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CASPAR

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Sign up for our free CASPAR email to receive a bitesize summary of all the new developments in child protection, delivered to your inbox every Monday or follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

A study funded by the Nuffield Foundation and carried out by Barnardo's, NatCen and UCL, has analysed the records of 9,042 children affected by child sexual exploitation and supported by Barnardo's since 2008. It reveals 1 in 3 (2,986) were boys. This is a much higher figure than was previously thought.
Source: Nuffield Foundation press release 27 August 2014
Further information:
   Hidden in plain sight: a scoping study into the sexual exploitation of boys and young men in the UK: policy briefing (PDF)
   Research on the sexual exploitation of boys and young men: a UK scoping study: summary of findings (PDF)

A report has been published of an independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. It estimates that approximately 1400 children were sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013. In over a third of cases, children were already known to children's services due to child protection and neglect concerns.
Source: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council  26 August 2014

The BBC reports that the Liberal Democrats have said that children in state schools in England should receive age-appropriate sex and relationships education from the age of seven.
Source: BBC Online  26 August 2014

NSPCC Scotland and Barnardo's have published research which looks at the challenges of working with vulnerable families during a time of austerity.
Source: NSPCC Inform  26 August 2014
Further information:
   Challenges from the frontline: supporting families with multiple adversities in a time of austerity (PDF)

An article in the Guardian features the work of charities including NAPAC, Victim Support and the NSPCC to support survivors of child sexual abuse.
Source: Guardian  21 August 2014

The NSPCC's Underwear Rule campaign is being made more accessible to Eastern European communities in the UK. The easy-to-read guides have now been translated in to Russian, Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian.
Source: NSPCC Website  22 August 2014
Further information:
   Underwear rule - Latvian version (PDF)
   Underwear rule - Lithuanian version (PDF)
   Underwear rule - Polish version (PDF)
   Underwear rule - Russian version (PDF)

An article in Community Care discusses civil prevention orders (CPOs), coming in to force as part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. CPOs have been established to improve protection given to children at risk of sexual harm. Experts believe councils and local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) are the most appropriate places to enforce CPOs.
Source: Community Care  15 August 2014

The Journal.ie reports on a study by the Economic and Social Research Institute and Trinity College Dublin which underlines the economic and social damage suffered in later life by Irish survivors of child sexual abuse. The study is published in the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics.
Source: Journal.ie 15 August 2014

MP Sarah Champion has warned that a legal loophole, which requires police to prove that an online groomer has contacted a child twice, puts children at greater risk of abuse and exploitation.
Source: Independent  13 August 2014

FGM conference
This conference, organised by the Midwifery Society, takes place in Huddersfield on 18 September 2014.
Source: Huddersfield Students' Union

In an article in the Independent, the NSPCC's Claire Lilley warns that teenagers using online dating apps are at risk from adult abusers.
Source: Independent  11 August 2014

Hearing the voice of the young victim of sexual abuse
This conference, organised by Nagalro, takes place in London on 6 October 2014.
Source: Nagalro

The Home Office has launched free online training for frontline professionals in identifying and helping girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). This comes as figures are released revealing that police forces have investigated dozens of FGM cases over the last three years.
Source: Virtual College press release 08 August 2014
Further information:
   BBC News
   Home Office FGM e-learning

The Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Lankelly Chase Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust have published a review of the risk factors associated with negative outcomes (offending, homelessness, prostitution and exploitation) for girls and women. Findings include: risk tends to accumulate over a lifetime and women with the poorest outcomes experienced abuse in childhood and adulthood.

Source: Lankelly Chase Foundation press release  04 August 2014
Further information:
   Women and girls at risk: evidence across the life course (PDF)
   Women and girls at risk: evidence across the life course: key messages from the review (PDF)

The Telegraph reports that Google has developed software which proactively scours millions of email accounts for child abuse images.
Source: Telegraph  04 August 2014

Chief social worker, Isabelle Trowler, and the Department for Education have launched a knowledge and skills statement which sets out in one place what a child and family social worker will need to know and be able to do. This coincides with the launch of a new gold standard for social workers: the approved child and family practitioner statement. The government will be consulting on the statement for the next 10 weeks.
Source: Community Care  31 July 2014
Further information:
   DfE press release
   Knowledge and skills for child and family social work (PDF)

Let's talk safeguarding - the bigger picture
This conference, organised by Safe Haven Consulting, takes place on 30 September 2014 in Penrith.
Source: Safe Haven Consulting

The States of Jersey Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the island. It includes three commercials running on Channel TV and online to educate parents and young people. The campaign also highlights support available from the NSPCC helpline and ChildLine for adults and young people concerned about CSE.
Source: States of Jersey Police 31 July 2014
Further information:
   Contact the NSPCC

Safeguarding London's Children Conference
This conference, organised by London Councils, takes place on 8 December 2014, in London.
Source: London Councils

A BBC News article summarises recent attempts to estimate the number of men who have a sexual interest in children.
Source: BBC Online  30 July 2014

The Home Office has published a review of procedures to identify children at risk of abuse. The review found that areas with a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) support professionals to understand threats so they can act to prevent them. However some practitioners withhold information too frequently because they mistakenly believe that sharing it with others is too risky. This has prompted the govenment to renew guidance and commission the Centre for Excellence for Information Sharing to provide targeted help to MASH professionals.
Source: Home Office Press Release  29 July 2014
Further information:
   Multi-agency working and information sharing projects: early findings (PDF)
   Children & Young People Now 

The Welsh Government has launched a review into the role of the Children's Commissioner. Everyone who has an interest in children and young people is invited to contribute and the consultation will close on 3 October 2014.
Source: Welsh Government press release 23 July 2014

NICE want to recruit service users and carers to form part of a group who will develop guidance about child abuse and neglect. Closing date for applications is 20 August 2014.
Source: NICE  25 July 2014

Early intervention: policy and practice
This conference, organised by Children & Young People Now, takes place on 12 September 2014.
Source: Children & Young People Now 

The Guardian reports that, in the last 6 years, Metropolitan Police child abuse investigators have seen an increase of 52% in reports of rape and a 68% rise in allegations of sexual assault. There was a particularly sharp spike after December 2012, when allegations against Jimmy Savile came to light and Operation Yewtree was set up. These figures were obtained from a London Assembly Police and Crime Committee report.
Source: Guardian  22 July 2014
Further information:
   Keeping London's children safe: the Met's role in safeguarding children (PDF)

Nottinghamshire police force has written to schools in the county warning schoolchildren that they could face prosecution for sexting. The letter cites the case of a teenage girl who was cautioned for distributing an indecent image of a child after sending a topless picture of herself to her boyfriend.
Source: Guardian  22 July 2014

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a report analysing data from the Troubled Families Programme which reveals the nature and extent of the problems the families face. Findings include: 71% of them have a health problem; 29% of them have experienced domestic violence or abuse; and 35% have a child of concern to social services.
Source: Department for Communities and Local Government press release  22 July 2014
Further information:
   Understanding troubled families

Department for Education commissioned research has found that serious case reviews need reform to ensure their lessons engage frontline professionals. Recommendations include creating evidence-based learning tools to enable collective and targeted learning.
Source: Children & Young People Now  21 July 2014
Further information:
   A study to investigate the barriers to learning from serious case reviews and identify ways of overcoming these barriers (PDF)

An article in the Guardian highlights the use by gangs of sexual violence against girls. Gang members view it as a ‘low risk’ way of asserting dominance over rivals.
Source: Guardian  19 July 2014

The NSPCC has published a report which estimates the costs of child sexual abuse in the UK. Based on costs coming from health; the criminal justice service; services for children; and loss of productivity to society, it estimates that child sexual abuse cost the UK £3.2 bn in 2012.
Source: NSPCC Inform  16 July 2014
Further information:
   Estimating the costs of child sexual abuse in the UK (PDF)

An article in the Guardian features a course run by Parents Against Sexual Exploitation (PACE), which helps professionals understand the role of parents in tackling grooming and sexual exploitation.
Source: Guardian  15 July 2014

In a blog in the Guardian, Research in Practice director, Dez Holmes, talks about her work with organisations including the NSPCC to support young people with harmful sexual behaviour.
Source: Guardian  10 July 2014

The NSPCC is calling for a change in the law to prevent child abuse being covered up.
Source: NSPCC Press Release  09 July 2014

The Home Secretary has announced two inquiries into historical child sexual abuse. One will be led by the NSPCC's Peter Wanless and will focus on how the Home Office, police and prosecutors handled abuse allegations given to them. It will report back in 10 weeks. The second, chaired by Baroness Butler Sloss, is wider ranging and will examine how public institutions handled allegations of historical child sexual abuse. This inquiry is not likely to report back before next year's general election.
Source: BBC Online  11 July 2014

Figures obtained by the NSPCC through a Freedom of Information request to 38 police forces in England and Wales show that over 8000 under-18s were accused of sexual offences against other children in the past two years.
Source: NSPCC Press Release  07 July 2014

An article in the Independent reports on a Circles UK project in which volunteers befriend known child abusers in an effort to prevent them from re-offending.
Source: Independent  07 July 2014