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Children in Wales conference examines emotional literacy, 19/09/2007 [W]

Thursday, 20th & Friday, 21st September 2007

CHILDREN IN WALES CONFERENCE EXAMINES EMOTIONAL LITERACY

A recent report from UNICEF ranks the UK at the bottom of a league table for child wellbeing across 21 industrialised countries. This important conference in Cardiff will examine the role emotional literacy plays in promoting emotional wellbeing in children and young people and how policy makers and professionals can use it effectively. 

Chaired by Dr Mike Shooter CBE, Children in Wales’ two-day conference “Emotional Literacy in Children and Young People: Building Blocks for Learning, Life and Wellbeing” will bring together leading professionals in the field to explore how emotional literacy can enhance children and young people’s learning, wellbeing and relationships. A variety of programmes and activities have been developed to promote emotional literacy and some of these will be explored at the conference. 

Key speakers include:           

Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills will outline how Welsh Assembly Government policies promote emotional health in children and young people. 

Pupils from Cathays High School will talk about the Peer Support Service used in the school. Year 12 pupils are trained by NSPCC to run the service. Pupils speak a variety of languages to meet the needs of pupils from all ethnic backgrounds – 33 different languages are taught at Cathays High School.  

Dr Marilyn Tew, Antidote will talk about the work that this organisation does to help schools and children’s services use emotional literacy to enhance learning, wellbeing and community. Antidote has developed the School Emotional Environment for Learning Survey (SEELS), an on-line self-evaluation tool that provides staff and students with the information they need to start improving the emotional environment of their class or school. 

 Dr Nisha Dogra, Senior Lecturer in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Leicester will discuss ways that care providers can address the needs of children and young people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

 Professor Richard Williams, University of Glamorgan is Professional Advisor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health to the Welsh Assembly Government and has been Professor of Mental Health Strategy in the University of Glamorgan and a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust since 1998.

 Dafydd Ifans, CAFCASS will look at ways the Family Justice System might limit the potential trauma experienced by children who have been exposed to or involved in incidents or events that have traumatised their parents.

Penny Mansfield from the organisation One Plus One will be showing a film, outlining the possible effects on children who experience parental conflict.

Elizabeth Williams, Youth and Adult Learning Opportunities Division at the Welsh Assembly Government and Adrian Owen Williams, Clinical Nurse Specialist YOT/CAMHS, North West Wales NHS Trust will provide the Welsh Assembly Government and health perspectives.

 Catriona Williams, Chief Executive says:

“With the pressures of modern life, children and young people’s capacity to handle the complexities of emotions will increasingly become more important.  Increasing interest in ‘emotional literacy’ within the British education system in recent years and programmes to promote emotional literacy in children and young people have shown success in creating a positive environment and improving learning outcomes.  We in Children in Wales have drawn together leading practitioners to explore the relationship between emotional literacy and children’s emotional wellbeing and learning outcomes and the implications of this for schools, policy makers and educational psychologists.  The conference will offer a wealth of practical ideas to early years practitioners, schools and other practitioners wishing to help develop children and young people’s emotional literacy skills.”

Dr Mike Shooter, Chair of Children in Wales says:

“The importance of emotional health and wellbeing in children and young people has received growing recognition from the government in recent years.  Emotional literacy is not just about developing the social and emotional skills of children and young people, but also how we extend the emotional literacy of the adults who work with them.  We need to recognise that some children and young people’s inappropriate behaviour is related to their struggle to interact effectively, understand and relate to their peers and adults.”


For more information please contact: 

Catriona Williams, Chief Executive

Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, Cardiff  CF10 3BZ

Tel: 029 2034 2434

Mobile: 07721 568084

Fax: 029 2034 3134

E-mail: catriona.williams@childreninwales.org.uk

Website:  www.childreninwales.org.uk

 or

 Lucy Akhtar, Parenting Development Officer

Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, Cardiff  CF10 3BZ

Tel: 029 2034 2434

Mobile: 07887 947207

Fax: 029 2034 3134

E-mail: lucy.akhtar@childreninwales.org.uk

Speakers are available in Welsh and English.  Please contact Children in Wales if you wish to organise an interview.

 – End –

 Notes:

 1.      The conference
The two-day conference is taking place at the ESIS Conference Centre, Nantgarw, near Cardiff on the 20th and 21st September 2007. 

 2.      Background to CHILDREN IN WALES – PLANT YNG NGHYMRU 
Children in Wales was established in March 1992 and became a registered charity in 1993.  It aims to promote the interests of children, to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda.  We work closely with our members who comprise professionals, policy makers and consumer groups to improve the lives of all children living in Wales, but especially young children, those affected by family instability, children with special needs or disabilities and those suffering the effects of poverty and deprivation.  We collect and disseminate information about children and promote good practice in children’s services through research, policy and practice development, publications, conferences, seminars, training and access to an extensive library and information service.  Children in Wales has offices in Cardiff and Caernarfon.

 Children in Wales works in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau and Children in Scotland and is an active member of EUROCHILD (of which Catriona Williams is the President) and also of the International Forum for Child Welfare.

 3.      What is emotional literacy?    

By understanding their own and other’s emotions young people can understand each other better and feel more connected to each other.  These skills enable them to deal with situations in which they might otherwise have lashed out in rage or withdrawn in despair.  Emotional literacy also makes it easier for young people to take in new information leading to richer learning experiences. Emotional literacy is also important in the early years when children begin learning the social skills that can help them make friends, co-operate with others and solve social problems.  These skills can help children learn to wait their turn, share, resolve conflicts, manage anger and stand up for themselves appropriately.