Delivered by Maria Cassidy – Parental Engagement Lead, Sarah Brown – NWG Trainer

Lead for Parents Seminar Maria Cassidy


About Maria:

With a Masters qualification in youth, community and anthropology from Goldsmiths College, Maria has 15 years’ experience of working with young people and families in statutory and voluntary sector projects across London, Bristol, Oxford and Redbridge.  Maria was responsible for overseeing and developing an enriched curriculum programme for youth and playworkers in Bristol and in Derbyshire developed creative resources and interactive training around substance misuse for the children’s workforce informed by families.  Maria is currently the Parental Engagement Lead for NWG, listening to the experience and voice of parents to inform and engender change at operational and strategic levels, locally and nationally, to drive forward a culture change that values and promotes parents as key safeguarding partners.

About Sarah:

Since gaining a degree in Youth Studies from Nottingham Trent University Sarah has worked within a variety of backgrounds supporting vulnerable young people and their families, including the role of Pastoral Manager in a secondary school and as a Family Resource Worker. After volunteering as a counsellor for several years at Childline, Sarah was employed as a supervisor. It was at Childline she developed as a trainer, working to increase the skills, knowledge and empathy of volunteers in areas such as bullying, abuse, neglect, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide to ensure young people received the best possible support available. Sarah’s time at Childline also involved managing and assessing both safeguarding issues and immediate life-threatening situations presented by young people within the counselling room.


This training course has been developed using the voices and experiences of affected families, to aid the evolution of the workforce in supporting families who are experts by experience of Child Exploitation (CE).  The course has been produced with the support of members of affected families who want to assist practitioners in considering and reflecting on their own, and organisational practices. They share their experiences of services, the court process, the impact of exploitation on them as parents as well as on their child and wider family. Delegates will be encouraged to consider different models of practice and how we work alongside families. Training will complement the NWG Parental Support Benchmarking Tool which has been designed to support agencies to examine their current offer to parents affected by Child Exploitation and to think about the next steps to improve engagement with parents as a safeguarding partner.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course delegates will be able to;

  • Reflect on our experiences of working alongside families and contemplate how we can be more effective in our partnerships.
  • Understand the significance of parents as safeguarding partners.
  • Relate to the importance of language in our work and in our partnerships with families.
  • Recognise how families are essential in the process of gathering evidence and intelligence.
  • Understand how we can support parents to feel more confident and informed when reporting their child missing from home.
  • Recognise how exploitation and trauma can impact on families.
  • Reflect on differing models of practice and how they may influence our approach to working alongside families.
  • Consider how we may develop our practice in supporting siblings.
  • Reflect on our practice and support structures for supporting families through the legal process.
This course is CPD Accredited