Chatbot for exploited children wants to go national 

  • A charity chatbot called ‘Is This Ok?’ helps children who have been exploited in Suffolk. 
  • It was set up by Missing People and Childline. 
  • They are looking to gain more funding to roll services out nationally. 
  • It has already been accessed over 2000 times where it is available. 
  • You can read the full story on Planet Radio’s website. 

Nationality and Borders Bill risks eroding protections for child victims of modern slavery 

  • There are widespread doubts whether government plans will deliver a ‘fairer and more efficient immigration system’ as proposed by the Nationality and Borders bill.
  • The Children’s Society have concerns since planned changes could erode existing safeguarding and protection for child victims of modern slavery, trafficking, and exploitation.
  • The Bill may make it harder for children to be recognised as victims and get the support they need.
  • You can read the full story on the Politics Home website.

Survey to examine impact on officers in child sexual abuse and exploitation teams 

  • The survey aims to capture the thoughts and observations of officers involved in these investigations.  
  • This is thought to be the first survey of this kind, with researchers saying this data has never been secured before.  
  • Thousands of officers and staff in these teams deal with extremely traumatic accounts of these crimes. 
  • This report will give a detailed insight into the mental health and wellbeing of staff, and what can be done to improve wellbeing.  
  • You can read the full story on the Police Professional website.  

Covid inquiry ‘ignores that children paid the ultimate price’ during pandemic 

  • The Children’s Commissioner has warned the Covid inquiry’s failure to address social services will ignore the ‘ultimate price’ some children paid during the pandemic, particularly following harrowing high-profile cases such as the death of Star Hobson.  
  • The inquiry will examine the preparedness, capacity and resilience of the NHS and it has just one reference to education and does not cover social services.  
  • Head of Policy and Affairs at the NSPCC stated that the lockdowns left vulnerable children trapped in violent homes with little means of escape. 
  • You can read the full story on the Telegraph’s website. 

Smacking ban: Northern Ireland urged to follow Wales and protect children 

  • The NI executive have been urged to follow the example of Wales, which imposed a smacking ban outlawing the physical punishment of children.
  • NSPCC Northern Ireland’s policy and public affairs manager stated that in NI, parents and carers who are accused of assault against a child can raise the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’.
  • The NSPCC is calling to bring NI into line with over 60 countries in the world who have brought about the change.
  • You can read the full story on the Newsletter’s website.