• Contextual safeguarding and county lines

      Wroe, Lauren; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-10-31)
      Children and young people who are trafficked to sell drugs are being subjected to a form of extrafamilial harm. Whilst there is no statutory definition of ‘child criminal exploitation’ (CCE), CCE and the trafficking of children to sell drugs on ‘county lines’ are named in Working Together 2018 (HM Government, 2018) as forms of child abuse and as such those affected are entitled to a child protection response. This briefing will: - Map the emergence of ‘county lines’ as a child welfare issue - Introduce the four domains of Contextual Safeguarding - Outline how a Contextual Safeguarding approach to assessment, planning, intervention and outcome measurement could offer an alternative response to young people who are affected by ‘county lines’ - Undertake all of the above from an ecological, child welfare and participatory perspective
    • Covid-19: changing fields of social work practice with children and young people

      Dillon, Joanne; Evans, Ffion; Wroe, Lauren; ; University of Sheffield; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2021-02-12)
      Drawing on the theoretical work of Wacquant, Bourdieu and Foucault we interrogate how pandemic has weaponized child and family social work practices through reinvigorated mechanisms of discipline and surveillance. We explore how social workers are caught in the struggle between enforcement and relational welfare support. We consider how the illusio of social work obscures power dynamics impacting children, young people and families caught in child welfare systems; disproportionately affecting classed and racialised individuals.
    • Last resort or best interest? exploring risk and safety factors that inform rates of relocation for young people abused in extra-familial settings

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Wroe, Lauren; Bernard, D.; (Oxford University Press, 2021-05-06)
      When young people are harmed in extra-familial settings children’s services may place them into care at a distance from their home authority to remove them from contexts in which they are considered ‘at risk’. Guidance and regulation suggest such intervention be used as a last resort and only in a child’s best interests. Using survey and interview data, this paper examines how relocations are used in response to extra-familial harm in 13 children’s services departments in England and Wales – exploring the extent to which they are intended to mitigate risk, or build safety, for young people. Findings demonstrate that rates at which relocations were used varied across participating services. Interview data suggests that variation may be informed by the strategic position a service takes on the use of relocation, the goal(s) of interventions used in cases of extra-familial harm, and the target of these interventions. In considering each of these factors the authors recommend further study into the national (varying) rates of relocation and the role of those who review care-plans for relocated young people; both intending to create conditions in which young people can safely return to their communities should they choose to do so
    • Positioning social workers without borders within green social work: ethical considerations for social work as social justice work

      Wroe, Lauren; Ng'andu, Bridget; Doyle, Matthew; King, Lynn (Taylor and Francis, 2018-04-10)
      ‘Green social work’ is a new theoretical concern for the social work profession and specifically for social work with people crossing borders. Social work, while addressing environmental factors, whether in the family, housing or poverty, that form the backdrop to service users’ lives, pays little attention to the natural environment (Dominelli, 2012). However, the theoretical bridge between environmental degradation, and mass movement of people is well-forged in the social and environmental sciences (Gemenne, 2011; Bettini et al., 2016; UNICEF, 2017; Gemenne and Blocher, 2017; Climate and Migration Coalition, 2017).
    • Safeguarding and exploitation - complex, contextual and holistic approaches: strategic briefing

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Wroe, Lauren; Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (Research in Practice, 2019-05-22)
      This briefing can be used to inform the development of holistic, complex and contextual safeguarding systems that are equipped to address and prevent exploitation in all its forms. The briefing: * Provides an integrated account of the different forms of exploitation experienced by children and young people (including young adults) in relation to how they are defined, experienced and addressed. * Documents the strategic challenges posed by national policy frameworks (or lack thereof) associated to exploitation – as well as the legacy of siloed local structures or ineffective pathways for safeguarding adolescents. * Provides a set of considerations for designing an effective response to exploitation with reference to practice examples. * Identifies factors that enable a workforce to adopt an integrated approach to exploitation.
    • A sigh of relief: a summary of the phase one results from the Securing Safety study

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Wroe, Lauren; Skidmore, Paula; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-05-31)
      When practitioners are faced with young people who are being sexually exploited, coerced to traffic drugs around the country, or who have experienced serious violence in their communities, they sometimes move them a significant distance from their homes and communities. How often, for what purpose, and to what effect are such relocations used? While there may always be situations where it is necessary to move a young person, and sometimes their entire family, in order to keep them safe, anecdotal unease about the practice of relocations means there is far more we need to understand to ensure that such a disruptive, and costly, intervention is used to best effect. This research briefing presents the findings from the first phase of the Securing Safety study, which seeks to understand the rate, cost and impact of relocations of young people in response to extra-familial harm. It builds on studies into the use of fostering, residential care and secure settings during interventions for young people affected by sexual exploitation (Beckett, 2011; Ellis, 2018; Firmin, 2018; Shuker, 2013; Sturrock and Holmes, 2015) to focus specifically on how such interventions are used for broader forms of extra-familial harm and what their effective and ethical use might entail in the future. Engaging 15 local authorities in England and Wales, we begin to build a national picture of how often, why and in what circumstances this form of intervention is used to protect children and young people. The data collected in year one builds a rich picture of the complex and contested use of relocation. It highlights that moves are sometimes used as the only means of keeping a young person physically safe, that they can both disrupt and repair relationships, and that while they can be used to enable young people to access therapeutic support, consideration of the emotional impact of a relocation may be de-prioritised against other risks. Relocation can create a moment of relative safety for a young person, with one practitioner sharing that ’everyone breathes a sigh of relief’ when a move is complete. Considering the findings from the first year of our study we propose an interim set of recommendations and ask, if relocations offer a sigh of relief, who for?
    • The social model and contextual safeguarding - key messages for practice

      Featherstone, Brid; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Gupta, Anna; Morris, Kate; Wroe, Lauren; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-07-31)
      Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to safeguarding young people from harm they experience in extra-familial contexts. As such it is compatible with, and supports the development of, a range of practice frameworks and models that are being used to improve child protection responses and systems. In this briefing we explore the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and the Social Model of Child Protection – and the potential that may exist in bringing these two ideas together to create child protection practices that target the social conditions in which abuse occurs. The briefing is divided into three sections. In section one we summarise the two approaches. In the second section we reflect on what the two approaches share and where they may diverge. In the final section we present how they could work together by use of a case study, and make recommendations for how to explore this potential in the future.
    • The social model and contextual safeguarding - key messages for practice

      Featherstone, Brid; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Gupta, Anna; Morris, Kate; Wroe, Lauren; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Huddersfield; University of Sheffield; University of Bedfordshire; Royal Holloway University (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2020-07-31)
      In this briefing we explore the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding and the Social Model of Child Protection – and the potential that may exist in bringing these two ideas together to create child protection practices that target the social conditions in which abuse occurs. The briefing is divided into three sections. In section one we summarise the two approaches. In the second section we reflect on what the two approaches share and where they may diverge. In the final section we present how they could work together by use of a case study, and make recommendations for how to explore this potential in the future.
    • Social work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants: theory and skills for practice

      Wroe, Lauren; Larkin, Rachel; Maglajlic, Reima Ana (Jessica Kingsley, 2019-08-21)
      Mass-migration, conflict and poverty are now persistent features of our globalised world. This reference book for social workers and service providers offers constructive ideas for practice within an inter-disciplinary framework. Each chapter speaks to a skill and knowledge area that is key to this work, bringing together myriad voices from across disciplines, interspersed with the vital perspectives of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants themselves. The book discusses the specific challenges faced when working in the community, and in immigration detention, in the context of social work practiced from an ethical value-base. Staying up to date with the latest developments in policy; and addressing key specific skills needed to work with people affected by borders, this book is a valuable resource for both practitioners and students.
    • Social working without borders: challenging privatisation and complicity with the hostile environment

      Wroe, Lauren; University of Bedfordshire (Policy Press, 2019-08-19)
      Social Workers Without Borders is a UK social work charity established in early 2016 to provide direct support to migrant children and families, and to scaffold this through the development of social work education and activism reflecting the principles of human rights and social justice. Reflecting on Social Workers Without Borders’ model of practice, Lauren Wroe, co-founder and trustee of Social Workers Without Borders, discusses the charity’s recent campaign against Capita and the implications of privatisation for asylum-seeking and migrant families, as well as for the ethical value base of the profession. Positioning Social Workers Without Borders as a voluntary network that ‘fills the gap’ in state services, the author discusses campaign strategies to defend the profession, and the families it supports, from the rolling back of state welfare and the rolling out of state hostility through the deregulated outsourcing of social care services.
    • Surmounting the hostile environment: reflections on social work activism without borders

      Wroe, Lauren; Ng'andu, Bridget; King, Lynn (PM Press, 2020-12-31)
    • Watching over or working with? understanding social work innovation in response to extra-familial harm

      Wroe, Lauren; Lloyd, Jenny; University of Bedfordshire (Social Sciences, 2020-04-01)
      This paper critically reflects on the role of surveillance and trusted relationships in social work in England and Wales. It explores the characteristics of relationships of trust and relationships of surveillance and asks how these approaches apply to emerging policy and practices responses to extra-familial forms of harm (EFH). Five bodies of research that explore safeguarding responses across a range of public bodies are drawn on to present an analytical framework that explores elements of safeguarding responses, constituting relationships of trust or relationships of surveillance and control. This analytic framework is applied to two case studies, each of which detail a recent practice innovation in response to EFH studied by the authors, as part of a larger body of work under the Contextual Safeguarding programme. The application of this framework signals a number of critical issues related to the focus/rationale, methods and impact of interventions into EFH that should be considered in future work to address EFH, to ensure young people’s rights to privacy and participation are upheld.
    • Young people and ‘county lines’: a contextual and social account

      Wroe, Lauren; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2021-01-04)
      This paper presents an analysis of a ‘county lines’ safeguarding partnership in a large city region of England. A critical analysis of current literature and practice responses to ‘county lines’ is followed by the presentation of an analytical framework that draws on three contextual and social theories of (child) harm. This framework is applied to the partnership work to ask: are the interconnected conditions of criminal exploitation of children via ‘county lines’ understood, do interventions target the contexts of harm, and is social and institutional harm acknowledged and addressed? The analytical framework is applied to a dataset collected by the author throughout a two year study of the project. Qualitative data collected by the author and quantitative data published by the project are coded and thematically analysed in NVivo against the analytic framework. Critical tensions are surfaced in how multi-agency, child welfare practices are applied to ‘county lines’ affected young people. Generalising these findings to the child welfare sector at large, it is proposed that the contextual dynamics of child harm via ‘county lines’ must be understood in a broader sense, including how multi-agency child welfare practices contribute to the harm experienced by young people. There are limited peer-reviewed analyses of child welfare responses to ‘county lines’. This paper contributes to that limited scholarship, extending the analysis by adopting a critical analytic framework to a regional county lines project at the juncture of future national, child welfare responses to ‘county lines’.