Hello and welcome to my October Blog. The 18th October is Anti-Slavery Day and coincides with the European Union’s Anti-Trafficking Day; it was established in 2010 to raise awareness of the need to eradicate all forms of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. To support the day, Essex Police developed the Be A Voice Campaign in 2016, they will be developing it this year to include the tag line ‘Look Again’ to increase the public and professional understanding with a focus on raising the message of young people being groomed and exploited as part of the trafficking and slavery process. This campaign can be supported by sharing and liking messages using the #BeAVoice. There is also information including access to posters and images on our Trafficking and Modern Slavery page within the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website, please access these throughout October to learn more and spread the message.
On the note of Essex Police I would like to say congratulations and well done to DS Louise Wilson, Essex Police Missing Persons and Hate Crime, who will be leaving her current role to take up a position as Staff Officer to the Deputy Chief Constable in relation to the National Public Order portfolio. Exciting times for Louise and I’m sure that many of you who have worked alongside Louise over the last few years will agree with me when I say what a huge contribution she has played to the development of work in relation to CSE and missing children across the partnership. Louise has been instrumental in the setup and development of the police Missing Person Liaison Officers role and has been a huge contributor to the work around the Memorandum of Understanding with Children’s Homes, Missing and Child Exploitation meetings and other work around CSE and missing.
In my July blog I spoke about the CSE whole workforce consultation that was taking place to better understand the views of the workforce in relation to their understanding and confidence in working with children and families affected by CSE. A report from this work is being developed and has been shared with the ESCB Child Exploitation and Missing Sub-committee and learning will be disseminated through local Stay Safe Groups and Missing and Child Exploitation meetings. What has been outlined through this work is the relationship between a workers confidence to deliver and provide services in relation to CSE and our understanding of engagement with families. We will need to consider as a partnership how we support the workforce understanding and confidence in approaching and delivering conversations with families on risk in relation to exploitation, and the differences between vulnerability and risk, what we can do to open these conversations and empower and enable parents to understand better what they can do to safeguard and support their child from those who would exploit young people. Here are some examples of how you can get support with working with parents around CSE:
◾The Essex Safeguarding Children Board Website CSE pages have a page for parents and the resources on this page can be used by professionals to support in conversations about exploitation and risk and what they as parents can do. You can use them as a tool for direct work or as a link to share.
◾Parents Against Child Exploitation Website has a wealth of information for supporting parents and professionals. They provide a telephone helpline for parents to call for 1:1 advice and a free online course for parents / professionals.
◾The Children’s Society CARE project is also available for professional support and advice about how to work in partnership with parents. You can call the Children’s Society on 01245 493 311.
◾CSE Champions can access our next Champions Forums in November, featuring ‘Supporting Parents’, prompt the CSE Champion in your organisation to attend and share learning back into your organisation.
◾The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has published “How to support parents of sexually exploited young people: An evidence review”; this report provides clear and practical advice on what is helpful in enabling parents to maintain or rebuild positive, supportive relationships.
Some of the key findings from the Essex CSE Workforce consultation include:
◾A wide range of resources used by the workforce with the top most widely used as Essex Police and the ESCB website.
◾The SET CSE Toolbox has been identified as a valuable resource, those that have accessed the CSE risk and vulnerabilities assessment have rated it highly.
◾Workers value conversations and learning from experienced and well informed colleagues.
◾Missing and Child Exploitation (MACE) meetings are seen as good examples of joint working arrangements and confidence is growing in the way problem profiles are collected, there is work to be done to better support how information from MACE cascades to our frontline workforce.
As always, please feel free to contact me to discuss anything within my blog or if you would like to better understand my role and how I can support your organisation around child exploitation. Clare.Livens@essex.gov.uk 07788303718