Working Better Together conference

Evan Jones from St Giles Trust opened the day by encouraging us to consider our approach to working with females who may be involved in CCE. This is something that often gets lost in the process of referring young people to services; for example, a typically gendered response means that girls may be referred to a service like Rose for work around CSE, whereas boys would be referred to YOT for CCE and the cross-over and similarities in their experience may be overlooked. The manager of the local YOT has been invited to the Magdalene Group to strengthen our multi-agency approach to the issue.
Across the day, the importance of “contextual safeguarding” was a key message: we currently incorporate this into our service delivery, but hope to expand our knowledge on this topic further through training.
Towards the end of the day, a Q&A session was held with two members of Basis’ Lionesses group (a group for young women who have come through the befriending service). Their message reinforced our approach of first and foremost building a relationship with our clients, and not pressuring the young people we work with to speak about their experiences until they are ready to.
Overall, it was an informative and engaging day, with a wide spectrum of services and individuals being represented both on the platform and amongst the delegates. It reinforced our good practice in many areas of the service, and challenged us consider ways in which we can be even more client-led in the future.