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Update on progress following the Child Safeguarding Practice Review for Jacob – March 2022

Date: Thursday, 17th Mar 2022 | Category: General

Following the publication of the safeguarding review for Jacob, we said we would keep you informed on progress. Here is our third update.

OSCB learning event January 2022

The OSCB held an online learning event in January, which was attended by 100 delegates. They were given an overview of the findings from the CSPR for Jacob and a reminder of the need for system change, both locally and nationally, to prevent and tackle child exploitation. They heard the views of children and families in Oxfordshire and what has worked well in supporting them as well as what could be better.

The event debuted a short film, developed with Jacob’s Mum and Alter Ego Creative Solutions, on the lived experience of parents when a child is criminally exploited.

Jennifer Sergeant, Head of the YJES, talked about the types and indicators of exploitation, vulnerabilities, and evidence-based approaches. This was followed by a short session on reflections from a local parents’ forum, with Pete Wallis and Nancy Bott.

Dr Sarah Lloyd from Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE), gave an overview of the work of the charity including the ‘contextual safeguarding’ approach and evaluation of parent’s experiences of working with their Parent Liaison Officers.

The event finished up with a short film on the work of Hospital Navigators, supporting children and young people in hospital Emergency Departments.

Feedback from the event:

  • “One of the most informative courses I have been on” (education practitioner)
  • “I found the session from PACE invaluable. It was so good to hear from someone who works everyday with these families, I learnt more on this session than I have in 3 years of training events” (health practitioner)

If you were unable to attend on the day, the slides and a recording of the session are now available on the OSCB Learning Management System, ‘Learning from the CSPR for Jacob webinar: 270122.

What you have told us: stories and experiences

As mentioned in the last update, there is now a format to gather stories and experiences from practitioners across the partnership to illustrate how the system is working together to support children and respond to the complex issues around child exploitation.

We wanted to take this opportunity to share one of these stories with you as they begin to illustrate the lived experience of adolescents in these circumstances – see below:

What Oxfordshire Youth Justice & Exploitation Service told us about a young person that they had worked with
‘What were the concerns?’

This young person was initially referred into the service after being groomed online, drawn into the drugs and gangs lifestyle. He had seen it on social media and wanted that lifestyle.  The young person was then drawn to meet these males with a promise or earning money, and he was met, threatened at knife point and robbed.

Three months later the same young person was robbed by peers, who he knows are involved in child drug exploitation and county lines. The risks related to physical and emotional harm to this young person based on his peers and associates, the risk of retaliation, and the long term impact on his mental health

‘What was the multi-agency response?’

Police attended the home and took a statement from the young person on the day of the robbery. A child protection meeting (section 47) was held the next day and a social worker visited the home within two days. A Youth Justice & Exploitation Service (YJES) worker then began to work with them and visited them on a weekly basis. The school was informed, and a risk assessment completed.

Through the YJES worker we had access to mental health services and very quickly the Youth Justice & Exploitation Service was diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder and received treatment. The YJES worker also sought advice on how to support and challenge the young person on their idealistic views of gangs and the associated lifestyle.  A National Referral Mechanism was submitted via the local authority.

‘What was better for the child as a result multi-agency support provided? What difference did it make for the child?’

 1.    We were able to respond quickly. We were there at the reachable moment for that young person, which allowed the family to have trust and confidence in services. This meant the family were more confident in calling for support.

2.    We were able to access mental health support. The quick access enabled diagnosis and support. The young person talks positively about having contact from the doctor at mental health service on a regular basis.

3.    The young person was supported going into school

4.    Working with the whole family allowed the family to develop their own safety plans.

5.    YJES were able to explain to the young person the outcome of Youth Court and to support him in managing his emotions around this.  

From these Stories we are now able see emerging positive practice across the system, in particular:

  • strong collaboration by different agencies working together – doing the right thing at the right time to improve children’s lives
  • children and young people being and feeling safe – through a respectful engagement, and practitioners really listening to and involving them and their parents
  • recognising those reachable moments and acting swiftly at that point.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to send a Story back to us.

We encourage you all to follow the link Case Study Template to the format, and to please send in any further examples that you have, as this will enable us to continue building a picture of emerging practice across the county in response to the learning from the Jacob review.

Hold the date!

A follow up event is scheduled for the 30th of June, to provide a further update on the revised framework as follows:

  • the new pathway and screening tool
  • a summary of the review on the Complex child panel
  • revised escalation process
  • Rethinking our practice; how we live with risk, expectations of what we can do
  • Police approach
  • Health perspectives
  • Child exploitation through the eyes of the child

National Child Exploitation Awareness Day

The National Child Exploitation Awareness Day (CEADay) takes place on 18th March annually. CEA Day is a great way to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children exploiting and abusing their peers.

Go to this Sway