E-newsletter: Developing earlier routes to safety for children and young people
15 September 2011
By Jenny Clifton - Principal Policy Advisor - Safeguarding
In July we commissioned research to follow on from the recommendations made in our recently published report, ‘Don't Make Assumptions', undertaken by the University of East Anglia. We also published a children and young people's version.
That research gathered children and young people's experiences of the child protection system so that a greater understanding could be gained of the improvements that they like to see to the system. The recommendations from this research were passed to Professor Eileen Munro, who referred to them in the final report of her independent review of child protection.
The present research project is designed to develop proposals which would improve access to protection and support for children and young people at risk of harm and broadens the focus to children who are vulnerable but not involved with the formal child protection process. We will gain greater knowledge from young people themselves as to how they deal with problems of abuse and neglect, their approaches to help seeking and what would make it more likely that they would access help.
We know from prevalence studies, such as those recently published by the NSPCC that there are many children and young people whose rights to protection are not being addressed and whose vulnerability makes their voices less likely to be heard. It is known that many children and young people who experience abuse do not seek help and that many will tell friends but not adults about their situation. There is also evidence that young people are often not believed and that telling about their abuse does not always secure their protection.
The intention behind this project is that, through talking with a range of young people, models of practice are developed which can improve young people's path to safety at an earlier stage.
The overall project will begin in September 2011 and run for two years.