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Similar but different - responding to the health needs of unique children - CoramBAAF Health Group conference


Looked after and adopted children are frequently referred to as a homogenous group with a defined set of difficulties and needs. Yet practitioners know how much every child that they meet is different. Each child has a unique set of circumstances, their own story, specific strengths and personal challenges.

Producing comprehensive, holistic health assessments and individual, meaningful and responsive health plans that address children's on-going needs is a constant challenge.

This conference includes a diverse range of topics and speakers - reflecting the rich, varied, confusing and demanding world of working with the unique children that are in care or have been adopted.

The conference will integrate themes from policy, practice and research. The process of health assessment and health planning requires practitioners to consider many different components: the child's health history; their in utero and early experiences; family history; their development; and lifestyle factors.

Key topics covered will include: substance misuse in pregnancy; genetics; gender identity; communication needs; mental health; and wellbeing.

READ: Interview with clinical psychologists Dr Emily Doncaster and Dr Bronwyn Harrison-Stewart, speakers at the CoramBAAF Health Group Conference

CME CPD: 6 hours

RCPCH: Applied for


This conference will:

  • consider the variety of elements that would need to be included when developing a holistic health assessment that reflects the individual needs of a child
  • develop an understanding of the latest developments in genetics and their relevance to fostering and adoption
  • consider the importance of developing a narrative of a child's early experiences
  • reflect on the fundamental importance of a child's communication needs and how this may affect the delivery of care
  • consider core issues of identity and how they may relate to a child's emotional wellbeing


Agency medical advisers, named and designated doctors and nurses, GPs, health visitors, school nurses, midwives and specialist nurses for looked after children, health professionals for disabled children, designated heads and teachers for looked after children, social workers, children's guardians, adoption and fostering panel members, independent reviewing officers, mental health workers, psychiatrists and psychologists working with looked after and adopted children.


8.30am Registration and refreshments

9.00am CoramBAAF Health Group annual meeting - Dr Lynn Snow, Chair of CoramBAAF Health Group and Designated Doctor for Looked After Children Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland and Dr Deborah Price Williams, Deputy Chair of CoramBAAF Health Group

9.25am - 9.35am Welcome and introduction by Chair - Ellie Johnson, Health Consultant, CoramBAAF Adoption & Fostering Academy

9.35am - 10.35am Developments in genetics: adoption and fostering - Dr Kate BurkeMRCPH, Cardiff University

10.35am - 11.00am Mental health and wellbeing of looked after children: an update on the progress of the mental health pilot areas - Department for Education Children in Care Team

11.00am - 11.30am Refreshment break and viewing of poster presentations

11.30am - 12.15pm 'Lost Voices' speech language and communication needs of looked after children - Claire Westwood and Claire Johnstone, Children's Senior Speech & Language Therapists, Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospital Trust

12.15pm - 1.00pm Unmasking individuality and tailoring treatments for complex children - Dr Matt Woolgar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, National Adoption & Fostering Service, SLAM NHS Trust and Senior Researcher, National Academy Parenting Research, Kings College London

1.00pm - 2.00pm Lunch, viewing of poster presentations and CoramBAAF bookstall

2.00pm - 2.30pm Promoting individualised, evidence-based mental health care for looked after and adopted children - Dr Matt Woolgar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, National Adoption & Fostering Service, SLAM NHS Trust and Senior Researcher, National Academy Parenting Research, Kings College London 

2.30pm - 2.50pm Recovery focused services for children in care - Dr James McGurk, Consultant Clinical and Community Psychologist, Cornwall Clinical Psychology and Therapies Team

2.50pm - 3.05pm Refreshment break and viewing of poster presentations

3.05pm - 4.05pm Gender identity, children and young people - Dr Emily Doncaster, Clinical Psychologist and Dr Bronwyn Harrison-Stewart, Clincial Psychologist, Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust

4.05pm - 4.35pm NICE guidance for looked after children review - Round table discussion, preparation for future consultations

4.35pm - 5.00pm The importance of the continuity of health records for adopted children - Dr Lynn Snow, Chair of CoramBAAF Health Group and Designated Doctor for Looked After Children Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland

5.00pm - 5.15pm Chair's closing remarks and close


Registration 8.30am
Start 9.00am
Close 5.15pm

Refreshments/lunch provided


Full or associate CoramBAAF member - £185.00 + £37.00 VAT Total - £222.00

Individual CoramBAAF member - £135.00 + £27.00 VAT Total - £162.00

Non-member - £250.00 + £50.00 VAT - Total £300.00

Non-member price for nursing professionals - £135.00 + £27.00 VAT Total - £162.00
(Please apply nursediscount discount code at the checkout).

Concessions available for adoptive parents, foster carers, care leavers and adopted young people. Contact the Conference Team for further details.



Delegates have the option of joining colleagues for dinner and networking on Sunday evening at a local restaurant. Delegates will need to book their own accommodation and confirm attendance at the dinner with the Conferences Team. (Note: the dinner and hotel accommodation are not included in the conference fee.)


Telephone 020 7520 7520


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Sorry, but this is fully booked and tickets can no longer be purchased.