Practice Week - Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment

Monday, March 11, 2019

Today we launch Lancashire's first multi-agency practice week around Child Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment (CSAFE).

Working Together 2018 defines sexual abuse as: 

'Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.

The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse. Sexual abuse can take place online, and technology can be used to facilitate offline abuse. Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children."

Unfortunately, we know that child sexual abuse does occur in family environments and has long-term impacts on the child.  This type of abuse is one of the most difficult for children and young people to disclose, and often remains hidden.

The aim of the practice week is to raise awareness of CSAFE and to strengthen the multi-agency approach, improving information sharing and quality of practice in Lancashire.

Later today we will publish a '7 Minute Briefing', an approach which allows quick delivery of key messages to staff, with signposts to further reading, and areas for consideration.  You'll be able to download it here.

The National Probation Service will deliver two workshops during the week. The first takes place today regarding the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework. This session will explore how, by working together under MAPPA, agencies can identify and manage the risks posed by violent and sexual offenders in the community. By doing so, the workshop will explore the links between the MAPPA process and the safeguarding of children and adults within our local communities.

Here are some of the other activities taking place this week:

  • Multi-agency focus groups will take place to explore the level of practitioner understanding of CSAFE and share best practice resources to support improvements in practice;
  • The start of training sessions for social care professionals; and
  • Mini audits will be undertaken into cases involving CSAFE in order to gain a wider understanding of practice across Lancashire.

Later this month we will launch the multi-agency protocol which will assist practitioners in identifying the risks and indicators of CSAFE and support them in taking appropriate action when abuse is identified or disclosed.

Throughout the week we will share information and resources across social media – you can follow us @LancsSguarding to find out more and help us share the information as widely as possible!

Jane Booth, LSCB Independent Chair