Your chance to set the really tough questions at Community Care Live

Six of social care’s biggest names will lock horns in London on 16 May in the annual Question Time at Community Care Live – and you can set the terms of the debate. We are inviting readers to submit questions which may be posed on the day by our regular chair, BBC presenter Jeremy Vine (above centre).

Below we provide a taste of what to expect from the panellists, who embody the breadth of the sector.

Peter Beresford, Jane Campbell and Maxine Wrigley are leading figures in the service user movement.

Beresford chairs user-led network Shaping Our Lives and is also a top social work educationalist, as professor of social policy at Brunel University.

Campbell, currently a commissioner at the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, chaired the Social Care Institute for Excellence for five years after making her name lobbying for disabled people’s rights.

For the past five years, Wrigley has been national co-ordinator of A National Voice, which is run by and for people who have grown up in care.

From the other end of the spectrum, David Behan is the sector’s leading civil servant as the Department of Health’s director general for social care, while Anne Williams is the first president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

They will be joined by child psychotherapist Camila Batmanghe-lidjh, the founder and director of Kids Company, which provides support to deeply vulnerable and isolated young people.

The final panellist is Community Care editor Mike Broad.

● To submit a question for our panel go to


Maxine Wrigley: “Often looked-after children do not feel that corporate parents routinely or genuinely ask themselves ‘would this service be good enough for my own son or daughter?’ when making decisions.”

Peter Beresford: “Has there ever been a law which has been pursued for so long in the face of so much determined and united opposition and which is so widely predicted to fail on both practical and moral grounds as the Mental Health Bill?”

Anne Williams: “People will remember Victoria Climbie and Jasmine Beckford and others for a long time but there seems to be no collective memory of the scandals of adult abuse.”

Camila Batmangelidjh: “The root causes of violent crime among young people are lack of love and abandonment.”

David Behan: “Social work is fundamentally about addressing inequality and social injustice. Some people choose to go into politics to do that. Some of us choose social work.”

Jane Campbell: “Too many social care professionals still cannot bear the principle, let alone the practice, of transferring employment functions to service users through direct payments.”

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