Sheila Taylor MBE – CEO NWG Network talks about engaging and sharing practice

Covid-19 brought about challenges for us all, working from home, isolated from colleagues, challenges to how we might engage with young people, families and communities and an enhanced method of practitioners engaging in virtual methods of conducting their daily business.

Over the past few months, we to had to develop methods of engaging and sharing practice quick in the wake of the pandemic and we focused on virtually sharing practice from a significant number of initiatives that our members have developed across the country.

During COVID-19 lockdown, we have been working closely with our colleagues across all statutory and voluntary agencies.  The soft intelligence and emerging trends and challenges that you each face in your day-to-day work have been collated and shared to ensure they are being considered in strategic and operational developments to manage the threat of exploitation in these unprecedented times.

This sharing of practice in these exceptional times has been crucial.  It has also given us the opportunity to share concerns, challenges, and innovative engagement methods with our colleagues in central government to assist in their understanding of the national picture as it has developed.

Many of you have been involved in this gathering and sharing of practice exercise and it has been so encouraging to hear about the innovative methods being used to provide a service to young people and their families during the lockdown. It has been very valuable to so many to share your work with others to promote a conversation about effective interventions during lockdown and recovery planning following staged easing of restrictions.

With an audience of over 1000 delegates attending these sessions, some of the subject matters we have covered have included:

  • ‘Maximising Learning from Covid -19’ – Discussion Group
  • ‘Supporting and Safeguarding exploited people in the context of Covid-19 lockdown and beyond’ with Dr Warren Larkin
  • ‘Public Health Model to Address Child Exploitation’ with Southend on Sea Local Authority
  • Adolescence Safety Framework with Devon Local Authority
  • ‘Maximising the learning from Covid-19 for future working practice’ with Warwickshire Local Authority
  • ‘No Wrong Door’ with North Yorkshire Local Authority
  • ‘Minimising Risks, Young People Perception of Risk’ with Dr Sophie Hallett
  • Trauma-Informed Practice model with Plymouth Local Authority
  • Bystander Initiativewith Dr Rachel Fenton
  • Two parents speaking on Indirect Victims of Sexual Offending – the impact on    the offender’s family (not available as a recorded resource)
  • ‘Transition into Adulthood’ – Discussion Group
  • ‘Keeping Safe’ with Dr Sophie Hallett

This new development for us has proved extremely useful for our members and has allowed a greater engagement for those who live a distance away from where events might have been held. The saving in travel time and expense has also sat favourably with many of you, so the NWG will retain a blended mixture of engaging with you all post-Covid times.

For now, stay safe and well and congratulations on inventive methods of engagement, supporting our young people and ensure during this time you look after your own welfare too.


Sheila Taylor MBE

CEO NWG Network