Yesterday (30.06.16) I attended my first CSE Coordinators/Practitioners Forum which was held at the YMCA campus in Erdington Birmingham. The event was very well attended with representatives from both statutory and non statutory agencies. Colleagues came from as far as North Somerset, North Yorkshire, Thames Valley , Wiltshire, Northampton, Walsall, Derby and also a healthy contingent from Birmingham.
Bina Parma (NWG Safeguarding Lead) started the event and gave an update on some national issues which the NWG have been involved in and also an update on our new premises, for those who are unaware we have recently moved offices* as well as expanding our staff team. It was very interesting for all who attended who each gave an update on the work that was going on in their particular region. It is reassuring to hear of some of the excellent work that is currently being delivered around the country by very committed staff groups. This is also an extremely important part of the forum allowing networking to begin and I was keenly watching the delegates furiously writing notes on what other regions were doing, taking names and details for further discussion.
Ray McMorrow (NWG Health Lead) updated attendees on the MindEd website which all who attended thought was a highly useful resource and could help both professionals and families understand and learn about mental health, the website has over 300 e-learning modules covering a wide variety of subjects and gives very practical advice for parents. The web address is www.minded.org.uk and is well worth a visit.
Maria Cassidy (NWG’s new Parental Engagement Officer) ran a short workshop to canvas delegates views on parental engagement and how it is being delivered, along with barriers to engagement. Maria collected a wide range of views and will disseminate them to the group following analysis, part of Maria’s remit is to look at parental engagement and she is working closely with PACE UK on this important project.
Networking was in full flow during lunch and it was interesting to chat to new colleagues about their particular roles and remits.
Following the lunch break Gary Illiff from the Walsall Partnership and West Midlands Police gave a demonstration of a new interactive DVD produced by Walsall Street Teams in partnership with the Learn Play Foundation. The DVD is a training tool specifically aimed at the Taxi trade, the delegates thought that it was an extremely well made product . The DVD will be made available soon on request along with guidance for those who will be delivering the training. The NWG will put this information on our web site and also add it to our resource library once the DVD and training material have been finalised.
Finally Aravinda Kosaraju from the University of Kent held a focus group with the delegates as she is currently involved in some research on the prosecution of CSE cases, Aravinda is well know to the NWG as she has previously also worked for PACE. Aravinda has used other NWG forums to gain an insight in to the process of attrition in cases involving child sexual exploitation in England. Thank you all who took an active part in this important research and of course once Aravinda has completed her research we will make the findings available though our web site.
I would like to thank all who attended for their active participation throughout the day and I do look forward to meeting more of you at other forums that the NWG will host in the future.
Kev Murphy NWG Education and Community Development Officer
* NWG Network Suite 2, Innovation House, East Service Road, Raynesway, Derby DE21 7BF