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About the session:

It continues to be the case that far more children are being sexually abused in England and Wales than are identified or safeguarded. Half a million children are estimated to experience some form of sexual abuse each year, yet research indicates only around one in eight cases of child sexual abuse ever reach statutory services’ attention.

Both research and practice show that it can take years for a child to get to the point where they feel able to tell someone. Sadly, often the younger the child is when the abuse starts, the longer it can take for it to be uncovered. We cannot forget that there are many barriers to children telling adults about harm and they may not recognise what is happening to them is abuse. It is vital that anyone who works with children knows how to recognise what is happening and understands how to help the child to have that conversation.

In this session Natasha will give members an overview of the CSA Centre’s new Communicating with Children Guide, which seeks to give all people working with children guidance in talking about child sexual abuse, explaining what may be going on for children when they are being sexually abused; what prevents them from talking about their abuse; and what professionals can do to help children speak about what is happening. It brings together research, practice guidance, and expert input – including from survivors of abuse - to help give professionals the knowledge and confidence to act. It can be downloaded here:

Speaker: Natasha Sabin, Practice Improvement Advisor

Natasha is the author of the Communicating with Children Guide. She is a Forensic Psychologist with professional experience in child sexual abuse. She has worked within Youth Justice as a practitioner and manager specialising in harmful sexual behaviour. Natasha has also had roles within secure hospitals and custodial environments where she has predominantly worked with adult males who have committed sexual offences. Natasha is a visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham, facilitating teaching sessions to Forensic and Clinical Psychologists in training.

The Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse (CSA Centre)

The CSA Centre was first established in 2017. They are a multi-disciplinary team, that is funded by the Home Office, housed by Barnardo’s, and that works closely with key partners from academic institutions, local authorities, health, education, police and the voluntary sector. The aim of the CSA Centre is to reduce the impact of child sexual abuse through improved prevention and better response. They believe that to tackle child sexual abuse we need to better understand its causes, scope, scale and impact.

They bring about change by: