Working with East European Roma families to address safeguarding and child protection challenges more effectively - ON-LINE LEARNING DAY from the Roma Support Group - access flexibly over 3 days (24/25/26 May 2021). Real time Q&A with the presenter, 12pm-1pm on 26 May.

24/25/26 May

ON-LINE
PRICE

Speakers

Gabriela Smolinska-Poffley
Roma Support Group

Start

May 24, 2021

End

May 26, 2021





Communities of East European Roma have settled in most cities and in many large towns in the UK, over the last 20 years.

With a history of persecution and discrimination in their countries of origin, many Roma have a profound distrust of UK statutory services, and especially of social services.  Concepts of parenting and safeguarding within Roma communities can differ significantly to those of the UK. For these reasons, Roma families can present significant challenges to service providers, especially in the context of safeguarding and child protection.

Issues around neglect, linked to poverty as well as culture, remain the principal reason for social services intervention. There have been examples of disproportionate responses where Roma cases have been ‘fast-tracked’ to child protection measures, and where ‘evidence’ is misread, often due to language or cultural factors.

Many professionals have had little training to prepare them for working with as complex a range of communities as the Roma. Many Roma parents are employed, have a good level of English language, and support their children in education. However, there are some families which are particularly disadvantaged, less integrated and where older ways of living continue. These families often live in poor quality rental properties and have low status ‘unofficial’ jobs. Where language skills and levels of education are low, and state intervention is feared, Roma parents are unlikely to ask for help and may actively avoid contact.

How can services work more effectively, and efficiently, with Roma families?

How can relationships be forged with families, and trust built up with communities?

This learning day from the Roma Support Group will include a brief cultural awareness overview but will focus principally on identifying safeguarding issues which may arise with East European Roma families, and ways in which these may be addressed more effectively.

Sessions will:

  • Review briefly the social history and culture of Roma from Eastern Europe
  • Explore in more depth the implications for safeguarding – including family structure and relationships, concepts of honour in the context of relationships between boys and girls, and perceptions of good parenting
  • Consider the importance of understanding differentiation in the Roma community – employing a Roma heritage worker may not be effective if he or she is ‘from the wrong village’
  • Identify safeguarding issues which have arisen, including parental absence, children missing school, and taking Roma children into care
  • Review case studies where interventions have been poorly handled, and where they have been well handled
  • Take a fresh look at undertaking parental and other assessments
  • Share tools which exist to provide information to Roma families about child protection
  • Explore approaches to working with Roma families which build trust and promote better understanding

How can services work more effectively and efficiently with Roma families around safeguarding and child protection issues?

How can relationships be forged with families, and trust built up with communities?

This learning day, facilitated by the Roma Support Group (and including a Roma community member), will include a brief cultural awareness overview but will focus principally on safeguarding and child protection issues which may arise with East European Roma families, and ways in which these may be addressed more effectively.

  • Review briefly the social history and culture of Roma from Eastern Europe
  • Explore in more depth the implications for safeguarding – including family structure and relationships, concepts of honour in the context of relationships between boys and girls, and perceptions of good parenting
  • Consider the importance of understanding differentiation in the Roma community – employing a Roma heritage worker may not be effective if he or she is ‘from the wrong village.’
  • Identify safeguarding issues which have arisen, including parental absence, children missing school, and taking Roma children into care
  • Review case studies where interventions have been poorly handled, and where they have been well handled
  • Take a fresh look at undertaking parental and other assessments
  • Share tools which exist to provide information to Roma families about child protection
  • Explore approaches to working with Roma families which build trust and promote better understanding including a practice example of Derby City Council’s Roma Outreach Team

AGENDA

The sessions are pre-recorded and can be accessed at any time over a 3-day period.   In total, the sessions take approximately 3 hours, but we would advise leaving additional time to complete exercises and reflect.

Session 1

Understanding Roma families in the context of their history and experiences

  • Brief cultural awareness overview
  • East European Roma in the UK – including differences between groups
  • Impact of cultural factors for safeguarding and child protection
Session 2

Safeguarding and child protection issues which have arisen with Roma families in the UK

  • Main areas of concern for statutory authorities
  • Examples and case studies
Session 3

Taking a fresh look at the assessment process

  • Why the assessment process can be a ‘bad fit’
  • Problems around timescales
  • Language differences and working with interpreters
  • Ways to improve the assessment process
Session 4

Developing a more effective approach

  • Tools to promote better understanding
  • Approaches to working with Roma families
  • Practice examples
  • Children’s and families’ social workers
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • Family support professionals
  • Children’s charities
  • Youth workers, gangs projects, and CSE specialists
  • Schools
  • Education support, including education welfare and exclusions
  • Youth justice professionals
  • New Arrivals teams
  • Community safety
  • Substance misuse services
  • Community health services
  • Maternity health services and health visitors
  • Public health
  • Police and Community Protection Officers
  • Housing professionals – social and private rented

Delegate fee:

 £99 + VAT = £118.80

*Team of 3  £275 + VAT = £330

*Team of 5 – £425 VAT = £510

ring 0115 916 3104 for details.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellations received will be liable to an administration fee of 25%. 

*Team bookings are non-cancellable.   Substitute delegates will always be accepted up until, and including the day.

CANCELLATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN WRITING TO CCCLimited@aol.com AND WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY RETURN.

 

Confirmation of booking:

Your booking will be confirmed by email within 48 hours.

Gabriela Smolinska–Poffley is Roma Support Group’s deputy manager and a Roma Support & Engagement Programme Leader.   She has been working with East European Roma communities since 2002.   From 2002 until 2005 Gaba ran after school activities for Roma children.   These included art and crafts sessions and a reading group; through those activities Gaba was co-responsible for the creation of Colours of Hope: A Little Book by Roma Refugee Children for Everybody, a pictorial book written and illustrated by Roma refugee and asylum-seeking children, which was first published by the RSG in 2003.

Between 2005 and 2011 Gaba ran different health-related projects including Roma Health Awareness and Advocacy and Roma Mental Health Advocacy; facilitating Roma refugees and migrants’ access to health and mental health services. Gaba is a co-author of the Roma Mental Health Advocacy Project Evaluation Report published by the RSG in 2012.

More recently Gaba has been co-managing the Roma Support & Engagement Programme, which is our response to a growing need amongst service providers to ensure specialist interventions for Roma families across the UK. Gaba delivers Roma culture awareness training sessions, a specialist assessment and intervention service for Roma families in crisis.  Gaba also supports new grassroots Roma initiatives and community organisations by offering advice on capacity building and development tailored to the specific needs of organisations.

The Roma Support Group (RSG) is the longest established Roma-led charity organisation in the UK.   Since its founding in 1998, the organisation has assisted thousands of Roma families in accessing welfare, housing, education, health and employment, as well as empowering Roma communities through a wide range of advocacy and cultural programmes.