• Tackling child sexual exploitation: a study of current practice in London

      Beckett, Helen; Firmin, Carlene Emma; Hynes, Patricia; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2014-01-01)
      In autumn 2013, London Councils and the London Safeguarding Children Board commissioned a team of researchers from the University of Bedfordshire to map current responses to child sexual exploitation (CSE) across London. The study was conducted in October/November 2013. The findings are drawn from an in-depth quantitative survey (completed by 30 London boroughs and local safeguarding children boards) and eight semi-structured interviews with statutory and voluntary sector providers.
    • Teenage pregnancy: strategies for prevention

      Hadley, Alison; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-11-16)
      Teenage pregnancy is a cause and consequence of inequality, limiting the life chances of young parents and their children. It is an issue of global concern, with many countries developing programmes of prevention. This review focuses on the experience of the England strategy, launched in 1999 to address the historically high rates. It is one of the few examples of a successful long term, multi-agency programme, led by national government and locally delivered which, between 1998 and 2018, reduced the under-18 conception rate by 64%. It sets out the case for helping young people delay early pregnancy, the international evidence for prevention, how evidence is translated into a ‘whole system’ approach and the priorities for further reducing inequalities. Questions are included to encourage both investigation into local programmes on teenage pregnancy prevention, and reflection on individual practice. The review concludes with summarizing the next steps for England and the lessons that can be shared more widely.
    • Teenagers in foster care: Issues, themes, and debates from and for practice and policy

      Shuker, Lucie; Sebba, Judy; Höjer, Ingrid (Wiley, 2019-08-31)
      The task of fostering adolescents is unique, requiring skills, qualities, and information that acknowledge each young person's particular needs. This editorial summarises a range of research in this special issue covering parenting styles, transitions out of care, child sexual exploitation, and the needs of LGBTQ and separated teenagers. Three themes emerging from the papers are discussed: autonomy and control; risk, resilience, and trauma; and relationships, identity, and stigma.
    • Testing the “triple imperative”: A drama-based exploration of migrant children’s views

      Opfermann, Lena S.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2015-10-16)
      In an effort to address challenges associated with unaccompanied and undocumented migrant children in South Africa, civil society and academics have been using a rights-based approach that largely overlooks the children’s own perspectives. In response to this shortcoming, this study explored the views of migrant children living in Cape Town. By applying a drama-based methodology, the study aimed to follow calls for a “triple imperative” in forced migration studies. This imperative demands that research with so-called vulnerable groups should comply with enhanced ethics standards in order to produce policy relevant academic knowledge. The article develops two main arguments. First, the study has shown that many migrant children lack a stable reference person and therefore see themselves in charge of their own lives, yet that the lack of a legal document hinders them from fulfilling their responsibilities and pursue their goals. Following from this I argue that documenting migrant children not only fulfills the purpose of providing a legal right to stay, but also constitutes a form of stability and recognition of the children’s dig- nity. Secondly, I propose that drama-based research fulfills enhanced ethics standards, as it results in a form of “social reciprocity” that contributes to participants’ wellbe- ing. Since drama-based research also produces policy relevant results, I conclude that this methodology meets the “triple imperative.”
    • The Thames Gateway: an analysis of the emergence of a sub-regional regeneration initiative

      Church, Andrew; Frost, Martin ([Wiley, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)], 1995-07-01)
      This paper examines the recent evolution of a sub-regional planning initiative in the Thames Gateway which is part of London and the South East region of England. In the late 1980s this area had become a focus for the regeneration strategies of national, regional and local government agencies which were justified on the basis of generalizations of the area's socio-economic structure, largely based on its unfavourable image as the 'back-yard' of London. This paper presents some empirical analyses of recent economic and social change affecting the characteristics of sub-areas of the Thames Gateway and considers the aims of redevelopment strategies.
    • That other epidemic: a review of Simon Harding’s County Lines

      Pitts, John; University of Bedfordshire (National Youth Agency, 2020-05-04)
      John Pitts reviews Simon Harding's book 'County Lines: Exploitation and Drug Dealing among Urban Street Gangs', due to be published in May 2020. Pitts presents Harding's findings alongside other emerging County Lines research and data. He suggests the need to better understand emerging trends in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, where the supply and demand for drugs is likely to increase.
    • 'They don't talk about it enough' : report on the 2014 consultations with youth advisors for 'Our Voices' : short report

      Cody, Claire; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-01-01)
      In the summer of 2014 as part of the 'Our Voices' project, the project team at the University of Bedfordshire, together with country partner projects, organised a number of consultations with Youth Advisors across Albania, Bulgaria and the UK. The consultations aimed to find out from youth advisors: what young people feed the issues are around sexual violence in their communities; what the barriers and challenges to young people talking about sexual violence and accessing support are; what young people think could be done to stop sexual violence; how young people could be more involved in preventing sexual violence.
    • ‘They need to see the people they are affecting by their decision-making’: developing participatory advocacy with young people on sexual violence in Albania, Moldova and Serbia: monitoring and evaluation report

      Bovarnick, Silvie; Cody, Claire; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-05-31)
      Responding to the gap identified above, the Our Voices programme seeks to build capacity and knowledge about the ethical involvement of children and young people in participatory work addressing sexual violence at an international level (for more information visit: www.our-voices.org.uk). Our Voices is co-ordinated by the International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire in England, United Kingdom, and co-funded by Oak Foundation. As part of the broader Our Voices programme, the IC co-ordinated the OVTOO project between November 2016 and March 2020. This report focuses on one component of the OVTOO project: the OVTOO youth advocacy project. As part of the OVTOO youth advocacy project, the IC collaborated with three partner organisations in Eastern Europe: Different & Equal (D&E) in Albania; National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (NCCAP) in Moldova; and NGO ATINA (ATINA) in Serbia. The three partner organisations work directly with children and young people affected by different forms of sexual violence including trafficking for sexual exploitation. The aim of the project was to build the capacity of the three partner organisations to safely involve young people with experience of sexual violence in participatory advocacy on this issue. To this end, the IC supported the partners to deliver a 12-week participatory advocacy training programme with a small group of young people who were current or former users of their services. The purpose of the training programme was to equip participants with skills and knowledge to become youth advocates; to enable them to identify a problem in relation to sexual violence affecting children and young people in their country and develop advocacy activities to address this problem in their local contexts.
    • To stop women and girls carrying knives, tackle the abuse and violence they face

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; University of Bedfordshire (2019-08-09)
      Knife possession offences involving women and girls have soared. But the real problem is a lack of services and support.
    • Tough girls: gender performance and safety within schools

      Walker, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-01-29)
      This paper explores the association between the gender rules operating within schools, harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) between pupils and the ways safety is created in these spaces. The ability and responsibility of school institutions to inform gender rules within schools is of particular focus. The paper draws on data from a mixed-methods study exploring HSB in seven secondary schools in England. Findings indicate that gendered rules not only play a role in explaining HSB in schools, they also inform discourses of safety and influence pupils’ attempts to subvert gendered harm. Drawing on research on local space, it is suggested that school institutions can work to maintain or challenge the gendered rules between pupils, and subsequently, limit or provide effective options to create pupil safety. The paper argues that schools have a responsibility to construct safe spaces for pupils by challenging harmful gender norms and behaviour.
    • Towards a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse : research and resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2016

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; University of Bedfordshire; MsUnderstood; Imkaan (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-09-01)
      In 2013 the University of Bedfordshire, Imkaan and the Girls against Gangs Project formed the MsUnderstood Partnership (MSU) to support the development of responses to peer-on-peer abuse specifically, and young people’s experiences of inequality, more broadly. The partnership sought to bring academic rigour, partnerships with practitioners and young people’s voices to the fore of the debate, and generate practice-based evidence to support the development of responses that engaged with young people’s lived realities of violence and abuse. We achieved this through: • A programme of work with local multi-agency partnerships to audit and develop their responses to peer-on-peer abuse (Local Site Work) • A paid internship and young people’s engagement programme • Engagement in policy consultation and influencing • The dissemination of research, practice learning and young people’s voice This report chronicles the findings and resources generated by MSU over the past three years, with specific reference to the tools and knowledge created alongside professionals through local site work.
    • Towards a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse: research and resources from MsUnderstood local site work 2013-2016

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; Curtis, George; Fritz, Danielle; Olaitan, Paul; Latchford, Lia; Lloyd, Jenny; Larasi, Ikamara; Contextual Safeguarding Network (Contextual Safeguarding Network, 2016-06-20)
      This report chronicles the findings and resources on peer-on-peer abuse generated by the MsUnderstood Partnership over the past three years, with specific reference to the tools and knowledge created alongside professionals through local site work. The programme of work was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Samworth Foundation and Trust for London.
    • Towards a family justice outcomes framework: a working paper

      Munro, Emily; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre (Loughborough University, 2014-07-01)
      The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre was commissioned to undertake a small-scale feasibility study to explore approaches to developing a more robust child outcomes framework for the family justice system (in both public and private law). This involved a preliminary mapping exercise to identify: the numbers of children involved in key processes; explore what data one would ideal want to collect and compare this with what is currently collected and/or published. Guided conversations with nine experts, including members of the FJB, academics, policy makers from the Department for Education and Ministry of Justice and CAFCASS young people’s board were also conducted, to ascertain their views on what an ideal family justice framework could look like. In addition, an expert advisory group have offered feedback on a preliminary output. The paper offers some initial suggestions on potential ways forward which require further debate and refinement based upon feedback from the judiciary, lawyers and socio-legal and social work academics and practitioners.  
    • Towards geographies of child protection

      Disney, Tom; Lloyd, Jenny (Wiley, 2020-09-20)
      The emergence of current and historic cases of child abuse across the globe has, in recent years, dominated the news, political agendas and popular discourse surrounding children. From serious case reviews to exploitation in post-conflict zones, from sexual abuse of children by groups to trafficking of drugs across countries, the importance of protecting children is an increasing concern in many countries. Key to, and inherent in, all of these processes and phenomena are child protection systems, working in varying degrees of effectiveness. While geographic interest has touched upon many of these areas, the role of child protection systems, and the practitioners that work within these, do not explicitly feature within this work. In this article, we seek to develop an introduction to geographies of child protection, producing an initial critical review which points to future research avenues in this field. We adopt a Foucauldian approach and review four themes to illustrate the ways in which geographical approaches might yield important insights. Drawing primarily on England as a context, we consider the historical geographies and origins of child protection, relational practices in contemporary child protection, the impact of austerity and finally we consider what future directions might require a geographical approach.
    • ‘Traffickers and their victims’: anti-trafficking policy in the United Kingdom

      Sharapov, Kiril; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015-08-20)
      This paper relies upon the ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ approach to policy analysis to interrogate key representations of human trafficking implicit in the UK government’s anti-trafficking policy. It identifies six policy vectors, or representations, of human trafficking embedded within the policy, including organized crime, ‘illegal’ immigration, and victim assistance as three primary vectors; sexual exploitation/prostitution, poverty in countries of victims’ origin, and isolated instances of labour law infringements as three secondary vectors. In addition, a series of assumptions, which underlie the current interpretation of trafficking, are also identified. By exploring what the problem of human trafficking is represented to be, the paper also provides an insight into what remains obscured within the context of the dominant policy frameworks. In doing so, it highlights the role of state-capital entanglements in normalizing exploitation of trafficked, smuggled and ‘offshored’ labour, and critiques the UK’s anti-trafficking policy for manufacturing doubt as to the structural causes of human trafficking within the context of neoliberalism.
    • 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.
    • Transitioning care-leavers with mental health needs: “they set you up to fail!"

      Butterworth, Sarah; Singh, Swaran P.; Birchwood, Max; Islam, Zoebia; Munro, Emily; Vostanis, Panos; Paul, Moli; Khan, Alia; Simkiss, Douglas (Wiley, 2016-06-29)
      Background Children in the UK care system often face multiple disadvantages in terms of health, education and future employment. This is especially true of mental health where they present with greater mental health needs than other children. Although transition from care – the process of leaving the local authority as a child-in-care to independence – is a key juncture for young people, it is often experienced negatively with inconsistency in care and exacerbation of existing mental illness. Those receiving support from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), often experience an additional, concurrent transfer to adult services (AMHS), which are guided by different service models which can create a care gap between services. Method This qualitative study explored care-leavers’ experiences of mental illness, and transition in social care and mental health services. Twelve care-leavers with mental health needs were interviewed and data analysed using framework analysis. Results Sixteen individual themes were grouped into four superordinate themes: overarching attitudes towards the care journey, experience of social care, experience of mental health services and recommendations. Conclusions Existing social care and mental health teams can improve the care of care-leavers navigating multiple personal, practical and service transitions. Recommendations include effective Pathway Planning, multiagency coordination, and stating who is responsible for mental health care and its coordination. Participants asked that youth mental health services span the social care transition; and provide continuity of mental health provision when care-leavers are at risk of feeling abandoned and isolated, suffering deteriorating mental health and struggling to establish new relationships with professionals. Young people say that the key to successful transition and achieving independence is maintaining trust and support from services.
    • Transitions from care to adulthood: messages to inform practice

      Munro, Emily; Simkiss, Douglas (Churchill Livingstone, 2020-03-07)
      Transition is the process of moving from a child focussed system to an adult orientated system. It is complicated for all children and a well-recognised point of weakness in health care. For looked after children transition is more complex with movements from social worker to personal advisor, from foster care (or children's home) to independent accommodation, from school to work, further or higher education or to none of these. It is also a time when the young person moves from children's health services to adult health services. Looked after children navigate these transition points with less support than many other children. Coincidentally, it occurs at an age when mental illness most commonly emerges. This paper describes the transitions in detail, considers the legislative framework, pathway plans and the mental health transition.