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Department of Social Work and Social Care Seminar Four: Neuroscience and the politics of early intervention

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Time: 5.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue: Lawley Lecture Theatre, Kingston Hill, Kingston University
Price: free
Speaker(s): Professor Sue White

Department of Social Work and Social Care Seminar Four: Neuroscience and the politics of early intervention

Current social policy initiatives are promoting early intervention to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.
Neuroscientific evidence is prominent in this discourse, creating the lustre of science, but too much has been taken on trust.

In particular, the argument that the first three years are critical has created a now-or-never imperative to intervene before irreparable damage is done to the developing infant brain.

A critique of current policy in the United Kingdom is presented here, drawing on counter-arguments from the policy discourse in the United States during the 'decade of the brain', updated with more recent research findings.

Overall, we show that the infant brain is not readily susceptible to permanent and irreversible damage from psychosocial deprivation.

Rather, plasticity and resilience seem to be the general rule.

The co-option of neuroscience has medicalised policy discourse, silencing vital moral debate and pushing practice in the direction of standardised, targeted interventions rather than simpler forms of family and community support, which can yield more sustainable results.

Registration opens at 5pm with tea and coffee and concludes with some beverages and refreshments.

Professor Sue White qualified in social work at the University of Leeds in 1984.

She worked as local authority social worker and manager, mainly in statutory child care, until 1995, when following doctoral studies, she moved to an academic post at the University of Manchester, leaving in 2002 to become Professor of Health and Social Care at the University of Huddersfield and in January 2007, Professor of Social Work at Lancaster.

Sue joined the Institute for Applied Social Studies, at the University of Birmingham in August 2010
For the past two years Sue has been involved in the social work reform process in England.

She served on the Social Work Task Force, was a member of the College of Social Work Development Group and the Social Work Reform Board.

She is currently a member of reference group for the Munro Review of child protection services in England.

Sue is currently Chair of the Association of Professors of Social Work and Editor in Chief of Child and Family Social Work


Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Amanda, FHSCE Events
Tel: 020 8725 0792


Directions to Lawley Lecture Theatre, Kingston Hill, Kingston University: