Young people with disabilities face far higher risks of sexual exploitation and abuse. Crucial for all staff working with disabled young people moving towards their teens and their parents, this one day course combines practice challenges and legislation with what we know from research about best practice. This course uses current research and echoes work done by ACT on learning disability and sexual exploitation to help us to explore our response and what young people with disabilities need from us.
The course aims to help understand more about how children and young people with learning disabilities understand relationships, sex and sexuality, choice and consent and how learning needs and style may affect how a young person may understand these. We will consider what families need and the impact of learning disability on young people in terms of building resilience, safeguarding and action to protect and investigate those abusing. We will explore what young people need from us and consider recent research about sexual exploitation. We will consider the current legal and policy frameworks.
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Who is this course for?
This course is crucial for any workers or volunteers involved with disabled young people moving towards their teens, and their parents/carers, for residential, care and special schools.
This could include:
- Residential, special school and mainstream staff
- Workers working in sexual exploitation projects
- Social care
- Police officers, criminal justice and youth offending workers
- Voluntary and third sector
Aims of the Sexual Exploitation (CSE) of Children with Learning Disabilities Course
- Consider how children and teenagers with learning impairments may see relationships and choices, and how this affects what they need from us as parents and carers.
- Look at stereotypes about both learning impairment and sexual exploitation and how that discourse affects how professionals respond.
- Raise awareness of what is meant by sexual exploitation, of the national policy framework and roles and responsibilities of professionals.
- Look at how we learn about sex and sexuality and how disabled children and young people learn about these crucial areas of their lives.
- Explore feelings of staff and parents on addressing these topics.
- Discuss possible indicators of sexual exploitation both on and off-line.
- Think about prevention, building awareness in young people of their own safety and of risks.
- Consider roles and responses of professionals in prevention, early intervention, responding, reporting abuse, multi-agency planning and direct work.
- Consider the legislative framework, local and national policy and practice guidance.
- Consider the significance of reducing vulnerability and developing resilience.
- Explore practical strategies for working with young people with learning disabilities.
The Safeguarding Disabled Children Refresher Course will explore the following areas:
- Practice challenges and legislation
This course combines practice challenges and legislation (including the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and national guidance for safeguarding young people at risk of sexual exploitation) with the latest research.
- Understanding relationships, safety and choices
We will focus on how children and young people with learning disabilities understand relationships, sexual safety and choices.
- Impact of learning disability on young people’s needs
You will explore the impact of learning disability on young people’s needs in terms of building resilience, safeguarding and action to protect and investigate those abusing.
- Research-based approach
The course includes national materials and resources and draws on our own research about the increased risks of sexual exploitation for young people with learning disability.