Child sexual abuse training day - outcome & statistics required

Sheila Hersom made this Freedom of Information request to Thurrock Borough Council

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Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Thurrock Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Thurrock Borough Council,

With reference to a FOI request, link below, regarding FGM, a leaflet was attached entitled Child Sexual Abuse Awareness

Please supply under the Freedom of Information Act information regarding the following training day, Child Sexual Abuse Awareness, dated 9th February 2012 at Thurrock Civic Offices.

1. How many training days do Thurrock Council Hold per year on CSA?

2. Does Thurrock liaise with other Borough Councils within the Set Procedures (Basildon, Southend and Essex) and do they share any results from any previous or on-going SCR ?

3. Are social workers and professionals obliged to attend these meetings or do they attend on a voluntary basis?

4. How many Social Workers attended? How many Social Workers did not attend?

5. How many professionals attended? (i.e. HV, GP etc.) How many professionals did not attend? (if invited or applicable)

6. What provisions are made to those who don’t attend, to ensure they are kept up to date with current training?

7. Are outside agencies or charities such as Parentline Plus, NSPCC, or SERRIC invited to attend, if so did they attend?

8. Objective a) “What constitutes CSA”. Please explain what constitutes CSA?

9. Objective b) “Detecting signs of CSA”.

How many cases have there been in the last 5 years whereas the first detection of CSA is made by:-

a) Alerted by School of risk / actual CSA

b) Alerted by Social Services of risk / actual CSA

c) Alerted by GP of risk / actual CSA

d) Alerted by Health Visitor of risk / actual CSA

e) Alerted by Police of risk / actual CSA

f) Alerted by Parents / family of risk / actual CSA

g) Alerted by Neighbours / friends of risk / actual CSA

10. Objective b) “Detecting signs of CSA”.

a) Medical problems: are professionals / social workers trained in recognising medical symptoms or STD’s

b) If parents or neighbours (as per Q8 f and Q8 g) raise concerns, what support and advice would be given to them? Does Thurrock have literature to give out on CSA and what to do when a child discloses CSA?

c) Do social services encourage parents or give parents training to get their children to disclose to authorities?

d) Do social services recommend parents /families etc. contacting outside agencies such as NSPCC, Parentline Plus, SERRIC

e) What are the behaviour signs of CSA? Are behavioural signs evident in all cases of CSA?

f) What measures do professionals / social services take if a child refuses to disclose. Would social services close a case or dismiss a case if a child refuses to talk?

g) When alerted of risk / actual CSA, do Social services check if an alleged abuser is known to the authorities or police for similar offences? What action would Social Services take to safeguard a child if the above alleged abuser was previously known (even if there was no evidence to take further action, action taken or prosecution).

h) With reference to question Q9 g, how far do social services records go back on persons that are reported to social services (either no further action taken or action taken)

i) A parent that was abused as a child by an alleged abuser, what are the statistics/ case studies that the alleged abuser would re-offend?

j) A parent that was abused by an alleged abuser, what are the statistics / case studies that the parent would safeguard their children from the same alleged abuser?

k) A parent that was abused by an alleged abuser, what are the statistics / case studies that the parent would NOT safeguard their children from the same alleged abuser? (i.e. denial)

l) Would the child protection register or threats of the child protection register be used against a parent that has alerted the authorities of risk of or alleged CSA. Has any parent in the last 5 years been placed on the CP register for reporting CSA? (i.e. social services saying it is neglect or emotional abuse for reporting risk of or actual CSA ) What are the statistics?

m) Has training been provided to social services to take into account the child’s perspective of CSA, for example perpetrators make CSA to be a game, use words to confuse authorities or threats not to tell? If so what training was given?

11. Objective c) “The impact of CSA on a child’s cognitive, emotional and social development ”.

a) What did the conclusion of this objective

b) What behaviour traits are noticed in adults that were once victims of CSA?

c) Is there any evidence or case studies that adults were still being threatened by their perpetrators when they were children?

d) Is there any evidence or case studies that adults could or could not adequately safeguard their own children from their own perpetrators? Would this be viewed as a safeguarding measure / risk assessment in future cases of CSA?

12. Objective d) “How perpetrators target children and work to deter disclosure”

a) With reference to Q10 g children refusing to talk or disclose to authorities. What are the statistics or case studies of children openly speaking to family members / parents about disclosures rather than speaking to authorities, or vice versa.

b) What are the statistics / case studies of threats to kill or harm other family members for making disclosures? Would night traumas of being harmed be classed as signs of CSA?

c) What was the outcome of the above objective “How perpetrators target children and work to deter disclosure

d) What are the statistics or case studies of perpetrators of CSA attempting to discredit persons reporting CSA, (i.e. using their alleged mental health, falsifying evidence, using their position or qualifications). Are social services trained to “see through” the discretisation

e) Part of fact finding and investigations, are social services obliged to interview the alleged perpetrator either by phone or in person?

f) Did this training take into account perpetrators sometimes use different words for body parts?

13. Objective e) “Children’s disclosures”

a) What constitutes a “child’s disclosure”

b) Do Social Services take into account a child’s perspective of a disclosure such as words used

c) What are the statistics / case studies of a child disclosure containing the name of the person? If no name mentioned what is the most common word used for describing a perpetrator?

14. Would Thurrock Council, once a child was removed from a situation of possible CSA and a parent failing to safeguard that child, place a child back to that environment, despite being settled with the other parent that raised concerns. Are there any statistics of this happening or likely to happen?

15. How many SCR has Thurrock had on CSA within the last 10 years?

16. What are the statistics that Thurrock Council Social Services have failed to spot possible CSA or ignored other agencies concerns of CSA?

17. How many Judicial Reviews have there been on children’s social services within the last 10 years?

18. Social Services throughout the UK have been known to cover up their mistakes such as falsifying evidence, or discrediting concerned parents, safeguarding their own or colleagues’ jobs before safeguarding children. Does Thurrock Council know that this is a criminal offence under both “Misconduct in Public Office” and “Perverting the Course of Justice” and is subject to the social worker involved being committed to prison? Does Thurrock Legal Team make social services aware of this? Has any of Thurrock Councils staff been or been threatened to be committed to prison for the above two offences or similar offences within the last 10 years?

Yours faithfully,

Sheila Hersom

Dutton, Linda, Thurrock Borough Council

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Dutton, Linda, Thurrock Borough Council

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[ Email has no body, please see attachments ]

Dear Dutton, Linda,

Thank you for your email. One would assume that displaying training or signs of abuse would educate parents to look for the signs, therefore in respect prevent another Baby P or Victoria Climbie

with regards to the training day, surely someone who attended this training could come to this site and reply to my request, giving a briefing for service users

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Hersom

sandy Joyce left an annotation ()

This is a very important issue, it should go to SCR - it should have been answered

Sheila Hersom left an annotation ()

I will give them a week then ask for an internal investigation

Dutton, Linda, Thurrock Borough Council

Dear Ms Hersom

We have responded to your requests made under FOI and subsequent follow-up enquiries. We are not required to conduct a personal visit to you/your site or to provide any briefings to service users, as part of the FOI process.

Once again we would like to remind you that if you have a specific complaint about a particular element of Social Services provision or a specific case, then you can of course make a formal complaint in writing.

We have already explained to you on several occasions as part of our FOI responses, the measures we take to meet our duties in relation to children's services and child protection.

Yours sincerely

Linda Dutton

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Dear Dutton, Linda,

Thank you for your email

Please accept my apologies of how my request has been interpreted by yourself or your colleagues.

I do not wish to make a complaint against your council nor did I mention home visits. I have been doing FOI across the UK after the tragic deaths of both Baby P and Victoria Climbie, I understand there has been another SCR local to your council, being Southend, and Essex CC was recently sued, my research has shown that you work on the same policy as Southend, Basildon and Essex

A leaflet regarding a training day was passed via wdtk site in which I believed that this would be interesting to share with the public. I am sorry that it was your perception that I have offended you or your council. I am trying to find out and educate parents to safe guard their children.

***From statistics gathered across the UK it seems to be the parents reporting suspected abuse are targeted and victimised by councils and I want to know why this is happening. Lets face it do you want to see another Baby P happen. I felt Thurrock educating parents would stop or prevent this happening again, just as Sara Payne educated and brought in Sarah's Law

Sara Payne recently quoted "“For better conviction rates, give victims a legally-aided solicitor. They need one to help them through the justice system and to fight on their behalf when it lets them down."

This highlights my paragraph above "*** From statistics gathered...." where councils seem to help abusers and punish parents for reporting concerns.

full link here

Yours sincerely,

Sheila Hersom