On handling disclosures – 1

The privilege of being chosen...

It’s pretty heavy stuff – the first time a child tells you something about their suffering.

There’s a sense of trepidation and elation – all at once!

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/rangizzz

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/rangizzz (adapted)

So how can we best serve kids who disclose?…

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Kids With Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Keeping victim experiences central...

Before I left my specialist position working with harmful sexual behaviour full time, we’d dealt with over 800 cases.

That teaches you a thing or two about how the whole thing works!

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Nagy-Bagoly Ilona

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Nagy-Bagoly Ilona (adapted)

One lesson that stands out…

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Why we need to get back to “Child Protection”…

Being responsive NOT responsible...

In recent years we’ve changed the terminology of child protection. We now call it “safeguarding.”

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Imgorthand (adapted)

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Imgorthand (adapted)

There are a number of reasons why I believe this wasn’t a good change.

Why “safeguarding” fudges the issue…

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Apps to help you help teenagers: No.6 – iAssistSafety

We live in a risky world. But there’s safety and solace in the people we trust. This is true for children and young people too.

Image courtesy of ©Matlecapps

Image courtesy of ©Matlecapps

In this latest post in our “Apps” series, we look at a way of helping children to identify their safe people – those they could turn to if needed…

Who’re you gonna call?…

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Apps to help you help troubled young people – No. 4… ZIPIT

Who would send an inappropriate picture of themselves to a journalist?

Well, it happens – a British member of parliament did it just recently!

Photo courtesy of ©123RF/loganban

Photo courtesy of ©123RF/loganban

I’ve written before about the dangers and pressures young people can encounter online. The pressure to send indecent selfies is one.

How can we help young people resist this pressure?…

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Apps to help you help teenagers: No.3… Safeguarding

The father of a teenager once asked me, “What qualifies you to work with my son?”

Good question! And certainly one I would be asking in his position…

Image courtesy of ©CCW & WCVA

Image courtesy of ©CCW & WCVA

Looking back, the answer I gave wasn’t the best. Basically, I gave him a run through of my qualifications.

But knowing stuff doesn’t necessarily mean we know what to do with that knowledge…

How good is your child protection practice?…

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Teens & Technology…

It’s an embarrassing question; but have you ever asked a child for help with technology? Go on, admit it. I certainly have!

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AntonioGuillem

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AntonioGuillem

My 14 year old son is my first point-of-call for everyday techy assistance.

According to new Ofcom research, 14-15 year olds are the most tech-savvy people in the UK.

The “Digital Generation”…

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Sexual abuse – what’s the damage?

It’s a daily occurrence on the news these days – another sexual abuse case. But what of the victims?

Photo ©iStockphoto/enieni

Photo ©iStockphoto/enieni

We know that kids can be resilient, but what other factors influence the harm caused? What do we know about the impact of sexual abuse on the children themselves?

What makes the bad even worse?

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Male victims of sexual abuse – 3 myths…

I’ve lost count of how many boys and young men I’ve encountered who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. It’s the nature of the job.

Sad boy...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/fatnanny

The typical perpetrator is male. The typical victim is female. And we have an image of both in our minds.

Such stereotypes of sexual abuse, whether they are accurate or not, can detract from good practice.

Professionals working with young people who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) MUST think beyond the caricatures. We must reject the stereotypes.

Myths about males as victims of sexual abuse…

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Sexting 3

What young people think...

Teenagers know more about technology than most adults do. So keeping them safe is difficult as well as vital.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/MrPants

Once again, my evening has included a couple of “phone extractions.” This is where I separate my 14 year old son from his mobile phone.

His phone has a camera on it. Most phones do these days. The camera phone has now become an intrinsic part of teenage social life. The wide availability and affordability of smartphones, as well as apps like Instagram and SnapChat, have seen to that.

So what do we know about camera phone dangers?…

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e-Safety for kids – 6 ideas to start you off…

Now, I’m no I.T. expert. But I have two kids who love their screens. So I’ve tried to do a few things to ensure they’re safe online…

Child on laptop

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/stacey_newman

The news this week has featured the Dark Internet.  A place that’s hard to trace which hides behaviour that’s impossible to justify.

People who hide are generally not to be trusted. So how do we keep our kids safe from those who may seek to hurt them online?

Simple steps to help protect young people online…

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