21st Anniversary Conference - 21 Years of Representing Children and Young People - What Have We Learned and What Can We Do Better?


<< Back to latest news

The Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency turned 21 in November 2017 and celebrated this landmark by hosting a conference entitled "21 Years of Representing Children and Young People - What Have We Learned and What Can We Do Better? .

We feel it is important not only to ‘look back’ as part of marking the Guardian service for children and young people, but more importantly, to use the conference as an opportunity to debate and highlight common challenges around strengthening the voice of children and young people. This event is timely for Northern Ireland, due to the conclusion of the Review of Civil and Family Justice by Lord Justice Gillen and the Care Proceedings Pilot. The Republic of Ireland is also at an important point in its history. 

There is much we can learn from each other and share as we move forward.

Speakers of the Day

Peter Reynolds - CEO NIGALA
Anthony Douglas CBE  -  Chief Executive of CAFCASS
Adam McEntee - Young Person / Service User
Elly Farmer - Young Person / Service User
The Honourable Mr Justice O’Hara   -  Family Judge in Northern Ireland

District Judge Nick Crichton CBE  -  Family Drug and Alcohol Court, London
Professor Geoffrey Shannon  -  Child Protection Rapporteur for the Republic of Ireland

Professor Brid Featherstone  -  Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield

The Presentations Delivered on the Day are available below:-

Mr Peter Reynolds - CEO NIGALA

Mr Anthony Douglas CBE - CEO CAFCASS

Adam McEntee - Young Person/Service User

Elly Farmer - Young Person/Service User

Professor Geoffrey Shannon

Professor Brid Featherstone


Workshop Presentations are as follows:-

Workshop A - Children & Young People's Participation in Court

Workshop B - Signs of Safety - Implementation and Practice in Ireland North & South

Workshop C - Advocating for Children & Young People with Special Needs

Workshop D - Regional Social Work Initiatives        Regional Social Work Initiatives - 2

Workshop E - Advocacy - Looked After Children and Decision Making

Workshop F - Operational Responses by CAFCASS in meeting New and Established Challenges - a Lessons Learned Approach

Workshop G - The Building Better Futures Framework - a model for the Assessment and Enhancement of Parenting


NIGALA Conference Brochure - A Conference Overview