National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 18th March 2020

March 5th, 2020 by

Tackling exploitation is a high priority for partners in Cornwall. Exploitation is where someone takes unfair advantage of others to gain something for themselves. It occurs when a person is persuaded to do things in exchange for something that they need or want (coercion), or threatened or forced to do things by people with more power than them – this can be someone of a similar age to the child or young adult being exploited, as well as an adult.  It can include being made to provide sexual acts (sexual exploitation) and/or to commit crimes such as theft, benefit fraud, or dealing, carrying or growing drugs (known as criminal exploitation).

Commonly children and young adults think that they have a free choice in their involvement, but when the people exploiting them have more power than they do, we do not believe that this is a free choice.   The methods the exploiters use include ‘grooming’ where someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a person so that they can exploit them; coercion; control; manipulation and threats.  Children and young adults can also be experiencing exploitation and taking part in abusive behaviours towards others at the same time – exploitation is never the victim’s fault.

Our new Child Exploitation Strategy for the next 3 years (which covers ages up to 25 years) is being published in April 2020 and we are also supporting the National Child Exploitation Awareness Day on 18th March 2020 which aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out.

Look out for our social media campaign – one of the ways you can show your support to the awareness day is to write a personal pledge on your hands and post your photo on social media with the hashtag  #CEADay20 to help us raise awareness of child exploitation.

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RECONNECT at Westminster

February 28th, 2020 by

Barnardo’s have been working on a Domestic Abuse report based on evidence from their services about the impact domestic abuse has on children – particularly developing mental health issues, harmful sexual behaviour, being in an abusive intimate relationships, and youth offending.

RECONNECT, one of the programmes commissioned through Safer Cornwall, played a vital role in contributing to the report and ensured the voices of the children and young people who live in Cornwall were heard.  They have long been calling for the Domestic Abuse Bill to fully reflect children’s experience of domestic abuse and their vital need for support and Barnardo’s report supports these calls.

Staff from Barnardo’s launched the report at a parliamentary roundtable on Tuesday 25th February in the House of Lords.  They discussed the findings and the upcoming opportunity the Domestic Abuse Bill provides to improve support for children affected by domestic abuse.

Sarah Milnes from Barnardo’s said: “There were some real strengths at the meeting, including the content of the speeches and the diversity of people in the room – representing government, parliament and the voluntary sector. There was also significant praise for Barnardo’s which is a tribute to the quality of the report and the influencing we’ve been doing in recent months.”

 

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Strength, Resilience and Happiness

February 24th, 2020 by

That first flash of a firesteel and the cotton wool becomes fire is always a magical moment for anyone attempting to master fire lighting. The Youth Offending Service and Youth & Missing officer from D&C police have been running woodland day courses in the St Austell area for a few years now.

Taking young people in to the outdoors is nothing new. We all understand the benefits of getting outdoors and away from issues in the home, work and school. Working with a selection of Young people with different backgrounds, the team have given young people the chance to step out of hectic lives and enjoy the outdoors. Build survival shelters, light fires, and cook their own healthy food over an open fire. Through these skill, we are able to get down to some serious talking around youth issue, substance abuse, Missing episodes and Online safety. Somehow, these subjects are easily discussed around the fire with a mug of stew and easy company. Discussing how young people can keep themselves safe, come up with strategies to deal with stressful situations around Domestic Violence and alternatives to running away and going missing.

The outdoors simply works! Not enough time is spent in the outdoors for all of us and for some of our young people, a woodland day may be their first.

Let’s keep using nature to build strength, resilience and happiness in our future generations.

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Santa’s top safety tips

December 16th, 2019 by

OPSS has partnered with Santa, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Netmums, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust to warn against second rate toys.

We have produced 12 safety tips for people to use when buying for children:

  1. Look for the CE symbol: This means the manufacturer has assessed the toy for safety. Find the symbol on the label or box.
  2. Check it’s for kids: Festive novelties can look like toys. Keep them away from kids.
  3. Reputation matters: Check the suppliers who have a good reputation for safe and reliable toys. They’ll have good safety standards and refund policies.
  4. Button battery safety: Christmas toys may have button batteries – which can prove lethal if ingested. Check they are screwed in safely before giving to a child.
  5. Check age restrictions: Toys must be clearly marked with age restrictions, which assess risks such as choking hazards. Always follow the age recommendations.
  6. Consider special needs: Remember that children with special needs might be more vulnerable, and make sure to shop accordingly.
  7. Choking hazards: Avoid toys with small parts or loose fabric – they can be a choking hazard.
  8. Loose parts: Loose ribbons on toys and costumes can be dangerous. Think before you buy.
  9. Inspect toy boxes: Wear and tear can make a toy unsafe. Check your children’s toys and get them repaired if necessary.
  10. Supervise when you need to: Some toys need an adult on hand during playtime. Read all the instructions so you can keep things under control.
  11. Tidy up: Boxes, plastic bags and wire can be a hazard. Clear away all packaging once everything’s unwrapped.
  12. Celebrate a safe Christmas: Completing these checks can save you a lot of stress later. Remember to get batteries (and dispose of these safely too)!

 

#santasafety

 

 

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Tombstoning dangers warning

July 9th, 2019 by

 

 

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Faster EFT/Eutaptics

July 7th, 2019 by

The complex needs strategy aims to increase aspirations and maximise the opportunity of positive outcomes for those with multiple needs in Cornwall through:

  • Effectively co-ordinated systems of support around people experiencing complexity
  • People who understand and are willing and able to help
  • A culture of learning and adaptation to better understand needs and what works?

The Lankelly Chase research found a much poorer quality of life for those with complex needs, many having experienced adversity and trauma in childhood.

A growing body of research is revealing the long-term impacts of violence, abuse and neglect experienced during childhood.   Described as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), they include, among other things, the witnessing or experiencing of violence or abuse, poor mental health of a parent, harmful use of alcohol and other drugs, or a parent in prison.

A modality that supports those who have had traumatic life experiences is Faster EFT/Eutaptics.  This system, developed in America, looks at how our minds successfully create our problems and subsequently how we can work with the mind to change them.  Many client case studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this intervention for those who have experienced traumatic life events (many of us) and also for those who are manifesting physical and/or mental health problems, addictions, eating disorders, relationship issues etc.

The DAAT supported a visit by the founder of FEFT, Robert Smith, who spent time with complex needs housing and domestic abuse services in Cornwall.  In order to support our culture of learning we wanted to explore whether this modality could be piloted in this area with individuals with complex needs.

During the visit Robert Smith also agreed to deliver an evening seminar on stress management.  Invitations were sent to those on the DAAT training programme delegate list.  Over 60 delegates attended in their own time and provided unanimously positive feedback.  On the night 3 willing volunteers very bravely put themselves forward to address and change a traumatic memory that was negatively impacting their life.

We received the following feedback from one of the volunteers who was ‘tapped on’ during the course of the 2 day visit:

Following this visit and the positive feedback received, a colleague from Cornwall Council Public Health team is currently applying for funding to enable us to test the feasibility of FEFT/Eutaptics on older adults which will include those with complex needs.

Contact                                           

If you require any further please contact:
Name:    Marion Barton
Job title: Social Inclusion Lead

Email:    marion.barton@cornwall.gov.uk

 

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Safety talks around drugs and alcohol

July 7th, 2019 by

Secondary schools in Mid Cornwall have been working with the Youth Intervention Officer Pc Jay Dorman in delivering safety talks around drugs and alcohol.

With year 11 students leaving for the summer, and the summer holidays looming, students have been learning about the dangers of drugs and issues around underage drinking.

Working alongside YZUP, children are being informed about what drugs are currently out there and the risks associated with using them. Students are now aware more than ever of the health implications around drugs use. Also, the law and the consequences of being found in possession of illegal drugs which effects such matters of future employment, travel and further education.

Pc Dorman said “ Most students really understand the issues around illegal drugs when I explain the Line of Criminality, I explain that when a person buys their drugs, they are supporting, County Lines, Modern slavery, Human trafficking, organised crime and potentially, Terrorism.” “Criminal gangs earn money from dealing drugs which can support all the other criminal activities on a larger scale. It’s a question of morals, do you want to support suffering of others to get your kicks?”

We are also encouraging young people to take positive action by calling an ambulance if they believe one of their friends has taken a drug and is having a medical episode. Getting medical help on scene as quickly as possible could save their life!

Further educational work will continue in schools to hopefully keep our children safe for this summer and beyond!

 

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Safer Town Walkabouts

July 7th, 2019 by

Safer Town Walkabouts

Partners from Safer Cornwall and Our Safeguarding Children Partnership are delivering leaflets to retailers in areas across Cornwall in July on the lead up to the school summer holidays as part of the ‘I didn’t know’ campaign about spotting the signs of child exploitation.

We will be providing leaflets, posters and advice about what child exploitation is and how to spot the signs.  We will also outline where people can find advice and support and report any concerns.

Retailers and the service industry are in a unique position to help – evidence shows that public locations can be used as locations to meet, groom and exploit children and young people (both female and male).

Exploited children and young people are almost always too terrified and ashamed to ask for help themselves.  Staff are in a unique position to notice when someone or something seems suspicious, or all may not be right with young customers.  By passing on their concerns to the police, they could potentially save a child from exploitation.  We will provide an update in the next edition of the newsletter.

 

 

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Prince’s Trust Recruitment

June 3rd, 2019 by

 Are you looking for a new challenge?

If you are 16 – 25 and not currently in education, employment or training come along to Truro Community Fire Station on the 19th June to find out more about The Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Team programme and how to join Team 17 starting later this month!

The programme is a 12 week development course with the aim to increase confidence, motivation and skills.

On this action packed programme you’ll take part in a community project, an exciting residential, two weeks work experience in a career of your choice and many more challenges.

You will gain regulated qualifications in Emergency First Aid at Work as well as the Princes Trust Level One Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills. You will also have the opportunity to earn Maths and English Level One and Two if needed.

If you are interested in joining the team or would like to refer someone else please complete an online referral form at http://bit.ly/PTTInfo .

To book a place on the taster day please visit http://bit.ly/Team17TasterDay .

*This course does not affect benefits

 

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‘Peer on peer’ child exploitation highlighted as concern in the South West

March 18th, 2019 by

Children across the south west are victims of sexual exploitation.  But while media reports often highlight cases of adult grooming and child abuse, Devon and Cornwall Police say the most likely form of child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the south west is perpetrated by other young people.

It’s sometimes referred to as ‘peer on peer’ exploitation, and its victims are young males and young females.

“People may be unaware that CSE can be perpetrated by young people aged 18 or younger, and they themselves may also have been victims of CSE,” says Detective Chief Inspector Alison Lander, Devon & Cornwall Police and Force lead for CSE.

Recent research led by Plymouth’s Safeguarding Children’s Board found little awareness and understanding among young people of peer on peer sexual exploitation.

Their research showed that this form of exploitation in particular was not widely recognised or understood as a crime, which is preventing children from reporting it.

They found that young people are also not reporting sexual exploitation because they worry that doing so would lose them friendships; they’re concerned about how their parents might react; or that they’ll be seen as wasting police time.

Monday 18 March is a national awareness day for highlighting CSE.  Authorities across the South West are using the day to say to children and young people, “If you are put in a situation where you feel pressured sexually, please report it.  It’s OK to tell someone.”

Lisa, (not her real name).

Lisa is 15 years old and lives with her mother.  She began to go missing, leaving the house during the middle of the night to meet peers, and there were concerns about her drinking alcohol during while out.

Her behaviour in school and at home deteriorated with no clear reason.   Her mum found information on Lisa’s phone, indicating that she had become sexually active,  and having unprotected sex.

Lisa said that she’d exchanged indecent images of herself with some of boys at her school.

On occasions that she went missing, Lisa was drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis with her male friends.  She’d had sex with one of the boys while under the influence, and he’d told his friends about it.

Lisa started getting messages from other boys asking her to send pictures of herself in her underwear.  Lisa felt uncomfortable, but said ‘everyone sends nudes’.  And besides, she felt it was nice to have boys be interested in her in that way.

One boy said that he could get some cannabis, and he offered some to Lisa in exchange for sex.  She’s thought he was joking, but the boy repeated it a few times and on a later occasion with him, she went along with what he asked.

Regional Head of Service for the NSPCC, Sharon Copsey, says:  “Having early conversations about healthy relationships and consent is vital to tackling child sexual exploitation before it starts. We know that young people don’t always understand that what’s happening to them is abuse.”

Detective Chief Inspector Alison Lander, said: “Many young people who are being exploited do not realise they are at risk and will not ask for help.  Some may see themselves as willing participants in such abuse, not realising that what is happening to them is illegal.  It’s a difficult message to convey to young people, but it’s really important that they are aware of risk and how to avoid it.  Crucially they need to know how to report it, and to have confidence to do so.

“The public can really help us detect and prevent CSE among young people by knowing the signs and reporting any concerns they have.

“It’s not just parents, or teachers and carers who can help spot the signs of CSE.  Anyone working in a service industry, such as taxi drivers and hotel workers, shop keepers; anyone who may be able to spot vulnerable young people who may be at risk of exploitation or in an exploitative relationship – can also help to spot the signs and to report any concerns.”

Andy Bickley, Independent Chair of Plymouth Safeguarding Children’s Board, said: “We are committed to working with local organisations to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation and CSE Day is the ideal opportunity to help improve awareness.

“This latest research shows that it isn’t just adults that exploit children and young people, it can also be their peers, so it’s really important that we make sure our young people know what the dangers are, and also what support is available.”

Schools across the South West and services that work with young people are actively raising awareness of CSE among young people.  Parents and guardians are being encouraged to do the same at home.

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