The term ‘streetwise’ is often mentioned in missing children cases. It wrongly gives the impression that a child is wise to the risks they may face, and able to get themselves out of dangerous situations. It is mistakenly used to justify a reduced response from safeguarding professionals. This can lead to tragic circumstances.
Imagine a place where children who have been sexually abused can receive the response that they need, under the one roof. A place where all the safeguarding agencies work together, not only to ensure the welfare of the child, but also secure evidence the best evidence to bring perpetrators to justice. That is ‘Barnahus’, the Icelandic model being introduced into the UK.
Significant increases in the number of children being groomed online has led to the rise of self-styled ‘paedophile hunters’. Members of the public who take it upon themselves to act as child decoys online, arranging to meet and then publicly confronting the abuser. Many of these confrontations have ended in serious incidents. So, are paedophile hunters’ lawless vigilantes, or safeguarding angels?
Advances in smart technology has proved a valuable tool in keeping vulnerable people safe. Where missing people are concerned, assistive technology aides a problem-solving approach in preventing a person from going missing in the first place, whist GPS tech provides police and search teams with an important means of locating a missing person quickly and safely.
There are approximately 130,000 missing incidents involving children each year in the UK. It is impossible for the police and social care to provide the same level of service to every missing and returning child. Proper risk assessment is the key to identifying and responding to those children who are the most vulnerable.
We take a look at the changes to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) process and ask whether they go far enough to safeguard children who are trafficked internally in the UK through sexual and criminal exploitation. Plus, we include a practical guide for safeguarding professionals on the NRM process.
In the period 2015/16, 15,395 UK-domiciled first-year students disclosed a mental health condition. Tragically, 134 students took their own lives, a record number. Suicide among students in England and Wales has risen by over 50% in the last decade. How are universities responding to this crisis and are they doing enough?