Major child welfare conference begins in Glasgow today

Published: 6 May 2010

Experts from around the world gather for the Fred Stone memorial conference

Leading experts from across the globe gather today in Glasgow for a major conference in memory of one of the leading child psychiatrists of his generation, Professor Fred Stone.

The Child Mental Health and Law conference begins this morning (Friday 7 May) with academics from Scotland, Europe and American discussing what happens when vulnerable children become involved with the legal system.

Professor Charles Zeanah, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University in New Orleans, will discuss an adoption system he pioneered which has reduced the number of years maltreated children under five spend in care. The system will be trialed later this year in two children and family projects in Glasgow.

Karen Hallstrom, Deputy Judicial Administrator for Children and Families at the Louisiana Supreme Court, and Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, will also address the conference.

Professor Stone is widely regarded as having steered the development of child psychiatry services in Scotland. He died at the age of 87 in September last year and will be remembered for his groundbreaking work in placing children’s emotional and psychological needs at the centre of paediatric medicine in Scotland.

Over four decades, Professor Stone drove forward developments in liaison psychiatry, infant mental health, the recognition of autism. He was instrumental in establishing Scotland’s internationally renowned approach to justice for children through its Children’s Hearings system

Conference organiser Dr Helen Minnis, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the University of Glasgow, said: “Professor Stone was a pioneer in child psychiatry in Scotland and also laid the foundations for how vulnerable children are treated by the legal system today.

“This major conference in memory of Professor Stone will be of interest to those working with vulnerable children in any setting – the courts, children’s hearings, NHS, education services, social work and voluntary services.”

The conference will take place at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel Glasgow.

For more information contact Eleanor Cowie in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

First published: 6 May 2010

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