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.
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?
Hotel and B&B rooms are often used to groom and abuse young people. Those that work in the hotel business have a responsibility to safeguard and prevent the sexual exploitation of children. MakeSafe is an initiative that equips hoteliers with the necessary skills to spot potential signs of exploitation and take preventative action.
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.
What the difference between Trojans and Worms? What is Catfishing? What are the dangers of a young person using an avatar? What does the PEGI rating mean? If you are responsible for safeguarding children and young people, but don’t quite understand the everyday language of the internet, then read this simple guide explaining the basics.
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.
Abuse linked to a belief in spirit possession is difficult for safeguarding professionals to identify, understand and sometimes accept. It sits outside the norm and there is a danger that they could mistakenly be dismissed as superstitious nonsense. We take a look at the very specific indicators associated with this specific area of child abuse.
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.