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Web panel on child protection and science

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meg Munn MP chaired her first webinar recently, a panel discussion focusing on the contribution of women in forensic science and child protection in the UK. Meg was joined by Lorna Cservenka, a partner in the child care law practice of Hanne & Co and Deborah Jacobs from Gary Jacobs & Company, as well as two female forensic scientists, Sue Carney forensics consultant at Ethos Forensics and Helen Swain, a forensics consultant at Forensal Limited.

Prior to becoming an MP Meg worked extensively in child protection and is currently Chair of the All–Party Parliamentary Group on Child Protection. She has also been engaged about the position of women working in the science, engineering and technology sectors.  The webinar was hosted by Trimega Laboratories, a leading provider of substance misuse testing services.

The panel discussed current policy on the forensic science industry and family law as it relates to the welfare of children; the participation rate of women in the industry, and how that rate might be increased. The Munroe Review, which examined the social work system, explored many issues that need to be further examined including reducing paperwork and speeding up the court process.

The link between forensic science and child protection in the court system relates to practices such as alcohol hair strand testing of parents in the adoption process, or relying on experts to assist court decisions with scientific evidence. As in other areas, currently as many as 70% of women who have qualifications in this important area do not work in the sector despite the shortage of expertise.

Meg said:

 “Accurate information is important for professionals working in child protection and improvements in forensic science can help achieve better protection of children. However, science is an area where the UK lacks the necessary skills.

Women are under-represented and policies to recruit and retain more women are one way to increase skills and ensure this area of our economy grows and prospers.”

The six webinar sessions can be seen at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Igz7gC9h_8


Associated Photograph :

Meg with Lorna Cservenka, Deborah Jacobs, Sue Carney and Helen Swain

Meg with Lorna Cservenka, Deborah Jacobs, Sue Carney and Helen Swain

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