Interconnections Worldwide

Working internationally to share information, help build knowledge and support teamwork around babies, children and young people who are disabled, marginalised or vulnerable

The home of Team Around the Child (TAC) and the Multiagency Keyworker


Intersex. An arena for genital mutilation?

From the ISNA (Intersex Society of North America) website:

‘“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.

‘Though we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until she or he reaches the age of puberty, or finds himself an infertile adult, or dies of old age and is autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing.

‘Which variations of sexual anatomy count as intersex? In practice, different people have different answers to that question. That’s not surprising, because intersex isn’t a discreet or natural category.

‘What does this mean? Intersex is a socially constructed category that reflects real biological variation. To better explain this, we can liken the sex spectrum to the color spectrum. There’s no question that in nature there are different wavelengths that translate into colors most of us see as red, blue, orange, yellow. But the decision to distinguish, say, between orange and red-orange is made only when we need it—like when we’re asking for a particular paint color. Sometimes social necessity leads us to make color distinctions that otherwise would seem incorrect or irrational, as, for instance, when we call certain people “black” or “white” when they’re not especially black or white as we would otherwise use the terms.’

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Pathological Demand Avoidance conference, Transitions, Autism-friendly design and other conferences and courses


Autism and social skills conference

25 November 2016. London

This National Autistic Society’s conference will look at how unwritten social rules can be anxiety-inducing for autistic people. It will discuss the effectiveness of existing social skills development programmes and apps.


Autism and sport

7 July: London

26 July: Liverpool

11 August: Sheffield

4 Sept: Pontypridd

5 November: Manchester

This one-day course, organised by The National Autistic Society, provides a comprehensive introduction to autism, focusing on the delivery of sport. Aimed at those involved in delivering sport or physical activity, it will help delegates to recognise and understand the key areas of difference in autism, as well as looking at supportive strategies in practical situations in order to reduce the difficulties experienced by participants and session leaders.


Understanding autism and introduction to the SPELL framework

4 October 2016. London

This one-day, CPD certified course, organised by The National Autistic Society, provides an overview of autism and how to support people with the condition using the SPELL framework. SPELL is a framework for responding to the needs of children and adults on the autism spectrum developed through evidence-based practice. It is useful in identifying underlying issues, reducing the disabling effects of the condition and providing a cornerstone for communication. This course is suitable for those wanting to increase their understanding of autism and strategies to support children or adults on the autism spectrum. Other dates and in-house training available.


BASPCAN National Conference and Seminar Series (UK)

baspcan_thumb_medium77_10025th Anniversary of Child Abuse Review conference: Evidence-Informed Practice, Practice-Informed Research


18th November 2016, Birmingham 

To celebrate the occasion of 25 years of the Journal BASPCAN is holding a one day event.

Past and present editors will be involved and the day will include invited expert speakers presenting on current themes including CSE, Neglect and Domestic Violence. A full day involving previous CAR authors, free papers in parallel sessions, poster presentations and a breakfast meeting on how to get published offer delegates a full day of learning and development.

The structure of the day will include:

- An optional pre-conference breakfast meeting for delegates on how to get published in Child  Abuse Review
- An opening plenary session setting the theme
- Two parallel sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon on the following themes:

•    Child Sexual Exploitation        
•    Neglect
•    Domestic Violence
•    Translating research into Practice

Each parallel session will include one invited keynote lecture, a number of short presentations from submitted abstracts, and a plenary discussion.

A closing plenary and celebration of 25 years of Child Abuse Review

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Professor Nicky Stanley, University of Central Lancashire
  • Professor Marian Brandon, University of East Anglia
  • Professor Jenny Pearce, University of Bedfordshire
  • Dr Stephanie Holt, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Professor Kevin Browne, Nottingham University

Early bird registration will close on Friday 19 August and the cost will then increase by around 30%.

Book on line at


BASPCAN is planning a series of seminars drawing on learning from the Department for Education Triennial Review of Serious Case Reviews, 2011-2014. This will be released on 5th July 2016.

The seminar facilitators are Professor Marion Brandon, University of East Anglia and Dr Peter Sidebotham, University of Warwick.

The seminars will enable participants to learn key lessons rising from the recent triennial review of SCR, in order to inform opportunities for improving practice in interagency working to safeguard children.

The confirmed dates are London on 7th October, Dublin on 17th October with Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh dates to be finalised.

All dates and venues will be confirmed shortly but please register your interest by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do you work in the UK with parents who have learning difficulties or learning disabilities?

BR100Beth Tarleton writes: In September 2016, WTPN will be holding a series of 5 free seminars around the country to speak about updated Good Practice Guidance on working with parents with a learning disability - and its role in helping to ensure that the human rights of parents with learning difficulties, and those of their children, are respected.

These free, half-day seminars will also provide some practical insights into working with fathers with learning difficulties and, at the Plymouth venue, findings of recent research on the challenges to participation: parents, capacity and the courts.

We are particularly keen to meet managers, commissioners and others who hold any responsibility for ensuring that policies, practices and procedures respect the rights of the families with whom they work. ​

Do come! You can book at:

London -12th September - 3 pm

Leeds - 13th September - 10 am

Plymouth - 21st September -10 am

Bristol - 22nd September - 10 am

Coventry - 26th September - 2 pm

We look forward to seeing you at one of the events

​The WTPN support​s  professionals working with parents with learning difficulties and learning disabilities and their children. Promoting the welfare of these children is paramount to all organisations and individuals within the network.

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