Safeguarding Soundbites – Young Carers, Child Sexual Exploitation and Safeguarding News
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Welcome to Safeguarding Soundbites with me, Colin Stitt, Head of Safer Schools at Ineqe Safeguarding Group and your host for today’s episode of the pocket-sized podcast that brings you the latest in digital news and safeguarding expert views.
This week was Young Carers Action Day and this year’s theme centred around the isolation that many young carers face. Providing care for someone whilst also juggling school, homework and daily life can be incredibly overwhelming and leave a young person feeling lonely. They often end up missing school, struggling with schoolwork and having little time or energy for friendships and socialising. Many young carers don’t receive any support – in fact, 39% said that nobody in their school was even aware they were a carer.
To find out how to recognise and help young carers in your community, go to our Online Safety Section at ineqe.com.
Also this week marked National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, a day that highlights issues around child exploitation. This type of child sexual abuse happens when someone uses grooming behaviours alongside the promise of something in return, such as money, gifts, status or affection. Often times the child will know and have a pre-existing relationship with the perpetrator which can make detection and disclosure difficult. Learn more by visiting our Online Safety Section.
In the news this week, the NSPCC released information about the backlog of child sexual abuse cases, which has risen by 70% during the pandemic. The NSPCC is urging the government to provide funding to tackle this backlog of cases and for guidance on pre-trial therapy for witnesses and victims to be published.
The latest version of the Online Safety Bill has been released to parliament this week, after five years of changes and additions, such as criminalising cyberflashing and new actions to tackle anonymous trolls as well as harmful and illegal content. This is the first step to getting the bill passed through parliament. There are hopes that the Online Safety Bill will make the UK the first country to regulate big tech companies and how they operate. If passed by parliament, it could come into effect later this year.
This week, the City of London and Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership published the ‘Child Q’ safeguarding practice review. The review was instigated and led by our CEO Jim Gamble QPM, who is also their Independent Safeguarding Children’s Commissioner. He worked alongside the senior professional advisor and reference panel, who brought their professional safeguarding and lived experience to help construct an unvarnished narrative and insight that should be read and considered by all safeguarding professionals. ‘Child Q’ was subjected to a strip search by police officers while in school. The report concludes that the best interests of the child were not upheld and that “racism (whether deliberate or not) was likely to have been an influencing factor.” To read the full review, you can visit the City of London and Hackney Safeguarding Children’s website.
Thank you for listening and remember to share with colleagues, friends and family! If you’re sharing on socials, feel free to tag us. Tune in next week for more online safeguarding news and updates.