Virtuous circles : theorising the impact of Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) : discussion paper
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Abstract‘Parents against child sexual exploitation’ (Pace) is a charity that supports the parents and carers of children who are, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited by perpetrators external to the family. Between 2014-17 Pace delivered the grant-funded project ‘Parents as partners in safeguarding children and young people in Lancashire’, which centred around the work of a Parent Liaison Officer (PLO) placed in the multiagency ‘Engage’ child sexual exploitation (CSE) team in East Lancashire.1 The project was evaluated by the ‘International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking’ (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire.2 Our evaluation (Shuker and Ackerley, 2017) confirmed the findings of other evaluations of the work of Pace in demonstrating that the PLO contributed to positive outcomes for both parents and professional partners. The evaluation also highlighted the scope for the ‘relational safeguarding model’ used in the project to be developed further through a clearer articulation of the links between the PLO’s activities and the outcomes they achieved. This discussion paper aims to support that process by reviewing three of the key outcomes achieved by the PLO (increased parental understanding, empowerment and resilience) and suggesting that together they create a virtuous circle. In the model of a virtuous circle, the PLO’s support for parents improves outcomes, which in turn can have a positive impact on professionals’ interactions with the family and relationships within the home – both of which continue to reinforce positive outcomes for parents and their children. At its simplest, this theory of change asserts that when the family unit is strengthened, parents and other family members are empowered to work alongside statutory agencies to safeguard the child.
CitationShuker, L. (2017) 'Virtuous circles : theorising the impact of Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace) : discussion paper'. : University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
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