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.
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.
Whilst overall crime has reduced in the last few years, violent, gun and knife related offences have risen significantly. Youth and gang related violence, together with county lines , have become priorities for many local safeguarding agencies. We look at what a gang is, the structure of a gang, and the dangers children and young people face by being drawn into gang culture and membership.