Improving policy and practice for the well-being of children and young people
The Michael Sieff Foundation is a registered charity which has been at work since 1987. The Foundation is dedicated to improving policy and practice for the well-being of children and young people.
The Foundation achieved these objectives by organising conferences bringing together people with wide ranging responsibilities for vulnerable children and young people, resulting in action being taken in practical ways. Since research shows the best outcomes for children depend on multi-disciplinary work, the Foundation encourages multi-agency collaboration. The website provides a resource for the holding of material presented at its conferences and seminars, with links to other like-minded organisations.
Since 1987 the Foundation has made a significant contribution to policy and practice in the sphere of child protection, the social re-integration of young offenders, combating cross border paedophile activity, improving the conditions for children giving evidence in court, work with early years’ children and the welfare of children in primary schools. Currently the Foundation is seeking to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentarians’ Inquiry into the Youth Justice system.
On conclusion of a cycle of conferences from 2008 to 2011 the Foundation adopted a different approach for our continuing work. We decided to work in partnership with other like-minded organisations in order to build on our reputation for promoting conferences and our resources for networking. The Foundation offers internal expertise on specific subject matter, database pooling, assistance in Parliamentary promotion where appropriate and subsidy or underwriting. We focus on areas where we have historical knowledge and emotional capital and where there is a reasonable likelihood of a successful outcome.
Where there have been concrete findings and recommendations, they have been promoted by Parliamentary Briefings, Lobbying and the use of social media via our website, and mailing list and Facebook site.
Across the years the Foundation’s work has been made possible by the generosity of donors a number of whom have wished to remain anonymous. However, it is right that we should acknowledge a grant in respect of our work on Youth Justice from the Nuffield Foundation, a grant for our general work with vulnerable children from the Paul Hamlyn Trust, and testamentary gifts from the estates of Rupert Hughes CBE and David Jefferies CBE. Both Rupert and David gave invaluable service to the Foundation as trustees over many years.
The Foundation will consider promoting and sponsoring with other funding bodies, collaboration on matters of policy development and implementation of issues relating to children and young people. It is not a grant making body.
Plan agreed to revive central support for FDAC released on 14 February 2019
Following the July 2018 Meeting (see below) to discuss the closure of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) National Unit the Michael Sieff Foundation has been facilitating various discussions about how support can continue to be provided.
We are delighted to report that those discussions have now been brought to a successful conclusion. Plans have been agreed to revive support for the pioneering court system designed to help prevent the children of parents addicted to drugs or alcohol from being taken into care.
The full press release published today, 14 February 2019, can be viewed on our website here.
There is a brief report, “Family Drug and Alcohol Courts backed by private donors”, on the BBC News website here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47235100
Meeting to discuss the closure of the
Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC)
National Unit (NU)?
A meeting was held on the 11 July 2018 to discuss the announced closure of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court National Unit (FDACNU) at the end of September 2018. Held in the House of Lords Committee Room G 10.30am – 12 noon, the meeting was Co-Chaired by The Earl of Listowel, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Tim Loughton MP.
Lord Listowel outlined the problem which had caused him to call the meeting. In essence the funding for the National Unit (as distinct from the individual local FDAC Courts) from the Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice would end shortly.
The meeting heard from Dr. Mike Shaw, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Co-Director of the Unit; Steve Bambrough, Associate Clinical Director at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; Phil Bowen, Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation; Nick Crichton, Founding FDAC Judge; and James Brown, Partner in Hall Brown, Solicitors, Manchester.
Full notes of the proceedings of the meeting along with additional background information on the successful role that the FDAC National Unit is playing is published on the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) National Unit (NU) page of this site
Special Educational Needs
Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) in the UK
Action Plan 2019
The Michael Sieff Foundation has been considering some of the problems of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) field for nearly two years in accordance with terms of reference agreed by its Trustees in February 2017. These were to investigate the impact of the reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014, with particular reference to the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) to replace Statements of Special Educational Needs, and the detailed evidencing of educational, health and care needs required to get all three systems to provide effective educational, and where relevant health, social care and parenting support for children and young people with hidden disabilities.
We have been working with a range of professionals and interest groups, including the Inclusive Education Unit at University College, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Special and Inclusive Education at the University of Roehampton, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Council for Disabled Children, I CAN and Action Attainment.
See the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) in the UK page for the full Action Plan proposed.
Scoping Seminar on Education Health and Care Plans
18 January 2018
The Trustees sponsored this multi-disciplinary meeting to investigate the impact of the reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014, with particular reference to the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans and the detailed evidencing of educational need to provide effective educational and parenting support for children and young people with hidden disabilities.
Visit the Scoping Seminar on Education Health and Care Plans page for details of the event including:
The three presentations given at the seminar:
Education, Health and Care Plans
Research on the new SEND policy and its implementation
Discussion of the Lenehan Report
Notes from the Seminar Plenary
A list of attendees
Care & Crime Together?
Seminar on Closer Integration between the Family and Youth Courts
14 June 2018
Chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew
The Michael Sieff Foundation organised a seminar at (and supported by) the Nuffield Foundation on 14 June 2018 to discuss the merits of and barriers to closer integration and collaboration between these two jurisdictions dealing with cases involving under 18s.
Visit the Care & Crime Together? Seminar page for details of the event including:
Notes from the Seminar Plenary
A list of attendees
The Michael Sieff Foundation Thirty Years Plus 1986 – 2017
Our 30 Year Celebration
In recognition of the achievements of the Foundation and the individuals who have contributed to the Foundation’s aims over the past thirty years, a celebration was held at the Reform Club in London on Friday 1 September 2017. Thoughts from: The Founder, The Chairman of Trustees, Past President & The Secretary of the Foundation, links to download the Anniversary Brochure, and a photo gallery from the evening can be viewed on the 30 Year Anniversary page.