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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Child runaways…

Child runaway image

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/mandygodbehear

Courtesy of ©The Children's Society

Courtesy of ©The Children’s Society




Growing up, I remember getting pretty naffed off with my parents on occasions. That’s growing up, I guess. That’s family.

But I never felt so bad that I even contemplated running away, much less actually doing it.

Yet every five minutes in the UK, a child runs away. That’s the time it takes to read this blog post.

What do we know about runaways…

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Engaging children: Pictures speak louder…

Little girl drawing pictures

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Ribofranz

After 15+ years of doing direct work with troubled young people, I can say one thing for sure – kids get distracted!

They can be hard to keep on task sometimes. All the more so when the subject matter is difficult.

Interviewing children during abuse investigations is notoriously challenging. Achieving best evidence from children in talking about their abusive experiences, requires great skill.

Recent research has shown how allowing children to draw can help investigators engage more effectively with child victims.

Talking isn’t everything…

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What helps children disclose abuse? Part 2…

Adult & child talking

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AlexRaths

In our last post on this subject, we looked at the first three of six reasons why children disclose abuse.

In working with troubled youth, this is key information.

As those who strive to build trusting relationships with young people, we are in the frame for being told difficult things about their past.

Knowing what encourages this, may help us be better prepared for what is to come…

So, what helps young people disclose abusive experiences?…

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What helps children disclose abuse? Part 1…

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/JamieWilson

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/JamieWilson

I recently wrote about some of the reasons why children don’t disclose abuse. Why they don’t tell others what’s happening to them.

That’s the half-empty side of the issue.

Now for the half-full side – the reasons why children do disclose. Or at least some of the things that encourage them to do so.

The basis for this post is the NSPCC research report: No one noticed, no one heard… It’s a brilliant study and well worth a read!

So what sorts of things make it easier for kids to speak out about their abuse?…

Why kids tell others about abuse…

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Child sexual exploitation: what you need to know…

Girl upset - blnd - iStock_000001770724XSmall

Photo courtesy of ©iStcokphoto/blnd

The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSE) is widespread.

The impact on children of being coerced into sexual activity as a form of exchange, is devastating. It causes long term damage to health, educational, social and emotional well-being.

All those working with troubled young people need to have some basic knowledge about commercial sexual exploitation.

So what exactly is CSE and what can we do about it?…

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Reflections on the death of Daniel Pelka…

Daniel PelkaHere we go again!

The death of Daniel Pelka is one more in a line of tragedies. Between 50 and 60 children die each year in the UK at the hands of their parents or carers.

The ones that stand out are those where the circumstances are bizarre or show extreme cruelty, as in this case. Victoria Climbie, Peter Connolly and now, Daniel Pelka.

Once again, the aftermath leaves me feeling angry, puzzled and sickened . How could anyone-let alone a parent-be so cruel to a little child? How could the agencies involved miss the signs for so long that the child dies?

Professionals did not kill Daniel Pelka…

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“Basically…porn is everywhere…”

Porn-key on laptop

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/sndr

Online porn is a worry for our kids…

Access to pornography online is a real concern.

Recent news from CEOP and changes in government policy are encouraging steps in the right direction. But the problem persists.

What young people say about porn…

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11 things you need to know about online child abuse…

Online abuse - RichYintage -  iStock_000002228985XSmall

Online sexual offending is changing…

Most of us know that children fall victim to sexual abuse online. But how much do we know about how it happens?

The latest threat report from CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) outlines a number of developments in the way offenders prey on children.

How kids get “hooked” by offenders…

Here is a quick summary of the major trends and changes in the way Britain’s estimated 50,000 online sexual offenders seek to abuse using the internet:

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Gangs: advice for parents & carers…

GangsThe government has issued a new advice leaflet for parents and carers.

The 12 page document is called, “Advice for Parents & Carers on Gangs: Helping Young People Make the Right Choice.”

The following are the main headings covered:

  • Why do young people join gangs?
  • Signs to look out for
  • It’s not just the boys
  • What can you do?
  • What if your child is already involved?
  • What the law says
  • Useful contacts

In my view this is a very worthwhile leaflet to read. It breaks down the issues very well, offers practical advice and access to other useful resources.

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