Jenny Molloy - Author and survivor of childhood neglect and its effects delivers key note address in Redcar
Safeguarding professionals from across Redcar & Cleveland came together to discuss the issue of Neglect in Children and Young People as RCSCB launched its revised Neglect Strategy.
The Strategy reinforces the shared commitment of all partner agencies to re-focus efforts to better identify children and young people experiencing neglect and to more effectively join up the support that can be offered to families.
Held in the Redcar & Cleveland Leisure & Community Heart, Jenny Molloy told her story:
Jenny said: "I was nine when I took my brothers to the police station and asked to be put in care. Neglect was every day in our home. It showed in so many ways. We smelled bad. Food didn't enter into my parents' lives. I never saw them have a meal. I was a scavenger. I learned which shops I could steal from and how to find rhubarb in the cemetery. That was like finding gold."
Raised by alcoholic parents in Hackney, London, Jenny experienced first-hand the effects of neglect. Culminating in a terrifying vigilante attack by an angry mob after her mother was imprisoned for soliciting, Jenny took it upon herself to get help.
Jenny's story, one of eventual rescue and support from the pain of her childhood, illustrated the true impact of neglect. She said: I was 32 before I opened up about being in care. I hadn't told anyone, not my husband or children. When you're in care you feel like you cant ever be a parent yourself but the love I received in care, which was missing from home, did teach me how to be a parent.
"If the ultimate failure of care is that the children of those who have been in care also end up in care, then the ultimate success must be being able to raise a family without them being taken into care. You [the care professionals] can give us that hope."
Now a grandmother and a government advisor on the care of children, Jenny has published the books Hackney Child and Tainted Love (under her pen name Hope Daniels) about her experiences. Her latest book Neglected, written under her real name, shares stories of love and hope within the care system, a message Jenny is passionate about.
The conference was opened by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council Chief Executive Amanda Skelton. Amanda said: "Every time there is a Serious Case Review one of the recommendations is always for agencies to work closer together. That's why we held this conference.
"Neglect is such an important issue that we need to be constantly vigilant. We're committed to working together to prevent neglect. We do not accept this is a perennial, unsolvable problem. We had some excellent speakers share their experience and expertise to help us with this important challenge."
Jon Rush, Independent Chair for RCSCB, said: "The launch of the Neglect Strategy reinforces the shared commitment of all partner agencies to re-focus efforts to better identify children and young people experiencing neglect and to more effectively join up the support that can be offered to families."
Other speakers at the conference included:
- Her Honour Judge Matthews QC discussing the Judicial Perspective of neglect.
- Dr Catherine Hiley, Consultant Community Paediatrician, highlighting the potential short and long term medical effects of neglect upon children and young people.
- Rachel Carter from South Tees NHS Foundation Trust discussing the change in language both locally and nationally in respect of missed medical appointments for children and young people, moving away from the term 'Did Not Attend' (DNA) to 'Child Not Brought', in recognition of the potential detrimental effects of such missed appointments on a child's health.
The day was very well attended with representatives from over 15 agencies, including the voluntary and community sector. Feedback from the event has been excellent with all attendees rating the event as either good or very good and comments included:
- Jenny's presentation reminded us of why we are here doing this job as it is so important to see it all through the eyes of the neglected child.
- Jenny's Story - Eyes of a child through voice of an adult.
- Jenny Molloy was exceptionally insightful and thought provoking.
- The range of perspectives, the importance of multidisciplinary perspective and the insight from a child who has been subject to the system.
- Gave me greater insight into first hand experiences of neglect and experiences of practitioners in the care system; teachers etc.
- This event should definitely be repeated, very worthwhile and appropriate to all professionals. A good mix of services represented today.
- Excellent Conference from start to finish. Good mix of presentations.
- Very Good Venue. Extremely Interesting and informative event.
- Absolutely loved this conference experience, learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you.
Neglect Conference Agenda.pdf (205.18k) Last modified: 29/06/2017 08:56:34
NEGLECT CONFERENCE 9 MAY 2017 - Evaluation Report.pdf (420.98k) Last modified: 29/06/2017 08:56:32