When dealing with a vulnerable child or adult, safeguarding practitioners will create and update numerous documents. If the investigation leads to a criminal case, what information is recorded about the victim could well be disclosed to the accused. What professionals write about the victim is important and we should avoid ‘victim blaming language’.
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.
In the last few years the drugs landscape for young people has changed. Whilst cannabis is still the drug of choice, there has been a move towards “Legal Highs”, illegally purchased prescription only medication and powerful synthetic drugs. The availability of drugs on the internet has also had a significant impact. We look at some of those changes and some of the new drugs of choice.