Mark Pearson, Trustee at the AoCPP, talks to Kelechi Ukandu about child exploitation and what practitioners and organisations can do to prevent it, with a focus on the partnership working and good practice going on in London. 


Welcome to Association of Child Protection Professionals' Podcast, a podcast where we, alongside guest hosts, share with you what you need to know in child protection and safeguarding.

This episode is a Special Episode. In these special episodes, we take a more focused look at a singular issue that professionals working with children and families need to know about. These are often specific and urgent – so we’ll be talking with a professional at the forefront of the issue.

In today's episode, Mark Pearson, Trustee at the AoCPP, talks to Kelechi Ukandu about child exploitation and what practitioners and organisations can do to prevent it, with a focus on the partnership working and good practice going on in London.

Kelechi Ukandu currently works as a Children Safeguarding Advisor in London and has worked for many years in the NHS both within the acute and community settings. She has had many years of experience as a specialist community public health nurse supporting families with complex safeguarding issues and adverse childhood experiences.

Kelechi is a passionate leader who is currently on the highly acclaimed Florence Nightingale leadership programme. She is an innovator who has led on different projects for NHS England and Health Education England, and a passionate trainer and speaker who has delivered training to hundreds of professionals, facilitated parenting programmes, and supervised clinicians in practice. She is a Nurse mentor, Specialist practice teacher and Nurse prescriber. She has won local authority partnership awards and continues to be recognised for her impactful change in her organisation in relation to safeguarding children.

Most recently, Kelechi has been working in partnership with the local authority on the child exploitation and serious youth violence strategy, and has expertise in the areas of: intra-familiar abuse, adultification, cultural competency, contextual safeguarding, intersectionality, the identification of neglect, trauma-informed approach and think family assessment approach.

Mark Pearson is a Trustee at the Association of Child Protection Professionals and CEO of Excelsior Safeguarding.

Excelsior Safeguarding was established to provide effective help and support to vulnerable young people and adults affected by group violence, drugs and other forms of criminal exploitation. Mark previously served with Kent Police for 30 years; the last five years of service were as the Lead Police Officer on the integrated services Margate Task Force (MTF). Mark has also advised government ministers, think tanks and director generals and successfully project managed a Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) funded initiative to drive innovation around gangs, drugs and criminal exploitation.


For more information about membership of the Association of Child Protection Professionals go to:


For those listening in the future, this episode is being recorded and published during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many frontline professionals are finding themselves overworked, time poor and confused as government guidance is changing daily. To alleviate the pressure child protection professionals are under, we have created the AoCPP Podcast, which will provide support to these professionals who continue to serve our country, its vulnerable children, and families, in unprecedented circumstances.


Find out more about Kelechi Ukandu:

Twitter: @KelechiUkandu5


Find out more about Mark Pearson at: