‘Life Through a Lens: Our Stories Matter’ - Highland Conference – Friday 28th February 2020

Scottish rapper, author and social commentator Darren McGarvey (aka Loki) will join a line-up of inspirational speakers at a Highland Conference at the end of this month.

The event will address adverse childhood experiences including child abuse, domestic abuse, substance misuse and the wider justice system.

It will also look to strengthen the links between children and adult services, and statutory and third sector organisations to ensure effective and seamless responses are in place.

Over 250 practitioners and managers from Highland Council, Police, NHS Highland and Third Sector partners will attend the event, on 28 February, which has been organised by the Community Justice Partnership and Highland Child Protection Committee.

Brothers Luke and Ryan Hart set up ‘Co-Co Awareness’ following their own family’s experience of coercive control and murder. During the Conference Luke will be encouraging delegates to recognise the signs and impact of coercive control on children and families and respond early to avoid longer term consequences.  Authors Matt Carey and Madeleine Black will also tell their own stories of childhood trauma, how this impacted on them going into adulthood and ultimately what helped and hindered their recovery.

The impact of adverse childhood experiences is proven to have significant implications for some children and young people into adulthood. James Docherty from the Violence Reduction Unit will highlight the importance of opening our minds to hear, see and understand children’s stories and the impact these may have as we enter adulthood.

By listening to, and hearing these stories, we begin to fully understand the issues and complexities which surround individuals, families and wider communities.  These inspirational stories will help us become more trauma informed, developing strategies and services for individuals which are needs led.

It is anticipated that the event will help practitioners gain a better understanding of the impact of unresolved trauma from childhood into adulthood and strengthen the links between those working in this particular area with children and adults. It is also hoped the event will strengthen those links between the statutory and third sector organisations involved in this hugely important work.

Chair of the Highland Community Justice Partnership, Niall MacLennan said: “We are delighted to be hosting this conference in partnership with the Highland Child Protection Committee.  The subject matter transcends the important work undertaken by numerous agencies across the Highlands in supporting our vulnerable young people and their journey into adulthood. The attending speakers will provide some key insights to the lives of young people and the issues they may experience, which is vital if we are to understand how best to offer support individually and collectively.”

Acting Chair of the Highland Child Protection Committee, Karen Ralston said: “Understanding and responding to trauma is a key priority for the Child Protection Committee and only by understanding the impact of trauma do we begin to transform our practice.  Services which are trauma informed and needs led offer a real opportunity to help children, young people and families address issues and work towards recovery.”

26 Feb 2020