• Safe foster care for victims of child sexual exploitation

      Shuker, Lucie; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald, 2015-12-01)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on an evaluation of a pilot of specialist foster care for children at risk, or victims, of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and/or trafficking. Design/methodology/approach – The research adopted a multi-case study approach, gathering placement documentation, interviews and weekly monitoring logs throughout the duration of the 13 placements. Findings – This evaluation found that safety for those at risk, or victims, of CSE within the in-care population has both a physical and a relational element. The most successful placements were able to deploy restrictive safety measures effectively by tipping the balance of care and control towards demonstrations of compassion and acceptance. Good relationships in these foster homes unlocked other positive outcomes, including reduced missing incidences and increased awareness of exploitation. Research limitations/implications – The small sample size within this pilot project suggests the need for further research to test the applicability of the notion of multi-dimensional safety to young people’s welfare more generally. Practical implications – The findings confirm previous research that highlights the importance of stable relationships in child protection. They have implications for current tendencies to commission short-term CSE interventions that are unlikely to create the relational security that can improve community safety for young people. Originality/value – This is the first published evaluation of specialist accommodation for those affected by CSE in the UK, and its findings will therefore be of most value to commissioners and providers of care to looked after young people. The concept of multi-dimensional safety will be relevant to those with responsibility for child welfare/safeguarding.
    • Safe inside? child sexual abuse in the youth secure estate

      Soares, Claire; George, Rachel; Pope, Laura; Brähler, Verena; IICSA Research Team (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2019-02-28)
      The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Inquiry’) aims to consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions in England and Wales have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, and to make meaningful recommendations for change. This research explores perceptions and experiences of safeguarding in the youth secure estate in England and Wales, specifically in relation to child sexual abuse. It complements the Inquiry’s investigation into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse while in custodial institutions. The research provides contemporary insight from staff and children across different establishments in the youth secure estate. The study sought to find out the extent to which children feel safe from sexual abuse in the youth secure estate, and the role of staff, systems and processes within this
    • Safeguarding adolescents: a survey of London professionals

      Shuker, Lucie; Contextual Safeguarding Network (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2017-11-16)
      This report presents the findings of a survey of 120 London-based professionals from a range of agencies, on their views and experiences of safeguarding adolescents in the capital. It was undertaken as part of a programme of work for the London Safeguarding Adolescents Steering Group (LSASG) and will inform the development of a new chapter on safeguarding adolescents in the London Child Protection Procedures.
    • Safeguarding adult reviews: informing and enriching policy and practice on self-neglect

      Preston-Shoot, Michael; (Emerald, 2020-04-25)
      Purpose – One purpose is to update the core dataset of self-neglect safeguarding adult reviews and accompanying thematic analysis. A second purpose is to explore the degree to which safeguarding adult reviews draw upon available research and learning from other completed reviews. Design/methodology/approach – Further published reviews are added to the core dataset, mainly drawn from the web sites of Safeguarding Adults Boards. Thematic analysis is updated using the four domains employed previously. The four domains and the thematic analysis are rounded in the evidence-based model of good practice, reported in this journal previously. Multiple exclusion homelessness and alcohol misuse are prominent in this sample of reviews. Findings – Familiar findings emerge from the thematic analysis and reinforce the evidence-base of good practice with individuals who self-neglect and for policies and procedures with which to support those practitioners working with such cases. Multiple exclusion homelessness emerges as a subset within this sample, demonstrating that SABs are engaging in reviews of people who die on the streets or in temporary accommodation.   Research limitations/implications – The national database of reviews commissioned by SABs remains incomplete and does not contain many of the safeguarding adult reviews reported in this evolving dataset. The Care Act 2014 does not require publication of reports but only a summary of findings and recommendations in SAB annual reports. NHS Digital annual datasets do not enable identification of reviews by types of abuse and neglect. It is possible, therefore, that this dataset is also incomplete. Drawing together the findings from the reviews nonetheless builds on what is known about the components of effective practice, and effective policy and organisational arrangements for practice. Practical implications – Answering the question “why” remains a significant challenge for safeguarding adult reviews. The findings confirm the relevance of the evidence-base for effective practice but SARs are limited in their analysis of what enables and what obstructs the components of best practice. Greater explicit use of research and other published SARs might assist with answering the “why” question, drawing attention where appropriate to policies being pursued by central government that undermine any initiative to end rough sleeping. Originality/value – The paper extends the thematic analysis of available reviews that focus on work with adults who self-neglect, further reinforcing the evidence base for practice. The evidence-base also supports practice with individuals who experience multiple exclusion homelessness. Policy-makers and practitioners have an approach to follow in this complex, challenging and demanding area of practice.   Keywords: Safeguarding adult reviews, evidence, self-neglect, research, multiple exclusion homelessness, alcohol misuse
    • Safeguarding adults and COVID-19: a sector-led improvement response

      Cooper, Adi; University of Bedfordshire (Emerald Group Holdings Ltd., 2020-10-21)
      Purpose: This study aims to describe the sector-led response to the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown in terms of safeguarding adults. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a case study method to examine a sector-led improvement response to COVID-19 and safeguarding adults. Findings: The study describes how safeguarding issues and concerns were identified and brought together, and then responded to. It reviews this initiative in the context of crisis intervention theory and discusses the achievements of this initiative regarding COVID-19 and safeguarding adults during the period April–July 2020. Originality/value: The study describes a unique joint initiative between the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, which worked with the Networks of Chairs of Safeguarding Adults Boards, Safeguarding Adults Boards’ managers and Principal Social Workers. This initiative developed resources and shared information and good practice to support a response in unprecedented circumstances.
    • 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.
    • Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation, gang-association and associated vulnerabilities: a briefing for Inspectorates

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Contextual Safeguarding Network; University of Bedfordshire (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2018-02-16)
      This briefing has been designed to inform the development of the Joint Targeted Area Inspections into child sexual exploitation by Ofsted, HMIC, HMIP and the CQC. It has been updated from an original briefing published on CSE for inspection in 2016, to include contemporary key messages from The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence’ (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire, and provide more detailed comment on gang-association and criminal exploitation. Although this briefing has a particular focus on inspecting responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE), gang-association and other forms of child sexual abuse (CSA), it also considers associated vulnerabilities - such as being missing from home or education – which are important for safeguarding in adolescence more broadly.
    • Safeguarding children under Covid -19: what are we learning?

      Pearce, Jenny J.; Miller, Chris; University of Bedfordshire; Harrow Safeguarding Partnership (Emerald, 2020-11-30)
      This ‘view point’ identifies learning from a series of webinars held by the Association of Safeguarding Partners (www.theASP.org.uk). These webinars have been sharing information about both the challenges and opportunities presented in safeguarding children during the Covid-19 pandemic. They are advertised as open access and have been attended by UK safeguarding leads, including scrutineers of local safeguarding children partnerships (LSCPs), practitioners representing local authorities, police, health, and the Department for Education. Findings from the webinars note concerns about continuing and undetected abuse of children within and outside of the home; about the changing nature of criminal exploitation; and about the strains created by social distancing on children in families experiencing problems with poor mental health, drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse. Despite this, there have been some important and helpful lessons learnt, including the discovery of innovative ways of working, the rapid collation of data across partnerships and about different methods of engaging with children, young people, and their families. This ‘think piece’ gives a brief summary of these findings with suggestions about their possible impact on the future safeguarding of children.
    • Safeguarding during adolescence: the relationship between contextual safeguarding, complex safeguarding and transitional safeguarding

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Horan, Jayne; Holmes, Dez; Hopper, Gail; Contextual Safeguarding Network (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-01-09)
      Briefing on the relationship between Contextual Safeguarding, Complex Safeguarding and Transitional Safeguarding
    • Scaling and deepening Reclaiming Social Work model

      Bostock, Lisa; Forrester, Donald; Patrizo, Louis; Godfrey, Tessa; Zonouzi, Maryam; Bird, Hayden; Antonopoulou, Vivi; Tinarwo, Moreblessing; University of Bedfordshire; University of Cardiff (Department for Education, 2017-07-06)
      This report evaluates the Scaling and Deepening the Reclaiming Social Work Model which aimed to embed ‘Reclaiming Social Work’ in 5 very different local authorities (Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Harrow, Hull and Southwark). Reclaiming Social Work (RSW) is a whole-system reform that aims to deliver systemic practice in children’s services. Key elements include in-depth training, small units with shared cases and group systemic case discussions, clinician support, reduced bureaucracy, devolved decision-making and enhanced administrative support. The overall aims include improving risk assessment and decision-making, providing more effective help and risk management for children and families. Keeping families together, where appropriate, is a fundamental aim of RSW. 
    • School rules of (sexual) engagement: government, staff and student contributions to the norms of peer sexual-abuse in seven UK schools

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (Taylor and Francis, 2019-05-13)
      Peer-sexual abuse in educational settings is a matter of international concern – featured in mainstream news reports, televised through drama series and documented in research. In 2018 the UK government revised and published a series of policy documents to assist schools in addressing the phenomenon. This paper considers the sufficiency of this policy framework through social field analysis of focus groups with staff and students at seven educational establishments in England that ran from 2015-2017. Analysis reveals four avenues through which staff and students created or reinforced norms the underpinned harmful sexual behaviours and in doing so created contexts conducive with peer-sexual abuse. While policy developments have made initial acknowledgements of school cultures as associated to peer-sexual abuse, significant progress is required if policy is to provide a framework that challenges, rather than reinforces, individualised – and on occasion victim-blaming – narratives of peer-sexual abuse.
    • A school-based social-marketing intervention to promote sexual health in English secondary schools: the Positive Choices pilot cluster RCT

      Ponsford, Ruth; Bragg, Sara; Allen, Elizabeth; Tilouche, Nerissa; Meiksin, Rebecca; Emmerson, Lucy; Van Dyck, Laura; Opondo, Charles; Morris, Steve; Sturgess, Joanna; et al. (NIHR Journals Library, 2021-01-31)
      The UK still has the highest rate of teenage births in western Europe. Teenagers are also the age group most likely to experience unplanned pregnancy, with around half of conceptions in those aged < 18 years ending in abortion. After controlling for prior disadvantage, teenage parenthood is associated with adverse medical and social outcomes for mothers and children, and increases health inequalities. This study evaluates Positive Choices (a new intervention for secondary schools in England) and study methods to assess the value of a Phase III trial. To optimise and feasibility-test Positive Choices and then conduct a pilot trial in the south of England assessing whether or not progression to Phase III would be justified in terms of prespecified criteria. Intervention optimisation and feasibility testing; pilot randomised controlled trial. The south of England: optimisation and feasibility-testing in one secondary school; pilot cluster trial in six other secondary schools (four intervention, two control) varying by local deprivation and educational attainment. School students in year 8 at baseline, and school staff. Schools were randomised (1 : 2) to control or intervention. The intervention comprised staff training, needs survey, school health promotion council, year 9 curriculum, student-led social marketing, parent information and review of school/local sexual health services. The prespecified criteria for progression to Phase III concerned intervention fidelity of delivery and acceptability; successful randomisation and school retention; survey response rates; and feasible linkage to routine administrative data on pregnancies. The primary health outcome of births was assessed using routine data on births and abortions, and various self-reported secondary sexual health outcomes. The data sources were routine data on births and abortions, baseline and follow-up student surveys, interviews, audio-recordings, observations and logbooks. The intervention was optimised and feasible in the first secondary school, meeting the fidelity targets other than those for curriculum delivery and criteria for progress to the pilot trial. In the pilot trial, randomisation and school retention were successful. Student response rates in the intervention group and control group were 868 (89.4%) and 298 (84.2%), respectively, at baseline, and 863 (89.0%) and 296 (82.0%), respectively, at follow-up. The target of achieving ≥ 70% fidelity of implementation of essential elements in three schools was achieved. Coverage of relationships and sex education topics was much higher in intervention schools than in control schools. The intervention was acceptable to 80% of students. Interviews with staff indicated strong acceptability. Data linkage was feasible, but there were no exact matches for births or abortions in our cohort. Measures performed well. Poor test–retest reliability on some sexual behaviour measures reflected that this was a cohort of developing adolescents. Qualitative research confirmed the appropriateness of the intervention and theory of change, but suggested some refinements. The optimisation school underwent repeated changes in leadership, which undermined its participation. Moderator analyses were not conducted as these would be very underpowered. Our findings suggest that this intervention has met prespecified criteria for progression to a Phase III trial. Declining prevalence of teenage pregnancy suggests that the primary outcome in a full trial could be replaced by a more comprehensive measure of sexual health. Any future Phase III trial should have a longer lead-in from randomisation to intervention commencement. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN12524938. ; Vol. 9, No. 1. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
    • Seeing the relationship between the UNCRC and the asylum system through the eyes of unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people

      Connolly, Helen; University of Bedfordshire (Brill, 2015-03-28)
      The rights and experiences of unaccompanied asylum seeking children living in industrialised nations are rarely seen from the perspectives of children themselves. This paper takes a narrative based approach to report on the lives 29 unaccompanied asylum seeking young people in the uk. The research from which this paper emerges explored the ways in which they thought the rights of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) were or were not being realised on their behalf. It highlights the significance of making the promises that are held within the uncrc into viable strategies of protection for unaccompanied asylum seeking children as they search for a new place to belong to and a new place that belongs in them.
    • SEFA Hub and Spoke Evaluation - year two progress report and interim findings 2014-15

      Harris, Julie Philippa; Roker, Debi; D’Arcy, Kate; Shuker, Lucie; Brodie, Isabelle; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire/Bromley Trust, 2015-12-01)
      This report details findings from the second year of a four-year evaluation of the ‘Hub and Spoke’ initiative, being undertaken by the University of Bedfordshire. Funded by the Child Sexual Exploitation Funders’ Alliance (CSEFA), this initiative aims to improve services in relation to child sexual exploitation (CSE). It utilises the expertise, resources and infrastructure of an established voluntary sector CSE service (the ‘Hub’) by locating experienced CSE workers (known as ‘Spoke workers’) into new service delivery areas. The evaluation assesses the extent to which the Hub and Spoke model triggers cultural and systemic change in the way that services engaging with young people respond to CSE. 
    • Self-neglect and hoarding: a guide to safeguarding and support

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2019-03-07)
    • Self-neglect and safeguarding adult reviews: towards a model of understanding facilitators and barriers to best practice

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (Emerald, 2019-08-01)
      Purpose – One purpose is to update the core dataset of self-neglect safeguarding adult reviews and accompanying thematic analysis. A second purpose is to draw together the learning available from this dataset of reviews to propose a model of good practice that can be used as the basis for subsequent safeguarding adult reviews. Design/methodology/approach – Further published reviews are added to the core dataset from the web sites of Safeguarding Adults Boards. Thematic analysis is updated using the four domains employed previously. A sufficient number of reviews have been done from which to construct an evidence-based model of good practice. A framework is presented with the proposition that this can be used as a proportional methodology for further safeguarding adult reviews where self-neglect is in focus. Findings – Familiar findings emerge from the thematic analysis. This level of analysis, constructed over time and across reviews, enables a framework to be developed that pulls together the findings into a model of good practice with individuals who self-neglect and for policies and procedures with which to support those practitioners involved in such cases. This framework can then be used as an evidence-based model with which to review new cases where safeguarding adult reviews are commissioned.   Research limitations/implications – The national database of reviews commissioned by SABs is incomplete and does not contain many of the safeguarding adult reviews reported in this evolving dataset. The Care Act 2014 does not require publication of reports but only a summary of findings and recommendations in SAB annual reports. It is possible, therefore, that this dataset is also incomplete. Drawing together the findings from the reviews nonetheless enables conclusions to be proposed about the components of effective practice, and effective policy and organisational arrangements for practice. Future reviews can then explore what enables such effective to be achieved and what barriers obstruct the realisation of effective practice. Practical implications – Answering the question “why” is a significant challenge for safeguarding adult reviews. A framework is presented here, drawn from research on safeguarding adult reviews featuring self-neglect, that enables those involved in reviews to explore the enablers and barriers with respect to an evidence-based model of effective practice. The framework introduces explicitly research and review evidence into the review process. Originality/value – The paper extends the thematic analysis of available reviews that focus on work with adults who self-neglect, further building on the evidence base for practice. The paper also proposes a new approach to safeguarding adult reviews by using the findings and recommendations systematically within a framework designed to answer “why” questions – what promotes and what obstructs effective practice.   Keywords: Safeguarding adult reviews, evidence, self-neglect, proportionality Paper type: Research paper
    • Sentencing in a rational society

      Crabbe, M. James C.; University of Bedfordshire (2018-07-26)
      “The reduction of prohibited conduct must be the main aim of any penal system, but must be tempered by both economic considerations and humanity if the system is to be practicable and tolerable”. So argued Nigel Walker in his book Sentencing in a Rational Society 50 years ago. James Crabbe FRSA asks how far we have really moved since.
    • Sexual exploitation and its impact on developing sexualities and sexual relationships: the need for contextual social work interventions

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Warrington, Camille; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2016-10-25)
      This article considers how young people’s developing sexualities are influenced by extra-familial social and cultural contexts, particularly in relation to experiences of sexual violence. It draws upon young people’s voices to illustrate the choices they make when they encounter, or engage with, exploitative contexts. Utilising the cumulative evidence base of our studies into sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence over the past ten years, we employ Bourdieu’s theory of the interplay between structure and agency to elucidate the relationship between young people’s choices and abusive social environments. When navigating or engaging with exploitative contexts, young people’s sexualities can be distorted through abusive normalising processes; coercive practices; professional attitudes which condone abuse; and/or structural inequalities that call for survivalist behaviours amongst young people. In exploring this social model of consent, we highlight the need to move beyond one to one (1:1) social work practices to engage with situations, contexts and relationships that disrupt young people’s developing sexualities. Such an adaptation of social work practice would adopt principles of ‘contextual safeguarding’ and we conclude by offering illustrations of interventions that have begun to explore this developmental pathway.
    • Sexual exploitation within a child protection framework

      Pearce, Jenny J. (Policy Press, 2014-04-02)