Posted: 07 October 2016

Taking a stand at Conference

Party Conferences are a time of year when the political parties gather together to announce new policies, have debate and meet charities and other organisations to hear more about the work they do. Birmingham and Liverpool played host to the two main parties and The Children’s Society were there to champion the views of children and young people.

Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State in the Department for Education and long-time parliamentary campaigner dropped by our stall

Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State in the Department for Education and long-time parliamentary campaigner dropped by our stall.

Emily’s story

This year we had a stall at both Labour and Conservative Conference with a unique offer for all different levels of elected decision makers – Councillors, Police and Crime Commissioners and MPs. Our stall followed Emily’s story, a young girl aged 16 who begins to go missing from home and faces different outcomes in her life dependent on how services respond to her.  Unfortunately, we know from our research that 16 and 17 year olds are at highest risk of being a victim of a sexual offence (8.6%), compared to those aged over 18. We wanted to highlight this issue and others facing 16 and 17 year olds to decision makers attending the stand, talking about the protections we want to see improved from this age group.

We want the police to have the correct tools to protect this age group when they are at risk of sexual exploitation and to ensure all 16 and 17 year olds who are homeless are given a joint assessment from both housing and children’s services to meet their needs.

Lucy Powell MP, Member of Parliament for Manchester Central popped by our stall to show her support for our Seriously Awkward campaign

Lucy Powell MP, Member of Parliament for Manchester Central popped by our stall to show her support for our Seriously Awkward campaign.

Ask your elected MP or Councillor to pop by the stand

At conference this year, we asked our supporters to contact their local MP and Councillor to come to the stall and we produced a local data pack for every local authority, constituency and police force in the country.  This meant everyone could find out about the needs of children and young people in their local area and proved a real hit with everyone who stopped by – so much so we won Best Stand at the Labour Conference.

We had some fantastic conversations including with councils that are exploring our recommendation to exempt care leavers from council tax until the age of 25 to support their transition into adulthood and with MPs about our upcoming Private Members Bill sponsored by Kelly Tolhurst MP to better protect families with children in debt.

Members of the team with our rosette and trophy for winning 1St Place in the Organiser’s Best Stand award.

Members of the team with our rosette and trophy for winning first place in the Organiser’s Best Stand award. 

Find out more

If you want to find out more about our work at party conferences follow us on Twitter @childsocpol to see everyone who popped by the stall and keep up to date on our work in parliament.

By Lucy Capron - Policy team
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Posted: 1 January 1970

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Posted: 1 January 1970