When: Thursday 5th March 2020, 7.30pm
Where: New Cross (map)
Child Protection: safeguarding children from sexual exploitation
We are lucky to be joined at our March meeting by Jenny Pearce, Professor of Young People and Public Policy at the University of Bedfordshire, who is the ideal person to lead us through this difficult and troubling topic. You can read more about her work and research here
This session will argue that child protection is everyone’s business, not just the responsibility of the child protection system. The recent scandals of children being sexually exploited by street gangs have raised substantial media attention to one form of abuse of children. In addition, the awareness that sexual abuse has occurred in religious and sport contexts and is perpetrated by those we thought we could trust, including ‘celebrities’ such as Jimmy Saville, has raised awareness that child abuse takes place in many places and forms. This makes us ask ‘how could this happen just under our noses?’
This session will try to address this question by looking at definitions that guide knowledge, policy and practice protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. It will draw on research findings to identify the scope, limitations and challenges presented to child protection practitioners, particularly in a globally informed digital age. Importantly, we will look at children’s, families’ and communities’ roles in identifying and challenging the sexual abuse of children. It is by engaging those outside the child protection system that real awareness and change will occur, making chid protection everyone’s business.