We recognise that practitioners with responsibility for safeguarding children are facing unprecedented challenges and that this is a time of great stress and upheaval. We want to thank all of those working with and for children for their commitment. On this page we set out our initial offer of support to practitioners and link to some of our existing resources which may be of help.
Identifying and responding to concerns of child sexual abuse is challenging for practitioners. It is already the case that the majority of child sexual abuse goes unidentified and unreported in childhood. As a result of the restrictions in place in response to the virus; identifying and responding to concerns of sexual abuse is even more difficult as we grapple with staffing capacity constraints, restrictions on how we practice due to the need for social distancing and the majority of children being in isolation and out of sight of services
As always, we cannot expect children to disclose abuse in order for it to be acknowledged and responded to. We need to ensure that professionals with responsibility for safeguarding children and wider communities have the knowledge, confidence and support to be professionally curious and act appropriately in order to safeguard and support children where there are concerns of sexual abuse.
Our response to Covid-19
The CSA Centre seeks to build confidence in the workforce to address CSA by improving the access to, and embedding of, evidence within practice. Our team works with cross sector organisations and leaders to ensure our research efforts are grounded in practice experience and service improvement. We want to be able to respond to your needs as practitioners at this challenging time and support you to best meet the needs of the children and families you work with.
Below are some key evidence-based resources for practitioners, commissioners and policymakers working to identify, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse.
However, if you have a particular question or concern in relation to how we can best protect children during this challenging time, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; briefly let us know the issue you are facing and we will come back to you as soon as possible, and in no longer than 3 working days.
We have a team of Practice Improvement Advisors with backgrounds in social care, health and policing and experienced researchers in the field of child sexual abuse who can support you with queries you may have as you navigate working in this new and developing context.
Useful resources for practitioners
- Key messages from research on identifying and responding to disclosures of child sexual abuse
- Key messages from research on intra-familial child sexual abuse
- Key messages from research on institutional child sexual abuse
- Key messages from research on children who display harmful sexual behavior
- Key messages from research on looked-after children and child sexual abuse
- Don’t wait for them to tell us: recognizing and responding to signs of child sexual abuse. Blog by Jane Wiffin, Practice Improvement Advisor for Social Work
- The myth of ‘absolute knowing’: when is the evidence enough? Blog by Anna Glinski, Deputy Director for Knowledge and Practice Development
- “But they must have known!”: Effectively working with non-abusing parents. Blog by Anna Glinski, Deputy Director for Knowledge and Practice Development