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Fri, 05 Jun


Online Zoom Training

Children Who Set Fires: A Talk from Joanna Foster

The June Sunflower Soirée welcomes eminent criminologist and author Joanna Foster who will be giving a fascinating insight into her valuable and important work around firesetting. Followed by a Q&A.

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Children Who Set Fires: A Talk from Joanna Foster
Children Who Set Fires: A Talk from Joanna Foster

Time & Location

05 Jun 2020, 18:45 – 21:00

Online Zoom Training


About The Event

Training from the The Sunflower Network

The Sunflower Networks, June Soirée welcomes eminent criminologist and author Joanna Foster, who will be giving us a fascinating insight into her valuable and important work around firesetting.  

The setting of fires by children and teenagers is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, shrouded in myths about its motives and meaning. Joanna Foster has spent the last sixteen years specialising in this field, including training other practitioners in this area, providing case supervision and working directly with families where there are concerns for firesetting behaviour. Joanna will talk to us about her work and her latest book that unpicks what sits behind the labels of ‘arsonist’ and ‘firesetter’, and what this behaviour is often communicating.

Please note: this event will now be taking place online, and Joanna has very generously offered to waive her speaker fee in order to help The Sunflower Network keep going during these difficult times. We're incredibly grateful for her support. 

Tickets are now at a donation price of your choosing - with a £10 minimum - anything you can offer on top of that will be much appreciated. 

The Sunflower Network are still just a tiny fledgling organisation and the donations will enable us to keep our heads above water until the storm passes. Thank you. 

About Joanna: 

After graduating from Oxford University, Joanna gained over sixteen years’ experience of working in the public, charitable and voluntary sectors, including ten years managing the London Fire Brigade’s Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme (JFIS) from 2003-13. Whilst JFIS Manager, Joanna worked with hundreds of London’s most at-risk children and families, and re-shaped the JFIS programme in line with statutory requirements to ensure the highest possible standards for clients and staff. Joanna worked closely with the London Child Protection Committee to introduce juvenile firesetting behaviour into the London Child Protection Procedures for the first time. In 2010, Joanna’s work with two clients was filmed as part of the BBC2 documentary series Wonderland, in an episode entitled ‘The Kids That Play With Fire’.

Joanna has spoken at national and international conferences on the subjects of juvenile firesetting and children’s safeguarding in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, New Zealand and the US, hosted by the Forensic Science Society, the Federation of European Union Fire Officer Associations, the Institution of Fire Engineers, the International Association of Arson Investigators, the New Zealand Fire Service, and Gardners Associates. Whilst JFIS Manager, Joanna delivered firesetter training to personnel from a range of Fire and Rescue Services across England, along with front-line staff from Greenwich Children and Families Social Care, the MET police, and the Fire Service College.

In June 2013 Joanna launched fabtic, a company specialising in juvenile firesetting behaviour. Joanna now delivers training, consultancy and supervision services to front-line practitioners, and continues her direct client work with children and teenagers who set fires (working both privately and via public sector organisations). Joanna has delivered training to 44 UK FRS since the launch of fabtic, along with training staff from the fields of forensic psychology, youth offending, police, education, social services, academia, arts therapies, secure units and mental health services, both in the UK and the US. 

Joanna has a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health, is trained in restorative practice and is a member of the CPD Standards Office, authorised to deliver CPD certificated and accredited courses. Joanna’s work continues to attract media attention and in October 2016 featured in the Financial Times in an article entitled ‘I Stop Children Setting Fires’.  Joanna has been commissioned by Jessica Kingsley Publishers to write a book for practitioners and parents on juvenile firesetting (publication date 21 October 2019), is co-author of a chapter on juvenile firesetting in the US Handbook of Behavioral Criminology, and is currently studying for her Master’s in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management at Cambridge University.

For more information, terms, conditions and booking head over to the Sunflower Network Booking Site HERE

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