Culture in Child Protection Special Interest Group Launch

Culture in Child Protection Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group Launch Meeting – View at this link

Chair: Isobel Drew

Vice-Chair: Vanisha Jassal

What is culture?: defining culture in the context of child protection

For the purposes of this SIG culture refers to factors relating to a child’s race, ethnicity and religion. Ethnic, racial and cultural disproportionalities continue to exist across UK child protection practice, services and outcomes for children, young people and their families. This is known and accepted across agencies. Many scholars and practitioners have worked intensively to explore the lived experiences of children and families in the child protection system where cultural issues have needed greater recognition and understanding. This SIG seeks to bring together existing research, best practice and wider learning, to support practitioners and child protection organisations to continue to make developments in this area and to adopt proactive and purposeful working practises so that racial and ethnic disproportionalities can be more effectively addressed.

The launch event
This launch event is an introductory discussion into Culture in Child Protection. Hosted by our SIG Chair, Isobel Drew, and Vice-Chair, Vanisha Jassal, this meeting aims to familiarise you with the subject area, and guide your expectations of the SIG. So, what can you expect from this session?

  • A (re)introduction to culture in child protection: gain insights into the complexities setting the stage for future discussions.
  • Meet the Chair/Vice-Chair: get to know Isobel and Vanisha, our expert leaders of this SIG.
  • Learn about the AoCPP: a brief introduction for non-members to learn how they can actively participate and benefit from the AoCPP.
  • Hear the Terms of Reference (ToR) and join the discussion ensuring it becomes an effective catalyst for real change in the field of child protection.

What to expect from this Special Interest Group

Beyond the launch event, this Special Interest Group meets throughout the year to:

  • Highlight research: shedding light on research findings impacting practice.
  • Share best practice: exchanging examples of good and innovative practices.
  • Discuss current issues: engaging in dialogue on emerging issues and changes in national guidance.

Isobel Drew is a Lecturer within the Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and has an active design and teaching role on the new blended learning Master’s course in Advanced Child Protection. She entered academia from professional practice as a social worker and social work manager (strategic and operational).

Isobel completed a BA Sociology, Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Hull before progressing to postgraduate study. After completing an MA Social Work she continued her professional development with a clear focus on child protection. She is a qualified ‘Practice Teacher’ and has held a number of professional roles within statutory social work, including frontline services, Cafcass and LSCB.

Vanisha Jassal (Vice-Chair) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent (UoK) and a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). She is Director of Studies for the MA Social Work and MA Advanced Child Protection programmes and teaches across both programmes. She is co-chair of the BAME staff network at the university and works to address racial inequalities experienced by staff and students, and support the design and implementation of appropriate policies.

She has been a Trustee of ANBU since 2019, a charity which supports survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) from the UK Tamil community and is soon due to submit her PhD thesis which examines CSA of females in Britain’s South Asian communities. She seeks to improve CSA practice and services for minoritised ethnic children, young people and families.

Towards a Cultural Shift in Sports Coaching: The case study of child-first coaching in a South-East England football club 

Safeguarding in Sport Special Interest Group

Towards a Cultural Shift in Sports Coaching: The case study of child-first coaching in a South-East England football club – View at this link

Speakers: Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Dr Laura Gubby

Chair: Dr Suzanne Everley

Understanding the landscape: Safeguarding in sport

Safeguarding in sport is important for fostering a secure and inclusive environment where athletes can thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. A robust safeguarding framework establishes trust, promotes fair play, and contributes to the overall positive development of athletes, fostering a culture where everyone can enjoy the benefits of sports in a safe and nurturing setting. 

Exploring child-first coaching

In the sport safeguarding discipline, child-first coaching has become a pivotal paradigm shift. Recognising children as active participants with unique perspectives, desires, and vulnerabilities is foundational to creating a coaching environment that truly prioritises their well-being. By actively involving children in decision-making processes, understanding their individual needs, and valuing their voices, coaching becomes not only a means of skill development but a vehicle for empowerment and personal growth. This approach not only safeguards against potential harm but fosters a positive sporting experience, where children not only feel protected but also actively engaged and heard in their sporting journey.

The session

In 2023, Dr. Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Dr Laura Gubby undertook a small-scale preliminary investigation to examine how a ‘traditional’ football club understands coaching, and the potential for the adoption of child-first coaching ideas. Participants included 20 children from 8-15 years old, and three coaches between 35-48 years old – all based in a South-East England football club. 

In this session, Dr Chatziefstathiou and Dr Gubby present their research project, and what their findings suggest about the potential of child-first coaching in sports. The session unveils compelling insights into how traditional coaching experiences may impact players’ acceptance of autonomous play and discusses the broader implications of child-first principles for coaching dynamics.

Understanding child sexual abuse online: Managing risk and trauma after online sexual offending

CSA Learning Week 2023

Understanding child sexual abuse online: Managing risk and trauma after online sexual offending – View at this link

Speakers: Natasha Sabin and Michael Sheath

How can professionals support and safeguard the whole family when a parent has viewed or shared child sexual abuse images. This session will offer guidance and practical advice, combined with practice examples and case studies.

Natasha Sabin is the Practice Improvement Advisor at the Centre of expertise on child sexual abuse.

She is a Forensic Psychologist with professional experience in child sexual abuse. Natasha 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.

Michael Sheath worked as a Probation Officer for 10 years in custodial and community settings with sexual offenders before joining The Lucy Faithfull Foundation in 1997. His duties at The Foundation included the preparation of risk assessments for Family Courts dealing with both convicted and alleged offenders. He was commissioned to undertake whole community risk assessments of a number of UK Overseas Territories including the Falkland Islands.

Michael has developed a specialism in working with viewers of child sexual abuse material from 1998, and he is a regular trainer on the Europol course for investigators. He is the author of a play and book, ‘Crossing the line’, which deals with secondary trauma as it affects families affected by, and those investigating the possession of child sexual abuse material.