County conference to focus on child sex abuse

The police operation has helped reduce the number of metal thefts in the county
The police operation has helped reduce the number of metal thefts in the county

Sexual abuse – early years to adolescents is the focus of a one day conference aimed at professionals responsible for safeguarding children.

The conference, which is due to take place on September 6 at police headquarters, will see experts in the field explore the complexities and challenges faced by practitioners in dealing with sexual abuse of young people.

The latest in policy and practice as well as research that can be taken into the front line will be presented at the conference aimed at practitioners from the police, health services, youth teams, schools, social care and the voluntary sector.

The event is being organised by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board – which has a statutory responsibility for ensuring organisations in the local area cooperate and work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The conference also aims to bring young people themselves into the field.

A number of young people from the county will work with a theatre group to create a performance on the subject of sexual abuse.

This will be recorded and shown to delegates on the day.

Professionals attending the conference will have the opportunity to reflect on the importance of understanding child sexual abuse, learning from experts in the field and how this can be incorporated in the delivery and safeguarding of children and young people in the county.

Janet Galley, independent chairman of the Local Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire, said: “Professionals from a wide range of organisations, including teachers, health workers, doctors, nurses, social workers, nursery nurses, midwives and police officers as well as those in voluntary organisations have a responsibility for safeguarding the welfare of children, and this conference will allow us to further improve our understanding and highlight good practice.

“It is an opportunity to listen to and speak with key people who are experts in the field and allow our people to take this learning into their work.”

Chief Inspector Steve Lingley, head of protecting vulnerable persons and LSCB board member, said: “We take the safeguarding of children in Northamptonshire extremely seriously and anything we can do to help improve best practice can only be a good thing.

“This is an important step towards the highly topical but little understood matter of child sexual abuse.

“This conference will help to improve understanding of how professionals can better deal with protecting children from abuse.”

Charlie MacNally, director of adult and children’s services at Northamptonshire County Council, said: “It’s so important that anyone working with children has a clear understanding of sexual abuse and how it manifests itself in children.

“That’s why organisations like the local safeguarding children’s board have such a key role to play in bringing together people who work or volunteer in child-related roles to hear experts on this issue.”

For more details about the Local Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire visit www.LSCBNorthamptonshire.org.uk.