Are you passionate about raising awareness and changing policy for exploited children?

I joined pace’s parent participation project because I have a passion for raising awareness and creating policy change around child exploitation. As a parent whose child was sexually exploited, I witnessed first-hand the impact of ignorance, victim blaming and a lack of coordinated partnership between the many professional agencies around my child.

It doesn’t have to be like this and I know that we can change it, if we join together and make a noise.

Having met and talked to other parents at the parent participation open groups, I’ve come to see that each local authority has its own response to child exploitation and many parents and children just aren’t getting the kind of support and protection that they need.

I’d like to welcome you to take action with me, other parents and Pace. It may seem overwhelming trying to change systems and approaches but there are so many varied actions that we can take to raise awareness and create change.

I really want to say that even if you have limited time and don’t want to lobby government, or attend parent participation meetings, you can be involved in small actions that make a difference. For instance, you could post letters that we are creating to raise awareness of the issue.

Change can often take time and it needs parents like us to keep raising our voices and keeping the spotlight on the issue.

Often when you are affected by your child being exploited, it can knock your confidence and it’s easy to forget the many skills and abilities that you had before this happened to your family, or the skills and insights you may have gained whilst supporting your child, researching and learning an issue and finding your way around systems you may have known nothing about.

Prior to my child being affected by sexual exploitation, I had experience of lobbying parliament and raising awareness of a different issue and I want to share this knowledge with any parent out there who, like me, needs to see changes to the way families are approached and supported.

You are welcome to join an online meeting on Wedneday 4th October 6pm-7:30pm when we will meet to talk and share ideas about the varied activities of campaigning that we can take with the resources we have for the most effective outcomes.

For me I’d like to see better investment in the teams responding to child exploitation both in terms of training and funding, better awareness of the issue in the wider society, better prosecution of those exploiting children and better policies around the issue.

Here are some of the ideas we’ve already had:

  • Going to the Houses of Parliament on Child Exploitation Awareness Day in March to demonstrate
  • Hosting an awareness day inside parliament
  • Speaking in anonymised ways to the media to coincide with any action we are taking- such as local radio, national newspapers, online articles, TV programmes.
  • Re-posting social media articles on child exploitation awareness day
  • Sending letters to raise awareness of the issues of child exploitation and via social media, as concerned parents alongside Pace, to our local MPS, councils, local Authorities, schools, local education authority, police and Local Authority Designated Officers
  • Joining Pace at strategic meetings to share parents’ perspectives on child exploitation
  • Liaising with All Party Parliamentary Groups and trying to access funding for Pace
  • Reaching out to other projects, charities and organisations internationally and nationally to share ideas and skills and positive initiatives about child exploitation.

If you’d like to attend the focus group on Wednesday 4th October share ideas or want to help in re-sharing posts or any other action please contact Nancy, the parent participation coordinator at Pace via email or mobile 07960 235638.