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Q&A with NSPCC - Fresh Start

Q&A with Jude Toasland, Development Manager for NSPCC Fresh Start. You can learn more about the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children here: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/

1. What work is Fresh Start doing to help young people overcome abuse that they have experienced?

Fresh Start (www.nspcc.org.uk./freshstart) is the NSPCC’s centre for action on child sexual abuse. Fresh Start comprises of a number of services who work together with colleagues within and outside NSPCC to develop knowledge, skills and practice in the area of child sexual abuse. Within Fresh Start there are a number of services who work directly with children and young people affected by child sexual abuse, including a service who investigates concerns of abuse by those in positions of trust and a service who works with children and young people who have sexually harmed others. NSPCC also provides therapeutic services who work with children and young people who are the victims of child sexual abuse, and these are situated throughout the UK. NSPCC are involved in a policy campaign to increase therapeutic resources for these children and young people, and the Research team within Fresh Start are currently engaged in research about the current resources available to these children, young people and their families. The Training & Consultancy team within Fresh Start works with professionals to improve their skills and practice in work with children and young people affected by child sexual abuse throughout the UK, both within and outside NSPCC.

2. What do you think needs to be done to help put a stop to child abuse?

Our purpose is to end cruelty to children. There are a number of ways in which we set out to achieve this. The NSPCC has set itself four objectives for the coming year. These are:

1. Mobilise everyone to take action to end cruelty to children
2. Give children the help, support and environment they need to stay safe from cruelty.
3. Find ways of working with communities to keep children safe from cruelty.
4. To be, and be seen, as someone to turn to for young people.

Please see our Annual Review for more detailed information about these aims. You can download our annual review from our website. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/whatwedo/aboutthenspcc/annualreport/impactreport07_wdf51668.pdf

3. What sort of response have you had to the Stop it Now campaign?

Stop It Now is a separate organisation to NSPCC so I’m not able to answer this question – maybe looking at their website will assist you - http://www.stopitnow.org.uk/ - although the Greater London Coordinator for Stop It Now is located at NSPCC Fresh Start.

4. What changes do think need to take place in the legal system to help put an end to child abuse?

We campaign for a number of changes to the law to help end child abuse. These include

• Campaign to give children the same right of protection from assault as adults.
• Tighter regulations of Internet Service Providers
• Change in the use of restraint methods used in state institutions
• Better young witness support to ensure abusers are sentenced.

You can read our responses to government proposals on our website at http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/PolicyAndPublicAffairs/ppa_wda48585.html

5. What changes do you think need to take place in public attitude to help put an end towards child abuse?

The NSPCC cannot end cruelty to children by itself. The NSPCC has campaigned to help people see that they can help end cruelty to children and young people. The NSPCC wants to mobilise everyone to take action of tackling cruelty to children. It was through the Full Stop campaign that we've increased awareness of the scale and nature of cruelty to children, and created a sense of responsibility and willingness to take action. Our public education campaigns, lobbying and partnerships have all helped to change the way society thinks and behaves towards children.

6. What kind of therapeutic services would you like to see available throughout the country for young people who have experienced abuse?

The NSPCC already provide over 180 projects across the country, including therapeutic services which help thousands of people each year. However, more funding for such projects is needed. We are campaigning for more funding for therapeutic services across the country. One of our parliamentary ambassadors, Shahid Malik MP secured a parliamentary debate on the topic in February 2007 and secured the support of 244 MPs.

7. What kind of work would you like to see taking place in schools to help educate young people about the issue of child abuse and what educational work are you currently involved in?

The NSPCC is currently developing a comprehensive educational strategy. However, the NSPCC also works with a large number of children in schools through CHIPS (Childline in Partnerships) which provides workshops on bullying, friendship and respect. CHIPS help schools develop peer support schemes, training children how to help each other. CHIPS reached over 70,000 children in 2006-2007. Furthermore, the NSPCC also has fourteen schools teams. They offer children independent counselling, advice and support, and give them the confidence to seek help. They also provide teachers with the opportunity to talk to a trusted professional in confidence. In addition, they can deliver parts of the curriculum, such as personal, social and health education lessons.

8. There is a lot of public concern about the abuse of children on line. What do you think needs to be done about this issue and what work are the NSPCC doing in this area?

NSPCC currently second social work staff to CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection - http://www.ceop.gov.uk) who specifically address the issues around child sexual abuse in the online environment. Their website gives full information about CEOP’s work which includes investigations in abuse concerns online, work to address travelling sex offenders and educational work (Think U Know) for children, young people and their parents.

NSPCC have also produced learning resources to increased professional understanding of the risks of ICT for children and young people, in order to help them manage these effectively. In Fresh Start, we have held a seminar exploring the risks posed by those who access sexually abusive images of children online and are working closely with CEOP and other agencies in the development of this work.

9. How can people get involved in supporting the NSPCC's work?

There are many ways that people can get involved in supporting the NSPCC. We have a number of rewarding volunteer opportunities, in projects, for Childline, or to help fundraise. You can read about the opportunities on our website, http://www.nspcc.org.uk/getinvolved/volunteer/volunteerhub_wda40426.html
You can also make your voice heard in our campaigns. Send a letter to our MP to help end cruelty to children in custody http://www.nspcc.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/campaign_08_wda55718.html
Learn how you can be the full stop, by looking at our website, and committing yourself to help stop cruelty to children.
Donate money - £10 a month could pay for an NSPCC Helpline counsellor to take a call from a distressed child and give them vital help to make their abuse stop. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/Applications/Donations/DonateDirectDebit.aspx

10. What do you feel is the greatest success of the NSPCC?

The NSPCC has had many successes. Recently, the Full Stop campaign raised £250 million to help end cruelty to children. The money raised by this campaign provided services to children and young people that had previously not existed.
This included expansion of our helplines, and the development of There4Me, an online advice service for children.
In addition, the money helped to set up fourteen schools teams providing independent listening and counselling services to children, which one teacher described as “absolutely invaluable”. Eight Young People’s Centres were also set up in addition to seven Young Witness Support Schemes.


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