Parents are part of the solution and not the problem; their ultimate goal is to protect their child

At Pace, we value working alongside partners to create positive change for children and families affected by all forms of child exploitation. Our knowledge, approach, services and training is based on more than 23 years’ experience of working directly alongside affected parents. They are at the heart of what we do, shape our services, drive our work and lead our campaigns.

This week, Pace attended the national Parents as Partners in Exploitation Safeguarding Advisory Group in London where we updated partners on our social care research project prioritised by affected parents. This national advisory group – organised by SPACE and NWG – has been brought together to explore the key priorities identified by attendees at a roundtable event held in November 2018, focused on the vital importance of working with parents as partners.

At the meeting, we explained how our social care research project responds to concerns expressed by parents about the response they are receiving from social care, and the impact this is having on the safeguarding of their children. These concerns were prioritised by our Parent Action Group (PAG) and the final report will be launched in the autumn. We also updated our members about our publication led by parents focused on the impact of exploitation on families, and the response they receive. This report will be published later this month.

Pace firmly believes we need an alternative approach for exploitation by perpetrators from outside of the family home, to work alongside the child protection system. At present, our system is focused on abuse and neglect within the home. Therefore, when we apply this model to child exploitation, we put responsibility in the wrong place. Families are not responsible; the blame lies solely with the perpetrator. Also, by failing to recognise parents’ vital lead role in safeguarding planning and arrangements, we miss vital opportunities to maximise how we work together to safeguard children, and disrupt and convict those responsible.

To keep up to date with our social care research project and other publications, subscribe to our e-newsletter.

To learn about our national training programme based on our relational safeguarding model, visit our training pages.

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