THE NSPCC is to provide free support and training to safeguarding partners and agencies in local areas to help them expand the support on offer to children who have suffered sexual abuse.
With backing from the Home Office through their Child Sexual Abuse Support Services Transformation Fund, the charity is launching a new initiative that will enable ten local authority areas to access the package of support and training for free.
It’s designed to help them identify where more can be done to support children who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, and embed best practice within the workforce and the services they provide.
Local safeguarding partners can apply to join the programme, which will begin with the NSPCC supporting them to undertake an audit of their local response to child sexual abuse (CSA) from a multi-agency perspective.
Participants will then be offered a CSA awareness building training session to develop their understanding of CSA and its impact on children.
In addition, agencies within six selected local authority areas will be offered free enhanced training to support them in providing a holistic CSA therapeutic recovery service to local children, young people, and their families, called ‘Letting the Future In’.
Agencies will be supported in their adoption of the service through the provision of implementation guidance and tools.
To be eligible to apply for the initiative, you must be an established local safeguarding partnership, with the following agencies represented: education, police, health and children’s services.
The new programme’s announcement comes just weeks after the Home Office published its Child Sexual Abuse Strategy, which put the emphasis on early intervention and action across Government to tackle this problem.
At the same time, the NSPCC revealed that its helpline and Childline services have been receiving more than 40 contacts a day about child sexual abuse since the start of the pandemic.
The charity is concerned that victims are still having to contend with a disjointed system and often have to fight to get the support they need, a problem which this initiative is designed to help address.
Hayley Clark, Head of Development and Impact, from the NSPCC, said:
“Sexual abuse is a deeply traumatic experience which can cause lasting damage to a child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, it is vital that we are doing all we can to help victims recover and rebuild their lives on a local level.
“This new programme has been designed to give local authorities across the country the awareness and understanding of how they can improve the support services they offer to CSA victims. I would encourage anyone who is interested in getting in touch with us as soon as possible.”
To apply for the programme
We’re looking to work with local safeguarding partners from April 2021, to begin the audit process and provide CSA awareness building sessions. Work with agencies to train them to deliver ‘Letting the Future In’ will begin in Autumn 2021.
If you’re interested in being one of the ten local areas benefiting from the programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be asked to complete and submit an expression of interest form by Friday 5 March.