NetMums co-founder Sally Russell will take part in a conference looking at Fabricated and Induced Illness (FII), as one of four panel members.

The event comes after Researching Reform aired a podcast on FII and its impact on families in the UK.

FII (once called Munchausen’s by Proxy), is sometimes referred to as a form of child abuse, where a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes illness in the child.

The phenomenon is controversial because of a lack of research and clear guidelines on FII, and a heightened risk around false diagnoses in cases where children have legitimate but complex diseases or illnesses which are hard to diagnose.

Russell, whose son has a form of autism called Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) , is joined on the panel by clinical psychologist Dr Judy Eaton, clinical psychology lecturer Dr Fiona Gullon-Scott and social worker Cathleen Long.

FII came to the PDA Society’s attention last year after several families got in touch to ask the organisation for support after being accused of harming their children. The society said they had received 15 enquiries over a period of 4 months, and that to date none of the cases had yet shown any evidence of FII.

The virtual conference, which has been organised by the British Association of Social Workers, takes places on Thursday 25th June, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and is free to members. Non-members will be charged £12 per ticket. 

You can access the event page and the booking form, here. 

Further reading and listening: