Looking back over the last couple of years since we launched, I feel hugely proud of what the CSA Centre has achieved, working with colleagues from across the sector. To name just a few, we have produced the first comprehensive national account of what we do and do not know about child sexual abuse from the current data. We have supported organisations to develop capacity, skills and tools to measure their effectiveness through our Evaluation Fund. We published five scoping studies into perpetration, identifying key methodological challenges for research in this field and paving the way for a substantive study currently underway. We have supported practitioners to improve their knowledge and confidence through our Professional Development Scholarships and our Practice Leads Programme.
These achievements, along with all of the other projects our passionate and talented multi-disciplinary team have been working on, are moving us closer to achieving our vision of children being able to live free from the threat and harm of sexual abuse. Overseeing this huge body of work as the Director of the CSA Centre has been a privilege and a dream job. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and learnt a lot. But the time has come for me to make some changes personally and I’ve decided to take a career break.
The period ahead is a really exciting time for the CSA Centre, building on our success to date. I’m pleased to be able to say that we have appointed Ian Dean to take over as Director on a secondment basis, to help maintain the momentum of our work while we firm up our funding arrangements beyond March 2020.
Ian has a good knowledge of our aims and workplan as the Chair of the CSA Centre’s Advisory Board and has an extensive background in children’s services, including more than a decade leading the development and implementation of children’s social care and child protection policy. His strong experience in multi-agency working and engagement with senior leaders from across the public sector and building partnerships, commissioning and managing research projects, designing innovative policy responses to complex issues make him well-placed to lead the CSA Centre.
There remains a clear need for the CSA Centre’s work to carry on beyond 2020 and I am confident that it has a bright future ahead. I’m sad to leave, but really excited to watch the CSA Centre go from strength to strength. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and the CSA Centre on its journey so far. Look out for more great developments from the team!