Principles that underpin the training, learning and development opportunities that we offer

Children are central to our work and we are passionate in our belief that children have the right to live lives that are free from sexual harm and exploitation

Safeguarding children is central to the work of the Lucy Faithful Foundation.

It is important that children receive the right help at the right time. Safeguarding is defined in the guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2012 forthcoming) as:

  1. 1. Protecting children from maltreatment
  2. 2. Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  3. 3. Ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and
  4. 4. Taking action to enable children in need to have optimum life chances

We make sure that child protection and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is central to our work.

We understand why children and young people do not easily disclose sexual abuse

Embedded in our work and training is the knowledge and understanding that child sexual abuse is largely a silent and witness free crime, often leaving no physical signs and it is actively hidden by perpetrators. Although children may directly tell someone about it, we also know that many remain silent about their experiences, and that any disclosure may be unintentional over a period of time indicated through a variety of behaviours and actions as opposed to them telling anyone directly. The individual and contextual factors are crucial in understanding what influences disclosure or non-disclosure. Fundamental to our training is understanding how and why children may, or may not, disclose abuse and how those who are told about it should respond. Alongside this is our knowledge of how perpetrators silence their victims.

We believe that the most effective assessments are those that are holistic and provide a fully integrated risk assessment of the situation as a whole, in both suspected and actual intrafamilal child sexual abuse

Most interventions in child sexual abuse involve situations where the child is believed, but there is no conviction or prosecution. We understand the importance of assessing offenders within their wider situation which will involve knowledge of their patterns of offending, an understanding of the protective carer and the impact on them of learning about the behavior of the offender, the impact issues for the child, and also the implications for future contact. It is also our understanding of the related safety and empowerment issues of the non-offending carer that enable us to undertake a fully integrated assessment.

We believe in integrated approaches between agencies and working together in order to protect children

We work towards promoting integrated working in order to ensure better outcomes for children. Integrated working is defined as everyone supporting children and young people by working together effectively to put them at the centre, to meet their needs and improve their lives. We agree that by combining professional expertise, knowledge and skills, and involving the child or young person, it will help to secure better outcomes for them.

We know that integrated working is achieved through collaboration and co- ordination at all levels, across all services, in both single and multi- agency settings. In addition to integrated working we promote clear and ongoing leadership and case management.

Our training reflects our belief that staff are the crucial resource for any organisation and as such should be valued and supported.

These clear expectations are embedded in our training and reinforce how organisations, through their staff, contribute to positive outcomes for children and families.

This includes having:

  • Effective supervision for staff at all levels of the organisation and in particular front line workers.
  • Ensuring that the stressful and emotional nature of the work is recognised and an environment is created which enables workers to share their feelings and anxieties without being labelled as inadequate.
  • Procedures for the recruitment and human resources management for new staff are Section 11 compliant, and procedures are understood for dealing with allegations of abuse against staff members (Children Act 2004).
  • All training in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children should create an ethos that values working collaboratively with others, respects diversity, including culture, race and disability, is child centred and promotes the participation of children and families in safeguarding processes.
  • A culture of listening to, involving and engaging with children and young people in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and ability.
  • As far as possible staff put themselves in the place of the child or young person and considers first and foremost how the situation must feel for them, what are the signs of distress and how do they articulate what they are feeling.
  • Our practice and training is a robust combination of evidence-based practice, grounded in knowledge and up to date research, balanced with professional judgment and our understanding of service users’ experience.

As an organisation committed to the prevention of child sexual abuse we have translated our knowledge and expertise into a comprehensive prevention strategy.

We recognize that there are four essential targets for preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation: offenders (or potential offenders), victims (or potential victims), the situations in which sexual abuse has occurred (or is more likely to occur); and communities and families. Our prevention strategy addresses each of these targets and is organised within a framework of primary (preventing sexual abuse from happening in the first place), secondary (working with “at risk” groups to prevent sexual abuse) and tertiary (working with abusers/those who have been abused, to prevent it happening again) prevention. This is a comprehensive approach; it is clear in its aims and based on the best available evidence, theory, practice wisdom and expertise gained from our work with offenders, victims, families and communities.