Me first is being funded by NHS England to develop a new set of resources to support health and care professionals to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to communicate with children and young people when they have concerns about safeguarding, child sexual exploitation or other issues that may be affecting their safety, welfare or wellbeing.
The project has been developed in direct response to the views, needs and experience of children, young people, and health and care professionals.
Health and care professionals tell us that they often ‘get a hunch’ or spot the signs that something isn’t right, but lack the skills and confidence to talk to the child or young persons about their concerns.
Young people tell us that there are many reasons that they do not feel able to talk to adults, for example, some do not realise they are at risk or they may feel frightened of the consequences of telling. However, the main message from young people to health and care professionals is, if you’re worried or you get a hunch something is wrong – always say something.
New training and resources
To support health and care workers to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to have CYP centred conversations when they have worries or concerns about a child or young person, we have worked in partnership with children, young people, health and care professionals to develop:
- The Me first Conversations About Concerns communication model: We have developed a communication model to provide a practical framework to explore how to have difficult conversations with CYP when we have concerns about safeguarding.
- Me first: CYP centred Conversations About Concerns training: We have developed a ½ day training workshop aimed at all health and care professionals who have contact with children and young people. The workshop will:
- Explore worries and concerns about having difficult conversations with children and young people about CSE or safeguarding concerns
- Explore the common scenarios where practitioners have concerns about a child or young person, including what it is that they see or notice that makes them worried or concerned
- Enable practitioners to understand children and young people’s experiences of talking about CSE safeguarding and other difficult or sensitive issues
- Support practitioners to develop the skills and confidence to understand and apply the Me first Conversations About Concerns communication model and enable them to facilitate CYP centered conversations when they have concerns about a child or young person
The model and training are currently being piloted and will be added to the website in the next couple of months. If you’d like to know more about the model or training, please get in touch with Kate Martin who is leading this work [email protected] or [email protected]k
Written by Kate Martin, Me first Project Lead and Director of Common Room Consulting