the sectors or organisations of which they are a part. This will include identifying whether national or sector-specific policies or regulations require reform to adopt or reflect the learning from the project. Finally, organisations representing the perspective of young people and parents will participate directly in the forum, but we also expect forum members to assist with ensuring the voices of children and families from their stakeholder groups are included in forum meetings and within project design, delivery, dissemination and implementation.

Forum members commit to attending one meeting a year, and being available to respond to requests along the way for advice, information or connections from their area of expertise. Organisations currently represented in the forum include:

  • Family Rights Group – a leading charity supporting, advising and representing the voice of parents and carers of children who are at risk, in need, or in the care system.
  • Coram Voice - a charity supporting children and young people in care and care leavers.
  • Public Health England – Michele Lawrence, Head of Safeguarding.
  • Ofsted - Wendy Ghaffar, Specialist Adviser, Safeguarding.
  • Social Work Scotland – James Cox, Children and Families Lead.
  • Scottish Government – James Cox, Professional Adviser, Child Protection.
  • Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse – Anna Glinski, Deputy Director, Knowledge and Practice Development.
  • Local Government Association – Louise Smith, Senior Adviser, Children and Young People.
  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services – Jo Cox.
  • HMI Constabulary – DCS John Carroll, Protecting Vulnerable People and Criminal Justice Portfolio.
  • Department for Education – Victoria Cavolina, Extra-familial harm.
  • Home Office – Jenny Shaw, Tackling Exploitation and Abuse Unit, Serious and Organised Crime Group.
  • CAFCASS – Sue Simpson, Head of Practice.
  • Youth Justice Board – Dunston Patterson, Effective Practice Adviser and Developing Practice forum co-ordinator.
  • Margaret Mulholland – Association of School and College Leaders, Send and Inclusion Specialist.
  • Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE) – Dr Sarah Lloyd.
  • Safer London – Carly Adams Elias.

Academics involved in the forum include:

  • Prof. Pam Cox, Sociologist, Criminologist and Historian from the University of Essex.
  • Dr Christine Cocker, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of East Anglia.
  • Dr Adi Cooper, OBE, Visiting Professor at University of Bedfordshire.
  • Prof. Robin Banerjee, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Sussex. 
  • Prof Judy Sebba, OBE, Professor of Education, Rees Centre, University of Oxford.
  • Prof. Jo Moran-Ellis, sociologist of childhood and children's rights, at the University of Sussex.

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