• 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 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 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • Sexual violence and exploitation in adolescence

      Beckett, Helen (Russell House Publishing Ltd, 2014-02-01)
    • Sharenting: pride, affect and the day-to-day politics of digital mothering

      Lazard, Lisa; Capdevila, Rose; Dann, Charlotte; Locke, Abigail; Roper, Sandra (Wiley, 2019-03-06)
      The coming together of parenting and routine posting on social networking sites has become a visible and recognisable theme, and the term “sharenting” has found a place in everyday talk to describe some forms of parental digital sharing practices. However, while social media has undoubtedly provided a space for parents to share experiences and receive support around parenting, sharenting remains a contestable issue. Thus, one reading of sharenting would be as a display of good parenting as mothers “show off” their children as a marker of success. However, the term also can be used pejoratively to describe parental oversharing of child‐focused images and content. In this paper, we explore the practice of sharenting in terms of pride, affect and the politics of digital mothering in a neoliberal context to conclude that sharenting can be best understood as a complex affective and intersectional accomplishment that produces motherhood and family as communicative activities within digital social practices.
    • 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?
    • Simulating supervision: how do managers respond to a crisis?

      Wilkins, David; Jones, Rebecca (Taylor & Francis, 2017-08-28)
      Supervision is fundamental to child and family social work practice, in England as elsewhere, yet there is little research regarding what managers and social workers do when they meet to discuss the families they are working with. Recent years have seen a growing interest in the use of simulated clients and Objective Structured Clinical Exams to help develop and evaluate the abilities of social workers and students. This paper describes a study of 30 simulated supervision sessions between English social work managers and an actor playing the role of a student social worker in need of support. The simulation concerns a referral regarding an incident of domestic abuse. During the simulations, managers typically asked closed questions to obtain more information before providing solutions for the supervisee in the form of advice and direction. There was little evidence of emotional support for the social worker, nor empathy with the family. Managers typically acted as expert problem-solvers. The implications of this are discussed in relation to current theoretical models of supervision for child and family social work and in relation to how Children’s Services responds to domestic abuse.