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’.
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?
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.