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Last night we held our first ever Child Sexual Exploitation training and networking workshop and we are delighted that it was a huge success.

More than 100 social workers signed up for the event which took place at the Birmingham Events and Conference Center. The comprehensive training was led by renowned training provider Loudmouth, who successfully combined a live dramatic performance with an engaging question and answer session, helping delegates really understand the true impact of CSE upon young people. Whether they’re working in Best Interest Assessor jobs, AMHP jobs or directly in Child Protection, it provided a vital skills and training for an important issue.

Using the characters “Caz” and “Marcus”, the audience learnt how perpetrators gain the confidence of vulnerable young people, and what tactics they use to isolate victims from their family and friends. At the end of the performance, there was an opportunity for delegates to ask questions to “Caz”, which helped to improve communication skills and help them understand why young people may put up barriers when questioned. The training also made suggestions for where practitioners can improve their learning, with references to Barnardo’s Grooming Line and the Muslim Women’s Network “Unheard Voices” report.

The training didn’t solely focus upon the impact of CSE upon young women; there was also opportunities to learn about how young boys may be targeted as Loudmouth have worked closely with an initiative called Blast.

The evening proved hugely successful with guests who thoroughly enjoyed how the training was brought to life. Practitioners, Rachel Knowles and Rachel Richardson described the evening as “Extremely well done. The acting was very impactful and brought it to life. It really took you through an emotional roller-coaster”. Their thoughts were echoed by Michelle Bunn who added; “The performance by the actress was so powerful, it really evoked emotion. It turned what could have been a long evening into an enjoyable and informative event. I’m really pleased I came.”

Last night’s training event was sponsored by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and before the training commenced, guests heard from Principal Social Worker Carol Singleton, who briefly discussed the positive career opportunities available at the Council. Her comments were backed up by the Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, who will be the Chair of the new Sandwell Children’s Trust which will take effect from April. Ms Smith closed the evening with a short speech where she reiterated that “the professional development of our social workers is fundamental to our delivery of children’s social work”.

If you would like to learn more about the many career opportunities available at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, why not read our exclusive interview in the latest issue of Social Work News? Here you can find out more about working in Sandwell or alternatively you can view the latest job vacancies.

Last night was the first event of it’s kind for Sanctuary and we are delighted to have been able to offer such a successful workshop for our candidates. Keep an eye out on for details of any future events.
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