March 2024

  1. Speak Up, Stand Up, Stop Exploitation Knowledge Hub
  2. BOOK NOW! - Multi-Agency Neglect: A Shared Responsibility Training
  3. Education Updates
  4. Multi-Agency Training Dates
  5. Wakefield Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Launch Event
  6. Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Sport
  7. Water Safety at Home
  8. Support Available for Friends & Family of People Arrested for Online Sexual Offending
  9. Child Safety Advice - Choking Risks & Dog Bites
  10. Save The Date: Child Safety Week 2024
  11. NSPCC Updates
  12. Teens and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Virtual Girlfriend/Boyfriend Bots
  13. Useful Links

1. Speak Up, Stand Up, Stop Exploitation Knowledge Hub

Thank you to all those who joined us to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Child Exploitation Awareness Day, marked by the launch of our new Speak Up. Stand Up. Stop Exploitation! section on the WSCP Knowledge Hub.

Featuring insightful presentations from St Giles Trust, Ivison Trust, Liaison & Diversion, the Children Vulnerable to Exploitation & Missing Service, and West Yorkshire Police, we unveiled some of the latest approaches for preventing, identifying, disrupting, and stopping child exploitation in the district.
For those who were unable to attend, we invite you to explore the new pages here or watch a brief 3-minute tour of the new additions below. 

To help with the promotion of the pages, you can download the #StandUpSpeakUp campaign material here please share with your staff teams and across your networks far and wide.

2. BOOK NOW! - Multi-Agency Neglect: A Shared Responsibility Training

Please see the flyer below for information about the Multi-Agency Neglect: A Shared Responsibility Training, which is taking place at various dates throughout 2024
Click here for further information and to book a place.

3. Education Updates

SP-EAK (3.5 hours) Suicide Prevention – Explore, Ask, Keep-Safe: An introduction to Suicide Prevention skills (for education settings only)
Papyrus are delivering two SP-EAK suicide awareness sessions in May. This training covers the attitudes, myths and stigma surrounding suicide and explores the signs that may indicate someone is having thoughts of suicide. They will look at how to have open, safe and sensitive conversations about suicide with a person having thoughts of suicide and how we can support them through the use of a safety plan. Please see the flyer below for more information.

Please note there are only two funded sessions available therefore please only book one person per school to allow as many schools as possible to access this training offer. The person who attends this training on behalf of their school should then feedback what they have learnt to the whole DSL/Pastoral team. To book a place please email

GOV.UK Guidance: Sharing Nudes and Semi Nudes: Advice for Education Settings
Please click here for updated guidance regarding sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people. Guidance is given about responding to incidents and safeguarding children and young people.

Please ensure your whole DSL team is aware and update any links/ print outs you may have, including the one page overview guide for staff. The main additions are in dealing with AI generated images and Sextortion.
Mobile Phones
The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance for schools in England on prohibiting the use of mobile phones by pupils. The guidance explains how to develop, implement and maintain a policy that prohibits the use of mobile phones and similar smart devices during the school day. It aims to help schools reduce distractions and disruption caused by mobile phone use, as well as reduce the risks of peer pressure and bullying. Alongside the guidance, there are case studies, a toolkit and information on creating a mobile phone-free school environment. 

Read the guidance: Mobile phones in schools
Read the blog post: Mobile phones in schools: are they being banned?

Updated Childline Posters
NSPCC Learning has published updated posters to encourage children to contact Childline if they need to talk. Different designs are available for children of primary and secondary school ages in English, as well as versions in Welsh. The poster for Report Remove has also been updated to encourage children and young people to use this tool to get help removing nude images shared online.
Access the resources: Childline posters

4. Multi-Agency Training Dates

Multi-Agency Neglect: A Shared Responsibility Training
This course will explore how we identify neglect, what to consider, tools to use and how best to respond to Neglect through robust assessment and information sharing. This training encourages collaboration, professional curiosity, challenge and discussion. It is suitable for anyone who works or volunteers with children and their families.

*Please note: This is NOT Neglect Toolkit training.

Before attending this training, it may be useful to watch the new and updated recorded training, How to’ guide for the WSCP Neglect Toolkit.

To access the Neglect Toolkit pages, please click here.

Available course dates & times: 
- Wednesday 26th June
- Wednesday 25th September
- Tuesday 26th November

This course is designed to increase the participants knowledge and understanding of Working Together to Safeguard Children and other key legislation, including the West Yorkshire inter-agency procedures and local guidance. It is delivered by the WSCP Business Unit. Please note: There is a pre-recorded video to watch prior to the training titled 'WSCP Safeguarding Children Basic Awareness'

For more information click here

Available course dates & times: 
- Tuesday 14th May 2024, 9.30am - 4.30pm 
- Tuesday 25th June 2024, 9.30am - 4.40pm
Managing Allegations Against Staff Training
This session aims to provide employers and mangers with an introduction to the systems and procedures that are in place for responding to allegations made against people who work with children. This course is delivered by the Wakefield Council Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and the WSCP Safeguarding Advisor for Education Vicki Maybin. If you are interested in this training please email

Multi-Agency Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) Training
The Learning Academy, alongside Focus CAMHS, are proud to announce two multi-agency Sexual Behaviour courses for professionals in Wakefield. These courses are:

1) Introduction to Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB)

Available course dates & times: 
- Thursday 9th May 2024, 10:00am to 13:00pm (for residential home staff and foster carers only)

2) Introduction to Technology Assisted Harmful Sexual Behaviour (TA-HSB)

Available course dates & times:
- Wednesday 10th July 2024, 09:30am to 12:30pm

To find out more about the above HSB courses and to book a place please click here
Domestic Abuse Training
Available training on topics such as: Domestic Abuse Awareness, Coercive Control, Stalking, Harassment & Honour Based Violence, Sexual Abuse, FGM, Domestic Homicide, Male Victims of Domestic Abuse, Domestic Abuse Act, MARAC Awareness and CAPVA. 

For more information including dates and times, please click here

Future In Mind Workforce Development Training (CAMHS)
CAMHS are delivering training on the following subjects, with dates available throughout the year:

- An Introduction to Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Understanding and Working with Anxiety in Children and Young People
- An Introduction to Depression and Low Mood in Children and Young People
- Supporting Children and Young People who have experienced Bereavement or Loss
- The Impact of Sleep on Emotional Wellbeing
- An Introduction to Attachment in Children and Young People
- An introduction to Self Harm
- An Introduction to Suicide and Awareness and Prevention

These sessions will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. For further information including dates and times, and to download a booking form please click here

Relationship Matters: Reducing Parental Conflict Toolkit Training
Relationships affect everyone; they are part of being human and are one of the hardest to navigate around as both a child and an adult.

This course is designed to increase the participants knowledge and understanding of what parental conflict is, how to recognise it as well as encouraging participants to develop a range of practical strategies in supporting families to address conflict with the help of Wakefield’s Relationship Toolkit.

Click here for more information including how to book a place.

Available course dates and times:
- Thursday 25th April, 09:30 – 11:30 – Platform 1, Hemsworth
- Tuesday 28th May, 13:30 – 15:30 – Online via Ms Teams
- Thursday 25th June, 09:30 – 11:30 – Crofton Youth Centre
Risk and Resilience Framework Training
The training is delivered by Wakefield Public Health and colleagues from across the Wakefield District.

The aim of the training session is to:

- Increase confidence in navigating the Risk and Resilience website
- Explore the support tools, interventions and resources on the website
- Understand how it can support your work
- Share best practice

Click here to find out more information.

Available course dates and times:
- Tuesday 16th April, 13:00pm – 16:00pm
YGAM Training - Gaming and Gambling Harms
Ygam’s mission is to ensure that every young person is resilient to, and safeguarded against, gaming and gambling harms. They do this through awareness raising, education and research.

This training equips you with the knowledge and confidence to deliver the programme directly to young people. The workshops are 100% fully funded and on completion all trained staff will gain access to resources to use with the young people you support and City and Guilds certification.

The training is aimed at a range of youth-facing professionals, including teachers, youth workers, practitioners, universities, faith leaders and health professionals.

Please click here for more information

Available course dates and times:
These are virtual workshops with various dates available in March. Please click on the link above for more details.

5. Wakefield Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Launch Event!

Wakefield Council, Children and Young People Public Health are inviting you to the launch of their Teenage Pregnancy Strategy in Wakefield, where local experts will share their insights and expertise in teenage pregnancy prevention, support, and services.

The launch will take place on Thursday 9th May 2024 from 3:30pm with the main event starting at 4pm - 6pm at the New Brookhouse Club, Barnsley Rd, Wakefield, WF1 5NU.

This event will provide you with an opportunity to meet and network with services available across the district.

Key Highlights include:
  • Engaging speeches by local experts with the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded professionals.
  • Learn about local services helping to prevent teenage pregnancies and support available for those experiencing teenage pregnancies.
  • Understanding the challenges faced by teenage parents in Wakefield.
Come and contribute to a solution focused discussion, as Public Health launch their strategy, action plan and share their vision to support teenagers and their families to create a safer and healthier future.

Please click here to reserve your place.

6. Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Sport

The Stop Child Exploitation Organisation (STOPCE) has developed a campaign called "Safe to Play". The campaign video is based on an incident involving a sports coach and focuses on a family scenario, featuring three short vignettes from a sports coach, a parent and a child. It is designed to help parents and carers ask the right questions which will develop safer environments for children taking part in sport and activities.

Many parents send their children to sports clubs and physical activities, particularly during the school holidays, but how many will do their due diligence before “dropping“ their children at these sessions with adults that they do not know?

To access the videos please click here

Calling all professionals:
Please share across your networks to raise awareness.

7.  Water Safety at Home

The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK’s) #SpringClean Campaign warns parents to check their home for drowning risks as part of their spring clean routine and follow simple water safety advice.

Recorded drownings show that 42 children aged 0-4 years old have drowned in their own home or garden in the last five years, with around 400 people drowning on average in the UK every year.

The Spring Clean campaign, running from 3rd to 10th April, promotes water safety messages on social media and the media.

Drowning can happen very quickly and in less than 2cm of water, so filled bath tubs, swimming pools, hot tubs and even buckets of water and sinks can be dangerous. There is a real risk of drowning in the home and garden.

The RLSS are asking people to support the campaign and follow their simple advice to help ensure they and their families stay safe.

One person dies every 20 hours in the UK and drowning is the third highest cause of accidental death of children in the UK. Thousands more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences.

RLSS UK believes that the majority of drownings are preventable. Make sure that you and your loved-ones are not counted in next year’s drowning figures by following RLSS UK’s water safety advice for around the home.

RLSS UK’s advice:
  • Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty
  • Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
  • Always pull out the plug
  • Never leave children unattended at bath time. Empty the bath as soon as possible after use
  • Always put the bath plug up high and out of reach
  • Always keep the bathroom door shut
  • Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
If you’re taking part in the campaign, let the RLSS know on Twitter @RLSSUK #SpringClean and help them spread awareness to save lives.

If you have been affected my drowning and need further support, RLSS UK can fund counselling sessions. Please phone Porcha Treanor on 01789 774495.

For additional water safety advice and resources please take a look at the WSCP Water Safety Webpage, by clicking on the button below.

8.  Support Available for Friends & Family of People Arrested for Online Sexual Offending

In 2021, there were over 850 arrests across the UK for accessing child sexual abuse material every single month. Many of those arrested will have children of their own or contact with children in their wider family. Indeed, compared with those convicted of other forms of sexual offending, research suggests people who access child sexual abuse material are more likely to be married and have children. It is very rare that anyone would be aware of a person's offending behaviour, before it comes to the attention of the police. 

So, for partners and children of those who have accessed child sexual abuse material they are often left traumatised; by the shock of what a partner/parent has done, but also in what to do next and how to find support. Receiving support for the psychological and practical repercussions of such a discovery are important for all of those in the home. 

Families need help to make sense of such shocking news.  They need support to manage the stigma around this form of harm and also with the practical implications: employment/finances, housing and managing the statutory services involved.

To support these families, child protection organisations and law enforcement agencies - including the NWG Network, Lucy Faithfull Foundation, Centre for expertise on child sexual abuse, Marie Collins Foundation and the National Police Chief’s Council have produced an easy access service directory to help partners or family members of those who have been arrested for accessing child sexual abuse material find support and information.

As some family members may want to also find services for the person who has offended, it includes details of services for those who have accessed child sexual abuse material.

If you are working with a family needing support, or you need support yourself, the list of Services Supporting Indirect Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Material Offending can be found here

9. Child Safety Advice - Choking Risks & Dog Bites

Why are mini eggs a big safety risk?
With Easter fast approaching the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are taking this opportunity to highlight to parents/carers that mini eggs can pose a big safety risk to very young children.
Mini eggs (of any brand) are the perfect size and shape to completely block a small child’s airway and choke them. And, their hard shell can make it difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques. That’s why they aren’t recommended for small children. So, please stay safe and choose another treat for your little one this Easter. Larger, hollow eggs are much safer. Click here to find out more about how to keep children safe from choking.

Dogs and children: top tips to keep them safe and happy together
CAPT are asking families to remember that any dog can bite, after a 3-year-old was bitten in the face by his family’s pet after trying to climb on the animal. Children should never be unsupervised when with dogs, even family pets that you believe ‘would never hurt’ your children.

A dog’s instinct to protect itself is to bite. Parents should ensure children learn to respect a dog’s space and be encouraged to have boundaries around feeding and resting times. CAPT have created bite-sized safety tips to share with the families you work with, please click here to access them.

10. Save The Date: Child Safety Week 2024

Save the date: Child Safety Week 2024 runs from Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th June.
Child Safety Week is the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s (CAPTS) annual community education campaign, acting as a catalyst for thousands of safety conversations and activities UK-wide.

CAPT want to help families build confidence and skills in managing the real risks to children’s safety. They want all children to have the freedom to grow and learn, safe from serious harm.

Families should feel confident that, with one small change, they can stop a serious accident. And be clear what they need to do to keep their children safe. That’s why, for Child Safety Week 2024, the theme is Safety. Sorted!

To learn more about child safety week 2024 and how you can get involved please click here.

11. NSPCC Updates

The NSPCC have recently released the following updates which may be of interest to professionals working with children and families, and to share with parents/carers where applicable.

Case Reviews
Eight new case reviews have been added to the collection this month featuring issues including child neglect, intra-familial sexual abuse, school inspections and unknown men. To read the reviews please click here 

Financial Exploitation

The Children’s Society has published two new briefings on child financial exploitation including an introduction for professionals. This type of abuse occurs when a person or group takes advantage of a child to encourage or force them into financial activity for the benefit of others. An additional resource on online sexually coerced extortion has also been developed for professionals as part of the #LookCloser campaign.

Access the resources: #LookCloser resources  
Find out more: #LookCloser campaign

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
NSPCC Learning has published a Helplines insight briefing on barriers for professionals when reporting child abuse and neglect. It is based on contacts to the NSPCC Helpline and NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line in 2022/23 by people working or volunteering with children and young people. The briefing identified gaps in knowledge and confidence for some professionals including believing they needed to wait for permission to report concerns. There were also fears around sharing concerns, including worries about disrupting or breaking up families and fears for personal safety. Some professionals described organisational issues such as a lack of safeguarding processes and concealing of abuse.

Read the briefing: Barriers for professionals to reporting abuse and neglect: Helplines insight briefing
See also on NSPCC Learning: Recognising and responding to abuse

12. Teens and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Virtual Girlfriend/Boyfriend Bots

Virtual AI "girlfriends/boyfriend bots" are becoming more popular amongst teenagers and provide those interested with a screen-confined romantic partner that can interact much like a human because of AI and the technologies that undergird it

The technology is ubiquitously available to almost everyone via a simple app download by searching for virtual girlfriend/boyfriend from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play store. While interactions occur primarily via text chat, some apps provide voice messages, voice calls, and even image exchange functionality. Users can also customize their virtual boyfriend bot or virtual girlfriend bot to look, dress, act, and interact how they want, and this personalization may contribute to a deep attachment being formed with the avatar with whom they are talking and flirting with.

What might be some of the benefits of using these apps?
Well, we understand that youth in particular long for companionship, seek belongingness within intimate relationships, explore their sexuality in novel ways, and find enjoyment and excitement in certain risk-taking behaviours. Teenagers may gravitate towards virtual boyfriends and girlfriends to address feelings of loneliness or disconnection, to receive affirmation, attention, affection and validation missing from their other relationships. One app markets itself as having the ability to make users feel “cared, understood and loved.” Another app states that its product helps users experiment with romantic advances and exchanges with “someone” before doing so in their normal social circle. 

What are the concerns?
Potential concerns, relate to what a user directly and unwittingly is exposing themselves to. For instance, a teen may begin flirting innocuously with their virtual girlfriend but then be introduced to mature sexual language, imagery, or experiences well before they are developmentally ready to handle them. While one hopes that a teen would immediately exit out of such an app, it’s possible they stay engaged for too long and the inappropriate content they read or see produces a measurable traumatic outcome (or at least introduces confusion, fear, and an unhealthy view of romantic relationships and/or sexual activity).

A teen might also become heavily involved with their virtual boyfriend, and play out romantic or sexual fantasies in ways that distort reality, feed overuse, and misrepresent how relationships actually work with other humans. For instance, research indicates that interactions with chatbots do not require much cognitive effort and are therefore sometimes preferred over human interactions. 

To find out more about virtual girlfriend/boyfriend bots and the concerns associated with them please click here

13. Useful Links

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