Understanding Child Sexual Abuse
We Put Children First: Understanding Child Sexual Abuse is a training module for employees who work with children and foster carers.
Watch the video below for an insight into some of the work LWB is doing to reduce the risk of children supported by LWB being sexually abused by enhancing understanding among staff and carers about the characteristics of child sexual abuse, and perpetrators of child sexual abuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is LWB focussing on Understanding Child Sexual Abuse?
A:It is estimated that one in three girls and one in seven boys in Australia are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18 (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2014). The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is helping us to understand how organisations like ours can keep children safe. In order to be able to protect children from child sexual abuse, and respond appropriately if it occurs, we need to understand what child sexual abuse is, where and how it happens, and how it impacts on children and the adults they become.
Q: What’s involved in the training?
A:The training covers the following topics: • About child sexual abuse • About people who sexually offend against children • Signs of possible child sexual abuse • Detection and responding to disclosures The session uses animated video, case studies and group discussion.
Q: Who needs to do the training?
A:All employees who work with children, their managers, People, Safety and Culture staff and carers must complete the training.
Q: When will the training take place?
A:Delivery to employees will begin during National Child Protection Week 2016 (4-10 September). Carer sessions will begin in October. Where carers are unable to attend a group workshop, there will be a version of the training that carers can access individually together with their support worker.
Q: What are the key messages for carers and employees?
A:Some children are at higher risk of abuse than others. This includes some of the children that LWB supports. We can’t always know when a child is being abused, but we need to be vigilant, and there are signs we can look out for. We can also make it easier for children to talk to us if they feel that something is not right, and the way that we respond can have a big impact on the child. We can’t always tell who will harm children, but we can learn what grooming behaviour looks like, and we need to know how to maintain appropriate professional relationships. For anyone concerned about the safety of a child: say something, tell someone.
Q: Is the training based on research?
A:Many researchers have contributed to our knowledge of child sexual abuse. Key resources include: • Child Family Community Australia. (2013). The Long Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse. Canberra: Australian Government. • Child Family Community Australia. (2015). Responding to Children and Young People's Disclosures of Abuse. Canberra: Australian Institute of Family Studies. • Moore, T., McArthur, M., Noble-Carr, D., & Harcourt, D. (2015). Taking us seriously: children and young people talk about safety and institutional responses to their safety concerns. Melbourne: Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University. • NSPCC. (2016). Grooming at a glance. Retrieved from NSPCC: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/grooming/ • Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. (2014). Interim Report Volume 1. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. • Smallbone, S. (2012, November 2). Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry. Statement of Stephen Smallbone. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Q: Why are there children’s voices in the training video?
A:Children’s voices are used in the video to convey messages from a research project that was commissioned by the Royal Commission. The researchers asked children about safety, and about how institutions should respond to their safety concerns (Moore, T., McArthur, M., Noble-Carr, D., & Harcourt, D. , 2015). Using children’s voices is a powerful way to convey the views of children on the topic of safety, and to remind people of the vulnerability of children, and our shared responsibility to protect them.
Q: What happens next?
A:We’re thinking about how we can best engage directly with the children we support about our stance on child safety, and how they can speak up in LWB.