Spotlight on Maria Colwell: The Cinderella Child

The focus of this week’s newsletter is Maria Colwell, whose tragic death lead to major changes in child protection in this country. The story of Maria was a watershed moment in child welfare in the UK; she has remained in collective memory and has often been referred to when similar and much more recent cases …

Domestic Violence and Abuse – 6 things that everyone should know right now!

6 things that everyone should know right now.’ I have delivered training in Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) for many years now and I consider it an absolutely critical aspect of safeguarding knowledge that every member of the children’s workforce should have. Here is some important and up to date information about DVA that I …

‘Are you up to speed on Contextual Safeguarding?’

‘Cos I know what these boys are like if they don’t get what they want, they’ll beat you up or get girls to beat you up and they’ll switch for no apparent reason…if you say no they consider it as being rude and they don’t like getting talked to like that, and if you’re rude …

‘Are QAnon Right Wing Extremist?’

It’s Safer Internet Day on 9 February 2021, and this usually merits a piece from me on one aspect of the ever-changing landscape of online safeguarding. What an immense challenge safeguarding children from online risks is for the children’s workforce. And what an even bigger challenge it presents for us right now – at a …

Changes to Statutory Safeguarding Policy for 2021

As a freelance safeguarding children consultant, one of my roles I’ve developed over the years is to be a source of information to changes in statutory safeguarding guidance. As I often say in my training, the speed and depth of change increases constantly. Years ago guidance documents were published and expected to stand the test …

2020 Amendment of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Essential Updates to your Single Central Record: 2020 Amendment of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Summary: Important legal changes came into force on the 28th November 2020 to take into account a judgement by the Supreme Court. These changes are: Cautions given to under 18s are no longer legally disclosed The multiple conviction rule has …

Thinking about Safeguarding Training on Zoom?

At the beginning of this extraordinary year, I would have been the last person advocating online safeguarding training. Technology has never been my strong suit, and I have always viewed it as a necessary evil rather than an opportunity. And then Covid-19 hit. From April I found myself as a trainer getting to grips with …

Safeguarding Spotlight on Dennis O’Neil

A while ago I was delivering training and speaking with passion (I think) about a local Serious Case Review that had thrown up a number of insights. As I have said many times before, so much of my own continuing professional development is gained from reading Serious Case Reviews which tragically examine the death or …

Covid-19 and Mental Health

‘Self-isolating and social distancing was a bad habit I worked really hard to get out of. Now I’m being made to do it and being told it’s the right thing to do. It’s very confusing and I’m scared of falling back in to that cycle.’Survey Respondent, Coronavirus: Impact on Young People with Mental Health Needs, …

Safeguarding against child on child sexual violence

“I want to die.” Rob and Claire Johnson’s daughter was screaming, hysterical and inconsolable. Ten-year-old Emily told them a boy at school had slapped her, hard, across the face: “I want to die. Nobody believes me. He’s hitting me and nobody believes me.”   “We didn’t know what to do,” Rob tells me, his voice echoing …

Safeguarding against child on child sexual violence