• Child protection and contexts of recognition

      Firmin, Carlene Emma; (Wiley, 2020-04-06)
      The papers in this edition of Child Abuse Review cover a broad range of topics relevant to the protection of children and the prevention of abuse. From child safety in sporting contexts, the identification of children with early adverse experiences, and supporting young children within foster care settings; through to routes for disclosing child sexual abuse (CSA) and the educational experiences of young people living in domestic abuse refuges – the papers selected cover a diverse ground. Yet collectively they tell a shared story about the contexts of child abuse – and importantly the contexts in which child abuse can be recognised, and thereby prevented or disrupted.
    • Child protection in Islamic contexts: identifying cultural and religious appropriate mechanisms and processes using a roundtable methodology

      Hutchinson, Aisha; O'Leary, Patrick J.; Squire, Jason; Hope, Kristen (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014-04-03)
      This paper reports on a piece of research which brought together eight Islamic scholars, four child protection academics and two international development agencies to identify mechanisms and processes which safeguard children from harm that are congruent with Islamic scholarship and practices. Roundtable methodology was used to share knowledge, build networks and increase engagement with child protection by bringing together different stakeholders to share experiences and encourage collaboration in a relatively cost-effective manner. Four key themes were identified following initial qualitative data analysis of the roundtable discussion: (1) The convergence and divergence in Islamic thought on issues of child protection; (2) knowledge sharing and partnership working; (3) individual and collective wellbeing; and (4) mechanisms and tools for intervention. Findings from the roundtable indicate that a reliance on solely Western-based models does not allow for the trust and credibility that enable intervention at a deeper level in Islamic communities. Critically, the roundtable highlighted a significant gap in how Islamic knowledge and principles are practically applied to child protection policy and practice in international development contexts. Next steps are identified for building a knowledge base that can be practised in Islamic communities.
    • Contextual risk, individualised responses: an assessment of safeguarding responses to nine cases of peer-on-peer abuse

      Firmin, Carlene Emma (Wiley, 2017-02-21)
      Practitioners, academics and policymakers are increasingly questioning the sufficiency of safeguarding practice in protecting young people from peer-on-peer abuse in England. Using the findings from an in-depth analysis of nine cases where young people either raped or murdered their peers, this article explores approaches to assessing and intervening with those affected by peer-on-peer abuse. Building upon international calls for a contextual account of abuse between young people, the article identifies a professional struggle to address the interplay between young people’s homes and the public and social spaces in which peer-on-peer abuse often manifests. Findings from this study are used to illuminate wider research into peer-on-peer abuse which has indicated a professional inability to: assess young people’s behaviours with reference to the contexts in which they occur; change the environmental factors that influence abusive behaviours; and recognise the vulnerability of those who abuse their peers. The article concludes that to effectively respond to peer-on-peer abuse, multi-agency partnerships are required which can identify, assess and intervene with the norms in peer groups, schools and public spaces that can facilitate peer-on-peer abuse and undermine parental capacity to keep young people safe - thereby adopting a more contextual approach to safeguarding adolescents.
    • What is really wrong with serious case reviews?

      Preston-Shoot, Michael (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2017-07-20)
      Concern about the effectiveness of Serious Case Reviews for generating improvements in child protection in England led to proposals in the Wood review to replace the current system with rapid local learning inquiries and a national system of learning from significant incidents. This article challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves. Whilst not uncritical of Serious Case Reviews, this article addresses five criticisms of the current review system. It explores how systemic the focus of reviews has been, and argues that findings and recommendations have become repetitive and lessons not fully appreciated because of an overly simplistic approach to change management. It suggests that there are methodologies that can effectively engage practitioners and managers in case reviews and that criticism of the review process itself can be addressed with refinements rather than wholesale change. The article concludes by questioning the assumptions upon which proposals for changing the current Serious Case Review are based. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ‘Challenges both the analysis in the Wood review and the proposals themselves’. Key Practitioner Messages A systemic approach to Serious Case Reviews must engage legislative, social policy and societal systems as well as local policy and practice. A linear approach to learning and service development, often reflected in recommendations for training and policy refinements, is a less effective change management approach than engaging with single and multiagency contexts. Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths; so too is the practice of reviewing cases. ‘Safeguarding children involves practice which is inherently social and relational, full of complexity and complicated truths’.
    • 'What's going on' to safeguard children and young people from child sexual exploitation: a review of local safeguarding children boards' work to protect children from sexual exploitation

      Pearce, Jenny J. (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2013-06-21)
      This article draws on findings from research into the implementation by local safeguarding children boards (local government multi-agency panels responsible for child protection in England) of national guidance on safeguarding children from child sexual exploitation (CSE). Despite there being some excellent examples of practice, a lack of awareness of the issues faced by sexually exploited children or a lack of resources to address them meant that only a quarter were implementing the dual aim of the guidance: protecting children and prosecuting abusers. The research developed a data monitoring tool, its use showing that children experiencing CSE had multiple problems, many already receiving support from a range of service providers for other related problems. This suggests that there might be scope for better early identification and prevention of CSE. The research showed new forms of CSE, including peer-on-peer sexual exploitation, raising important questions about engaging with children who were both perpetrators and victims of abuse. Finally, research findings identified methods of disrupting and prosecuting abusers, giving insight into some of the complexities involved in achieving both. In the main, safeguarding children was best facilitated through co-located multi-agency teams where child protection and law enforcement practitioners worked together. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.