Second Annual Faith and Peaceful Relations Conference: Coventry 5th July

Last date for submission of abstracts: 22nd May 2017


Second Annual Faith and Peaceful Relations Conference

Faith in the Care System: Addressing the Diverse Needs of Children

5th July 2017, Jaguar Building, Coventry University

Co-hosted by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University & CoramBAAF


In the context of Social Work, faith – both religious and non-religious – remains an under-researched and inadequately understood aspect of children’s identities. Children’s beliefs influence their care needs, aspirations, perceptions and connection to family and community life. Research evidence suggests that depending on a child’s particular circumstances, faith can either strengthen their sense of self-worth and resilience or it can inhibit it, reducing a child’s confidence in his or her decisions. In either case, faith can impact on a child’s ability to form positive realtionships with their carers. In order to improve outcomes for all children, it is imperative that researchers, social work professionals, carers and parents better understand the impact that faith can have on children’s lives and well-being. This conference will create a forum where exciting new research, current best practice and everyday lived experience of faith in the lives of looked-after children can be discussed and better understood.


The Faith and Peaceful Relations (FPR) Research Group at CTPSR explores the role religion can play in achieving peaceful and just societies. Faith can be a driver of social justice, yet it can also be a source of exclusion, misunderstanding and conflict. We are currently leading a project (funded by the charity Penny Appeal in collaboration with Coram-BAAF) to examine the experiences of Muslim children in the British care system. Following on the success of the first FPR conference on Islam and Peaceful relations we are excited to collaborate with CoramBAAF on the second FPR conference which will examine the impact of children’s diverse faith and belief positionalities on their journey’s through the British Care System.


This conference is an opportunity for academics, professionals and carers to come together to share expertise, experiences and good practice of caring for and addressing the needs of children from diverse religious and non-religious faiths. We invite proposals for papers, panel discussions, workshops, poster presentations and other contributions from academic scholars, social work and care professionals, adoptive and foster parents, legal experts, community activists and from those who experienced the care system. The conference will explore themes including:

  • Theological and sociological discussions around adoption, fostering and caring for vulnerable children
  • Faith and its impact on outcomes for children
  • Impact of religious or non-religious belief on children’s identities
  • Intersectionality in children’s identity and the impact of this on outcomes for children
  • Social work best practice around issues of faith and care
  • Issues of contemporary significance including, for example the care of unaccompanied asylum seekers
  • Legal perspectives / considerations of religion or belief in care


Plenary Speaker: Dr John Simmonds OBE, Director of Policy, Research & Development, CoramBAAF

John is a qualified social worker and until his appointment at BAAF was the Programme Coordinator for social work programmes at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has been involved in consultancy and training for social workers and social work organisations throughout his career. He has published many articles and chapters in books and was the co-editor of ‘Direct Work with Children’ published by BAAF/Batsford in 1988. He is the adoptive father of two children.


Abstracts & Proposals

To submit a proposal:

  • Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 300 words, indicating whether it is a paper / panel / workshop / poster presentation,
  • Provide names and short biographies (150 words maximum) of the presenter/s, institutional affiliation/s (if relevant), and contact details
  • Proposals should be sent to the conference administrator Charlotte Martin (
  • Deadline: 5pm on Monday 22nd May 2017.
  • Successful participants will be notified by 29th May 2017.



  • A registration fee of £30 will apply for all speakers and delegates.
  • A reduced fee of £20 will apply for students, representatives of voluntary organisations, adoptive parents, foster carers and those not in paid employment.
  • Further details about the registration process will be circulated and posted on the CTPSR website ( by mid-May 2017.


Conference Organisers

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (, Mphatso Boti Phiri, Alison Halford Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR), Coventry University; and Savita de Souza ( CoramBAAF

Join Swan Now

We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.