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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.

The Independent reports that former head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, has warned that sexual predators are using apps to track children's location.
Source: Independent  01 October 2014

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has published a critical report of child protection arrangements in South Yorkshire police force. Recommendations include: South Yorkshire police undertaking a review of concerns raised about children in care homes to ensure there are safeguarding plans in place for at-risk children.
Source: HMIC press release  30 September 2014
Further information:
   National child protection inspections: South Yorkshire Police (PDF)

In the Guardian, Simon Blake, head of sexual health charity, Brook, makes the case for compulsory sex education in schools.
Source: Guardian 

A serious case review will be launched into how teacher, William Vahey, was able to drug and abuse at least 60 children between 2009 and 2013 at the fee-paying Southbank International School in London. The review will be led by Dame Moira Gibb.
Source: Guardian  27 September 2014

New figures from ChildLine reveal that more than 1 in 10 calls reporting sexual abuse last year were from children who had been harmed by women.
Source: Independent  28 September 2014

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Education have written a joint letter to council leaders on safeguarding vulnerable children. It sets out next steps in response to the Rotherham abuse scandal, these include all councils undertaking an audit of their child sexual exploitation procedures.
Source: Department for Education  26 September 2014
Further information:
   Safeguarding vulnerable children

The Local Government Association has warned that plans to relax taxi licensing regulations could put children at risk of sexual exploitation. New government proposals would enable minicab licence holders to allow other people to drive their vehicle when they are off duty without any vetting checks.
Source: Local Government Association (LGA) 25 September 2014

The mental health charity, Young Minds, has published a report based on a consultation with 5600 young people between October 2013 and May 2014. It identifies five main areas of concern to young people: bullying, stress at school, sexual pressure, no work, and lack of access to help.
Source: Young Minds press release  23 September 2014
Further information:
   5,600 young people can't be wrong. How will YOU help us? (PDF)

Harrow Local Safeguarding Children Board has posted a short film on YouTube sharing learning from a recent learning and improvement case review. It is based on a child's point of view and illustrates the importance of a 'team around the family' approach to work with children and families.
Source: YouTube - Harrow LSCB: learning the safeguarding lessons

Project Phoenix, a collaboration of public and third sector partners throughout Greater Manchester, has launched a new website and campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE). 'It's not okay' provides young people, parents, carers and professionals with information about CSE.
Source: It's not okay  22 September 2014

Children and Young People Now reports that Doncaster safeguarding children board will launch a review into how social services and South Yorkshire police respond to child sexual exploitation. From 30 September 2014, an independent trust will take over the running of most children's services in Doncaster.
Source: Children & Young People Now  18 September 2014

Designated child protection officer training (Scotland)
This day of NSPCC training takes place at various locations between October 2014 and January 2015.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

Introduction to child protection training (Scotland)
This half day of NSPCC training takes place at various locations between October and December 2014.
Source: NSPCC Inform 

The Government has announced a set of reforms to improve the experience of victims in court. These include: a new nationwide Victims' Information Service to ensure better information and support; and specialist training for lawyers before taking part in sexual abuse or rape trials.
Source: Children & Young People Now  15 September 2014
Further information:
   Ministry of Justice press release

Dr Myles Bradbury, 41, a consultant haematologist, has pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault, 13 counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. All these sexual offences took place at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge against young cancer patients in his care.
Source: Guardian  15 September 2014

University of East Anglia research has uncovered a 'growing reluctance' on the part of senior practitioners to lead serious case reviews (SCRs) because of fear of public criticism. Interviews with senior practitioners took place whilst they were attending Department for Education funded training on leading SCRs which was evaluated by the University of East Anglia.
Source: Children & Young People Now  15 September 2014
Further information:
   'Improving the quality of serious case reviews' through support and training: independent evaulation (PDF)

Barnardo's Scotland has published lessons which Scottish child protection agencies need to learn from the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Scotland. It urges every organisation responsible for protecting children to recognise that sex between an adult and a child under 16 is always wrong and it is not up to the child to say no.
Source: Barnardo's Scotland  15 September 2014
Further information:
   Lessons for Scotland from the Jay report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham: a Barnardo's Scotland discussion paper (PDF)

The Head of the Troubled Families Unit, Louise Casey, has been appointed to lead a review which will highlight lessons for local goverment following the independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Communities and Local Government Secretary has ordered a separate inspection of Rotherham children's services.
Source: Guardian  10 September 2014
Further information:
   Community Care

The NSPCC has launched the Underwear Rule guide for parents and carers of children with autism.
Source: NSPCC Website  11 September 2014
Further information:
   Simple conversations to keep your child safe from abuse: for parents and carers of children with autism

The Guardian reports that UK Border Force officers have warned that there is an emerging trend in 'cutters' being flown into the UK to practise female genital mutilation.
Source: Guardian  10 September 2014
Further information:
   Female genital mutilation: recognising and preventing FGM. Free online training.

Justice minister Mike Penning has announced plans to expand the use of video evidence for child witnesses in England and Wales. This follows the NSPCC's Order in Court campaign to highlight the trauma faced by children who have to go to court to give evidence against their abusers.
Source: BBC Online  09 September 2014

A comment piece in Community Care calls for an urgent review of whistleblowing processes in social care following the Rotherham abuse scandal.
Source: Community Practitioner  08 September 2014

The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) is hosting a series of child sexual exploitation (CSE) workshops in Autumn 2014. Issues covered include peer on peer exploitation, agency responses to CSE and CSE in the context of sexual health.
Source: The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI)

The Home Office has named 23 English local authorities that will trial the use of independent advocates to support victims of child trafficking. Barnardo's will provide the independent advocates for the 12 month trial.
Source: Children & Young People Now  02 September 2014
Further information:
   Modern Slavery Bill: Factsheet: Child trafficking advocates (clause 41) (PDF)

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