IICSA – 125 anonymised accounts of child sexual abuse published on first ever online anthology

This is one of the most heart wrenching reads I have had in a long time and it really brings home the physical and emotional agony some people have had to go through. All professionals working with children should read this, but also members of the public, anyone of us may be the person someone turns to for help, or have the opportunity to advocate or support them. To read these for me is to respect the courage of those who have shared them.

125 anonymised accounts of child sexual abuse published on first ever online anthology

16 October 2018

125 anonymised personal accounts detailing child sexual abuse in institutions including schools, the RAF, Scouts and sports clubs have been published online today by the Truth Project, part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Over 6,000 people have now contacted the Truth Project. 1,800 have shared their accounts in person or in writing, and more sessions are planned to take place.

The Truth Project was set up to give victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry, and to put forward recommendations to help keep children safe in future.

The accounts are available at www.truthproject.org.uk/experiences-shared, in the first ever online anthology dedicated to the experiences of victims and survivors in England and Wales.  We will be adding 60 accounts every quarter, so by the end of the Inquiry 1,000 experiences of child sexual abuse will be online.

September 2018 – Domestic abuse not only women victims…

Another important news story. I am busy doing research and development for my training and supervisions activities and what I read so often makes me want to share and comment. It is so sad to see anyone trapped in an abusive relationship. I have worked with many people in these situations over the years and recognise how hard it is to leave and to find safe sanctuary.
A thought that is bothering me right now is are there any safe houses for members of the transgender community?

If anyone knows please do comment and share, it will be an important message to get out there.
Thanks for reading

https://www-bbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-england-45490173

September 2018 – update to KCSIE 2018 relating to safer recruitment

September 2018 Understanding and dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility

Understanding and dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility
 
Really useful guidance published on 3 September 2018 that will supports schools and colleges in understanding Parental responsibility, an area that has frequently caused confusion and frustration.
Link below
 

August 2018 – Sexual Harassment in Education government briefing paper – of note to Schools and colleges (education to age 18) & Further and higher education (post-18 education)

Important information for schools and colleges, this will be important when thinking about reviewing and updating your child protection policies and staff training.

The paper provides information on the requirements on schools, colleges and universities, relevant recent developments and the relevant policies schools and colleges are expected to have in place in relation to sexual harassment in schools and helpfully identifies age different behaviours.

Download the full report here:

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8117/CBP-8117.pdf

Summary can be accessed here:

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8117

July 2018 – Forced Marriage – Leeds school uses spoons to help prevent forced marriage

Saw this article and thought it was such a simple and yet creative way to support girls who may be at risk of forced marriage. There is still time this term to support and safeguard your pupils for the long summer break. Sometimes safeguarding is as much a part of helping young people identify ways to safeguard themselves as to identify abuse.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-44812530

A further link on the same subject from TES

https://www.tes.com/news/school-tackling-forced-marriage-spoon-underwear

July 2018 – Update to Working Together to Safeguard Children and Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners published today

Dear colleagues

Please note there are two significant new guidance documents published today:

 Information sharing advice for safeguarding practitioners

Guidance on information sharing for people who provide safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-practitioners-information-sharing-advice

Working together to safeguard children

Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2

Kindest regards

Sandi

 

July 2018 – Childrens Commissioners report released today

The children’s Commissioner has today released a report on vulnerable children with some startling statistics that really highlight for me the importance of early recognition and intervention. when you transfer the statistics such as one in six children children are living vulnerable lives due to complex family circumstances and then translate that into your street, your class, your sports organisation it really makes you think.

I have copied the information below from the Children’s Commissioners website including the links for you to be able to read this yourself and consider how you can be a part of supporting and protecting young people.

  • Children’s Commissioner’s report into childhood vulnerability estimates 2.1 million children in England – one in six – are living vulnerable lives due to complex family circumstances. 
  • 1.6 million ‘invisible’ children are living in vulnerable situations but receiving no known support or help from the system.
  • Report estimates 825,000 children are living in a family with domestic violence and that over 100,000 children are living in a family with the so-called ‘toxic trio’ of domestic violence, mental health and alcohol or substance abuse.

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, is today publishing a new report that brings together a range of information held by various government departments, agencies and others to reveal the scale of child vulnerability in England.

The report, “The Children’s Commissioner’s 2018 Report into Childhood Vulnerability”, estimates that 2.1 million of England’s 11.8 million children – one in six – are living in families with risks so serious that they need some level of help. The study also warns that for 1.6 million of those vulnerable children, the support is effectively ‘invisible’ – we don’t know if they are actually getting any coordinated help, despite the difficulties they are growing up with. Some of the risks these children face include parents with mental health problems or parents who are alcoholics or have substance abuse problems.

The 2.1 million children growing up in families with these complex needs includes:

  • 890,000 children with parents suffering serious mental health problems
  • 825,000 children living in homes with domestic violence
  • 470,000 children whose parents use substances problematically
  • 100,000 children who are living in a family with a “toxic trio” (mental health problems, domestic violence and alcohol and/or substance abuse)
  • 470,000 children living in material deprivation
  • 170,000 children who care for their parents or siblings

This year’s second annual Children’s Commissioner’s report on childhood vulnerability widens the groups of children associated with forms of vulnerability or risk from 32 to 37 (with 70 sub-groups) after making progress in identifying new groups of vulnerable children. The purpose of the study is to gather all available data on childhood vulnerability into one place, which enables us to cross-reference one dataset against another. It is designed to provide a clearer picture of the numbers of vulnerable children in England, to demonstrate why that can be difficult and to analyse in more detail the groups of children who are most vulnerable. Changes in figures from last year’s report may reflect better estimates rather than an annual increase or decrease in vulnerability.

The report finds that of the 2.1 million children in families with complex needs:

  • 310,000 children are classified as ‘children in need’
  • 410,000 are in families that are being, or have previously been, supported by the Troubled Families programme
  • 30,000 are the registered with their council as a young carer

But there are considerable overlaps between these groups – for example, many of the children in so-called Troubled Families are also children in need themselves. Once these overlaps are taken into account, the total number of number of children who are actually known to receive some kind of support comes to only 570,000. That leaves behind another 1.6 million children for whom it is unknown if they are actually getting any sort of formal or structured support – despite their potentially serious family circumstances.

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, responding to today’s report, said:

“Over a million of the most vulnerable children in England cannot meet their own ambitions because they are being let down by a system that doesn’t recognise or support them – a system that too often leaves them and their families to fend for themselves until crisis point is reached.

“Not every vulnerable child needs state intervention, but this research gives us – in stark detail – the scale of need and the challenges ahead. Meeting them will not be easy or cost-free. It will require additional resources, effectively targeted, so that we move from a system that marginalises vulnerable children to one which helps them.

“Supporting vulnerable children should be the biggest social justice challenge of our time. Every day we see the huge pressures on the family courts, schools and the care systems of failing to take long-term action. The cost to the state is ultimately greater than it should be, and the cost to those vulnerable children missing out on support can last a lifetime.

“We get the society we choose – and at the moment we are choosing to gamble with the futures of hundreds of thousands of children”.

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/2018/07/04/over-two-million-children-in-england-are-growing-up-in-families-where-there-are-serious-risks-major-study-from-childrens-commissioner-reveals-2/

July 2018 – Gender separation in mixed schools Non-statutory guidance June 2018

Following the Court of Appeal’s judgment in HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills v the Interim Executive Board of Al-Hijrah School.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published non-statutory guidance on what mixed schools must consider when separating classes by gender. The guidance is for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies in all mixed maintained and independent schools, academies and free schools.

Gender separation in mixed schools

Non-statutory guidance

June 2018

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/719398/Gender-separation-guidance.pdf