Saturday, April 14, 2007

Children, Disability and Community Care, 1850-Present

I should add a label for posts: "lectures and conferences I wish I could attend." This would be another one (edited from an announcement on H-Education):
24-25 October 2007, Sketty Hall, Swansea
A multi-disciplinary conference sponsored by the Society for the Social History of Medicine

Community care has become an increasingly important topic for social policy and historical research. While recent work has stressed the diversity of experience, the variety of different groups involved, the long antecedents of the policy and its contested meanings, there is arguably still too much emphasis on the closure of long-stay mental health and learning disability facilities. This conference seeks to:
  • Locate services for children within debates about institutional and community care (framed by the adult experience) over a much longer time-frame.
  • Extend analysis to a range of physical and sensory disabilities alongside, and in comparison to, provision for children with mental health problems and/or learning difficulties.
  • Contrast evolving institutional and community-based services for children with disabilities with statutory and voluntary sector provision for children in care because of family breakdown and/or childhood delinquency.
  • Re-examine and integrate the now extensive literature on infanticide, child abuse and "mercy" killings, in relation to childhood disability issues.
  • Evaluate midwifery and obstetric services, including the development of pre-natal screening and special care for premature babies.
  • Assess the role the medical profession played in the diagnosis of childhood disability and the control of specialist services. Here special attention will be paid to the relationship between knowledge and practice.
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between knowledge and practice for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.
  • Emphasise the role community-based services play in leading people into, as well as out of, residential care.
  • Draw together ideas about children in need to link efforts to maximise the opportunities available to children disadvantaged by poverty and/or disability, through an evaluation of the SureStart scheme.
  • Acknowledge the contribution of the voluntary sector and self-help initiatives.
  • Involve researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines.
  • Develop an international dimension to this research by inviting participants from abroad.
  • Develop opportunities for the publication of selected conference papers.
All inquiries about the conference should be addressed to Pamela Dale at the Center for Medical History.


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