Challenges and opportunities – Ágota Child Protection Conference

Challenges and opportunities – Ágota Child Protection Conference

On 29-30 June, the now traditional annual child protection conference was held under the auspices of the St. Ágota Child Protection Service. The event, entitled Challenges and Opportunities, was hosted by the St. Gellért Forum.

The programme included opening speeches by János Kothencz, Head of the Ágota Community, Dr. László Kiss-Rigó, County Bishop, Dr. Ákos Kozma, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and Attila Fülöp, State Secretary. All of them interpreted the current state of child protection and the foreseeable difficulties for the future from their own perspective, the main ones being the ageing of the foster care workforce and the need to replace quality professionals in time to ensure that the sector can continue to meet the child’s main interest, family-based education.

János Kothencz presented the results of their recent research based on a survey of foster parents. They mapped the career perspectives of professionals who foster their own families, their motivation and the challenges they face. During the two days, we heard high-quality presentations on possible ways to improve child and residential care, and the importance of mental health support for field workers.

The second day focused on talent management, with talks by Dr Zsuzsanna Feffer, Head of the Department for Child Protection and Guardianship of the Ministry of the Interior and Dr Miklós Radoszáv, Director of Operations of the Csányi Foundation. Miklós shared his time with two of the Foundation’s talented students, Járay Bianka and Anna Benczúr, who gave an exciting taste of their life’s journey. They highlighted the main milestones of their lives and introduced the audience to their activities and plans.

Dr. Miklós Radoszáv presented the main activities of the Foundation, the professionalism and awareness behind the Life Path Programme, the methodology of the selection process. It was a touching moment of the conference when Miklós announced that this would be his last public lecture and that he would be handing over the floor to young people in the future. During the coffee break that followed his speech, dozens of professionals lined up next to him and expressed their thanks and gratitude for having started him on the path or motivated him to stay, learning from him in the classrooms of the school or from the cases they solved together.