The Association of Child Protection Profesisonals and Child Abuse Review, are looking for a new Interim Co-Editor following the stepping down of a current co-Editor, Professor Lisa Bunting. The new Interim Co-Editor post will commence at a mutually agreed date, until January 2024. The successful candidate will work closely with Co-Editor Professor Kish Bhatti-Sinclair, the CAR Editorial Team and Board, as well as key contacts at the Association and the publisher.
Child Abuse Review (CAR) provides a forum for all those working in the field of child protection and safeguarding, giving them access to the latest research findings, practice developments, training initiatives and policy issues. The Journal's remit includes all forms of maltreatment, whether they occur inside or outside the family environment, and all aspects of safeguarding. Papers are written in a style appropriate for a multidisciplinary and international audience.
The Journal maintains a practice orientated focus and authors of research papers are encouraged to examine and discuss implications for practitioners. By always emphasising research/practice links, it is the Journal’s aim to promote practice-relevant research and to facilitate the use of research findings, to enhance good practice and influence policy.
The Editorial Board, in all its activities, seeks to prevent discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, racial origin, culture, religious belief, language, disability, economic status or political views. The Journal has a policy of encouraging inclusive practice and for this reason authors are asked to consider the applicability of their work to all groups.
CAR publishes six issues per year, and each issue includes a mix of refereed original research and practice papers, short reports, Continuing Professional Development articles, Training Matters articles, and book reviews. This is an exciting time to join the journal which publishes an increasing number of Open Access articles, holds an Impact Factor of 2.086, and has grown a strong social media presence and global readership.
To ensure the robust health of the journal going into the future, CAR is particularly interested in maintaining its strong special issue programme, measures to expand the internationality of the Editorial board/authorship, and new ways to increase the annual number of exceptional quality published articles.
In addition to the current co-Editors, the editorial team consists of a number of Associate Editors, and a Statistical Editor. See the full Editorial Board here.
The successful candidate for the position will be recognised as an expert in the field of child protection and have an established track record of publications and conference presentations. They will also have an extensive network of contacts, so that the profile of the Journal can continue to be developed.
A full job description of the role can be found here.
How to Apply
For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Kish Bhatti-Sinclair K.Bhatti-Sinclair@chi.ac.uk
Applicants should send a covering letter, curriculum vitae and a short assessment of the strengths and potential areas of development of Child Abuse Review to Sarah Scoffield, Journals Publishing Manager, Wiley. Email: email@example.com
Candidates invited to interview will be asked to present their vision for the journal and their contribution to the Editor role in a short presentation. Applications are welcome from those who wish to apply as a sole Editor-in-Chief, or as co-Editors.
Deadline for expressions of interest: 6th March 2023
Interviews (via video conference): From 15th March 2023
After the Government announced their response to Josh MacAlister’s ‘Review of Children’s Social Care’, AoCPP Trustee - Dr Ciaran Murphy -speaks to BBC Radio West Midlands about the inadequacy of the response and the current state of England's children's social care system.
On the 2nd February, 2023, I was asked by the Association of Child Protection Professionals (AoCPP) (for whom I am a Trustee) to provide an interview to BBC Radio West Midlands ‘Drive’ on the ‘state of England’s children’s social care system’. The interview was timely given that Government had, that day, announced their long-awaited response to Josh MacAlister’s ‘Review of Children’s Social Care’ – with a headline announcement that £200m would be invested in improving England’s children’s social care system over the next two years.
The interviewer, Paul Franks, began the interview by drawing my attention to a comment made by Arthur Labinjo-Hughes grandfather Peter Halcrow, that when Arthur was visited by social workers before his death, they had assessed that because his house was ‘clean’, ‘there was nothing to worry about’. Of course, we now know that Arthur was being systematically abused by his father and step-mother – abuse that ended in his appalling murder in June 2020. Peter also rightly observed that if social workers had ‘lifted up [Arthur’s] shirt and seen the bruising… then they might have thought otherwise’. This led Paul Franks to ask me: ‘[Social workers] went round to the house, saw everything was clean, and so thought everything was ok – is that what people in social care do? Surely, they should be looking at the child, not the house’.
Those who listened to the interview perhaps spotted that I was quite taken aback by the question. My initial response was to express my regret at the terrible circumstances of Arthur’s death (I also retrospectively wish that I had passed on my explicit support and concern for the extended members of Arthurs family – like Peter – who, before his death, had tried desperately to raise the alarm). I then also pointed out that, despite repeated narratives to the contrary, England’s child protection system remains one of the best and most effective in the world, with thousands of success stories that we are not able to talk about (due, in the main, to important privacy and confidentiality safeguards that protect the identities of the children concerned – safeguards that they rightly deserve).
I also pointed out that the many incidents of success within the system, are despite its chronic underfunding dating back to 2010 – which can be aligned to successive Governments’ national policy of Austerity. As one example, I highlighted the case of a
Greater Manchester local authority, who, between 2010 and 2020, were compelled to cut their Children’s Services budget (notwithstanding school spending – which is ringfenced and protected by law) by an astonishing 82%. The £100m saved by this local authority (in the main by closing early help and preventative services like Sure Start Centres and the Youth Service provision) had purportedly saved them £100m over that 10-year period – a figure that I failed to point out is half the total amount that the Government has committed to ‘fix’ the Children’s Social Care System.
I went on to say that the repeated cuts to preventive and ‘early help’ services seen all around the country since 2010 (as children’s services departments try to save money under the auspices of ‘Austerity’), had driven more and more families into crisis – placing huge increased demand on an already overstretched child protection system. This, in combination with the restricted finances, has led to a massive increase in caseloads (with averages numbering more than double that which Herbert Laming, following his review into the death of Victoria Climbié, recommended should be considered a maximum ‘safe’ level).
I told Paul Franks that what this meant for frontline social workers was that they were repeatedly being spread ‘too thinly’, with feelings often shared that they ‘don’t have enough time to spend with individual children’. I also explained that in such a situation, it was inevitable that things would be missed, and that children whose unique circumstances did not fit neatly within predefined cohorts (like Arthur), would be especially susceptible to slipping through the ‘proverbial net of protection’.
Paul then asked me if in this context, the £200m committed by the Government was ‘just a drop in the ocean’, in respect to ‘what is needed’. My response was to point out that this figure is less than 8% of the minimum £2.6b identified as being required by the (Government commissioned) Review of Children’s Social Care. Moreover, it is less than 5% of the minimum amount that the Association of Directors of Children’s Services say that we need to get the system back to the place of safe operation. On this basis, I quoted a colleague at the AoCPP, whose one-word assessment also summed up my own thoughts: ‘inadequate’.
I finished the interview by asserting that until we as a country properly financially invest in the services that support children in care and in need of protection, it is inevitable that more tragedies (like that of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes) will occur, and more difficult questions will continue to be retrospectively asked of workers, service providers, and national government.
-Dr Ciaran Murphy
To listen to the full radio interview click here (interview starts at 3:08:30).
“In December, Wendy Thorogood stepped down from her post as Interim Director. Wendy has steered the Association through the challenges posed by a global pandemic. This included moving to a new digital way of working and restructuring the office team, and going on to support the Association to survive in very turbulent times as we emerged from the pandemic. What started off as a short-term interim position, has lasted for almost 2 years! This is testament to Wendy’s passion and commitment to the organisation and her determination that it will not only survive, but thrive. The AoCPP Board, staff team and membership owes Wendy a huge debt of gratitude.
However, it’s not goodbye! We are delighted that Wendy has agreed to remain with the AoCPP as part of the Board of Trustees. The AoCPP Board is strong and active. Much of the direction the organisation needs now comes directly from the Board, such is their level of engagement, expertise and willingness to support. The addition of Wendy and her wealth of knowledge only serves to strengthen it further, and we look forward to many more years of working together.”
- Dr Sam Warner, Chair.
(An excerpt from our newsletter. If you want to sign up to our monthly newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel Lavelle a Guardian journalist and author of the film, The care system failed me. What is it like for kids today? gives a moving account of his and others experiences in care, seeking to find out if the care system which failed him as a child, has changed for the better. Sadly his conclusion echo’s the sad the reality identified within recent government reviews that it has got worse.
The Independent Review of Social Care (May 2022) and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (October 2022) both highlight the increased vulnerability of children within the care system, particularly those living in residential care and the need for change.
Young people in care are often aware that their vulnerability can be increased, but sadly feel that they have little to no control or say in their care planning decisions. Daniel talks of not being heard during his time in residential care, where he feels residential staff are ill-equipped to deal with complex emotional behaviours often resorting to restraining techniques to control outbursts of frustration by young people. Daniel highlights the need for residential staff to have appropriate training and education, to enable a trauma informed approached to caring for young people within the care system, rather than an authority and controlling approach. This view is supported through recommendations made by both the reviews, mentioned above, that all staff working in care roles in children’s residential care settings, including secure children’s homes, are subject to registration with an independent regulatory body, charged with setting and maintaining standards of training, conduct and continuing professional development, and with the power to enforce these through fitness to practise procedures.
You can watch the short film below. But if you're interested in discussing this theme more, join our Special Interest Group:
There are several themes within the film already debated by the AoCPP SIG for Children & Young People in Care and Care Experienced (C&YPiC and CE) and we are keen to take forward further debate and the sharing of good practice during our lunch time events.
The changes within government over the last six months has led to a delay in the DfE pledge to issue a response to the Care Review before the end of the year. Josh Mac Alister the lead of the review has been appointed to advise on the content of the implementation strategy and provide “ongoing challenge and scrutiny on the delivery and implementation plans” This alongside the government’s response to the recommendations published in the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, effecting and aiming to improve experiences and outcomes for children within the care system will help inform our SIG events going forward.
If you are working within or have an interest in safeguarding our children within the care system, we would be pleased to hear from you or join our next SIG, date to be circulated via our Events page or newsletter in the new year.
- Penny Earney
Chair of Children & Young People in Care and Care Experienced SIG
The Association of Child Protection Professionals is concerned to hear of recent reports that Shamima Begum was allegedly trafficked. Shamima was 15 years old and legally a child when she left the UK and joined ISIS in Syria following her radicalisation. She was subsequently sexually abused and experienced the loss of three of her children. Shamima’s case raises important issues about child exploitation, grooming, radicalisation, trafficking and the adultification of black and minority ethnic children.
The AoCPP believes that children who have been radicalised should be understood as victims of exploitation and that there is a need for consistency in the understanding, assessment and treatment of child exploitation victims. The process of grooming and coercion in radicalisation is similar to other forms of child exploitation and perpetrators prey on vulnerable children.
Our understanding of sexual exploitation has moved away from victim blaming, but it is still the case that too often child victims of criminal exploitation and radicalisation are viewed as being more culpable for their behaviour. The adultification of black and minority ethnic children, where unlike white children they are treated as having adult understanding and intentions, is a further concern raised by the narrative surrounding Shamima.
The AoCPP believes that there is a need for children be treated as children regardless of their beliefs, experiences, behaviours or ethnicity. Children who have been the victims of radicalisation are no less victims of exploitation than those who have been criminally or sexually exploited through similar coercive grooming processes. We believe that a child-centred, social welfare approach may be a more helpful response when children are exploited in this way.
The AoCPP offers our deepest condolences to her family, friends and all those who mourn her both in the UK and around the world.
The Queen had been the Head of State for the United Kingdom for over 70 years. She was the longest serving monarch in UK history and has been praised throughout her life for her personal qualities and dedication to public service.
We wish King Charles III well in his role as the new Head of State.
AoCPP Chair Dr Sam Warner and Director Wendy Thorogood extend their condolences:
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She will be missed by many across our four nations and indeed internationally. We wish King Charles III the very best for the future."
In today's episode Steve Myers, Vice-Chair of the AoCPP, is speaking to Dr Rob Ewin about interview practices in policing. They'll be discussing how the specialism has evolved, the importance of continued research within the area, and the best practice all child protection and adult safeguarding professionals can take from it.
Dr Rob Ewin's route to his current role was neither quick nor easy, what started out as a community volunteer role, then turned into a Special Constable role which subsequently led him to undertake a foundation degree in Policing at the University of Cumbria. Soon after, Rob topped up his degree to eventually receive a BSc in Professional Policing, while simultaneously working to become a Police Officer at Cumbria Constabulary. Rob later joined the Criminal Investigation Department where he completed many successful cases, but through this, he continued to study - undertaking a few modules of a Master's degree, but ultimately undertaking a PhD looking at the complex problems facing vulnerable people. It is this balance between academic research and practical experience that has been a longstanding component of Dr Ewin's career and subsequently led him to his current role, T/ Detective Inspector and Head of Learning and Development for the Cumbria Constabulary. Rob now works on complex investigations including murder, rape and human trafficking, while supporting his Constabulary in their professional development - with a focus on facilitating evidence-based practice. But despite how his career has developed, he carries with him the lessons he learned within his first role, the value of difference, diversity, hardship and loss.
Steve Myers is the former Director of Social Sciences at the University of Salford, and a registered Social Worker with a background in child protection and youth justice. He has worked in both statutory and voluntary organisations and has been involved with the training of social workers in Higher Education for the past 25 years. Steve has researched and written about strengths-based and solution focused practice, and has a interest in working with violent behaviour including sexual violence.
We started this podcast at the beginning of lockdown to support professionals continuing to work with vulnerable children, and families, under unprecedented circumstances.
With the goal of alleviating the pressure professionals are under, we’ve brought together leading experts within research and practice share their knowledge of the latest issues in child protection and adult safeguarding.
Two years later, we want to hear from YOU about what you would like to hear in upcoming episodes.
Whether it’s a particular topic you want discussed, or a particular person you want invited on the show. We want to ensure that the podcast reflects what you need.
So feel free to email us at email@example.com with any suggestions.
And if you’ve been enjoying listening to this podcast - please rate, review and subscribe as it helps other child protection professionals find us.
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Music by Alexander King
Special Issue on Child Sexual Abuse and Racialisation: Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Community
Guest Editors: Jahnine Davis and Sukhwant Dhaliwal
This Special Issue of Child Abuse Review will focus on the intersection of age, gender, race/ethnicity and the sexual abuse of children. The lack of attention to race and ethnicity (multiculturalism and multifaithism) within the literature on child sexual abuse in the UK continues to mean there are significant gaps in knowledge despite recent policy and academic attention to the sexual exploitation of children and young people (CSE). There is little or no research on the differential ways that minority perpetrators are represented or the diverse experiences of a range of minoritised children and young people nor very much attention to the state response (or lack of) to them. We invite proposals for articles on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and racialisation that can offer one or more of the following:
We particularly welcome contributions on/with lesser heard voices in this space such as on South East Asian, Latin American, Jewish, and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Contributions to this Issue can take the form of:
There will be a workshop for all contributors to present their papers at the end of October 2022 at which they will get to meet and discuss their work with the other contributors and get feedback from guest respondents with expertise in the field. Therefore, successful applicants will be expected to develop a full draft of their paper for circulation by Friday 30th September 2022 so that respondents and editors can read these ahead of the workshop event.
Contributors will then be expected to submit their revised articles through Child Abuse Review’s single-anonymous peer review process by Friday 6th January 2023.
To discuss your contribution, contact:
Sukhwant Dhaliwal – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jahnine Davis - email@example.com