• Joining the dots? Tackling child exploitation during Covid 19

      Racher, Anna; Brodie, Isabelle; Research in Practice for Adults; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Publishing, 2020-10-20)
      Purpose – This paper aims to report on findings from action research undertaken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme (TCESP), a Department for Education funded programme that provides support to local areas in improving their strategic approach to child exploitation and extra-familial harm. Design/methodology/approach – The research included a scoping review of the literature, and focus groups with programme staff, strategic leaders and professionals from different services across England. To provide a strategic lens, findings were then considered in relation to TCE’s ‘‘Joining the dots’’ framework, which encourages examination of the relationships between different forms of child exploitation. Findings – The action research highlighted the emerging and tentative nature of the knowledge base relating to child exploitation and extra-familial harm in the context of Covid-19. Findings revealed that there had been innovation in the use of digital methods and direct working, integration of practical support with other forms of service delivery and in partnership working, and also considerable variation in approach across different local areas. Practical implications – Strategic leaders need to use the evidence emerging from lockdown as a basis for further interrogation of emerging data alongside the views of young people, families and communities and their wider workforce. This includes new information about changing patterns of exploitation. Digital delivery and innovation need to be supported by clear strategic guidance, based on review of the evidence regarding increased digital communication and its impact. New partnerships developed between services, data sharing and innovative ways of working that have taken place during lockdown need to be monitored and evaluated for quality and impact. Originality/value – The action research findings offer a snapshot of practice regarding child exploitation and extra-familial harm at a mid-point in the Covid-19 lockdown in England and Wales.
    • Transitional safeguarding: presenting the case for developing Making Safeguarding Personal for young people in England

      Cocker, Christine; Cooper, Adi; Holmes, Dez; Bateman, Fiona; University of East Anglia; University of Bedfordshire; Research in Practice for Adults (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2021-01-25)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to set out the similarities and differences between the legal frameworks for safeguarding children and adults. It presents the case for developing a Transitional Safeguarding approach to create an integrated paradigm for safeguarding young people that better meets their developmental needs and better reflects the nature of harms young people face. Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on the key principles of the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014 and discusses their similarities and differences. It then introduces two approaches to safeguarding: Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP); and transitional safeguarding; that can inform safeguarding work with young people. Other legal frameworks that influence safeguarding practices, such as the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Human Rights Act 1998, are also discussed. Findings: Safeguarding practice still operates within a child/adult binary; neither safeguarding system adequately meets the needs of young people. Transitional Safeguarding advocates an approach to working with young people that is relational, developmental and contextual. MSP focuses on the wishes of the person at risk from abuse or neglect and their desired outcomes. This is also central to a Transitional Safeguarding approach, which is participative, evidence informed and promotes equalities, diversity and inclusion. Practical implications: Building a case for developing MSP for young people means that local partnerships could create the type of service that best meets local needs, whilst ensuring their services are participative and responsive to the specific safeguarding needs of individual young people. Originality/value: This paper promotes applying the principles of MSP to safeguarding practice with young people. It argues that the differences between the children and adult legislative frameworks are not so great that they would inhibit this approach to safeguarding young people.