ISPCAN – venerable and contemporary


I first got involved with online child protection in 1996 when I started working as a consultant for one of the UK’s largest, professional child protection and child welfare organizations. I came from a technical background so the whole child protection world was then completely new to me. However, I quickly started hearing about an outfit called “ISPCAN” – an acronym for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN).

I soon learned that if I wanted to find out who the leading researchers were internationally in the field of child abuse, or if I wanted to locate the latest research papers in any of the many disciplines that were coalescing around child protection, ISPCAN had to be the first port of call.

It would be many years before I actually attended a full ISPCAN event but when I did I was struck how ISPCAN had managed to make the transition. It was not  simply a “Hall of Fame” for researchers who were once pioneers. It was and is that, but I could see how it was also reaching out into new and very modern issues as well.

Aside from the global ISPCAN event, which happens every two years, there are various regional ones. The next one for Europe is in Dublin in September of this year.

Under the heading of “contemporary issues”, wearing my eNACSO hat, I hope to be pitching in to several debates. Hope to see many of you there.