Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people

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The Team

Last updated: 27 Sep 2019

Dr Carlene Firmin, MBE

Dr Carlene Firmin, MBE

Senior Research Fellow

Bio: Dr Carlene Firmin MBE is a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, where she leads their Contextual Safeguarding and peer-on-peer abuse research programmes. Carlene has spent the past 10 years researching young people’s experiences of community and group-based violence and advocated for comprehensive approaches that keep young people safe in public places, schools and peer groups. Her theory of Contextual Safeguarding has informed policy and research agendas for advancing the protection of adolescents, and she has worked with practitioners across the UK to co-create contextual interventions and develop contextual safeguarding systems within children’s social care. Carlene has also conducted 20 case reviews for safeguarding children’s boards to identify opportunities for intervening with extra-familial forms of significant harm.

Dr Jenny Lloyd

Dr Jenny Lloyd

Senior Research Fellow

Bio: Dr Jenny Lloyd is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. As a member of the Contextual Safeguarding team, she works on two research projects; within Hackney children and families social care to embed a contextual safeguarding approach, and with Ofsted to develop tools for identifying enablers and barriers to tackling harmful sexual behaviour in schools. Previously she has carried out local area audits to assess responses to peer-on-peer abuse and research into police models used to tackle child sexual exploitation.

Delphine Peace

Delphine Peace

Research Assistant

Bio: Delphine Peace is a Research Assistant at the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking where she supports and documents the implementation of Contextual Safeguarding approaches across Hackney's Children and Families service and manages the Contextual Safeguarding Network. She is also working on another project within the International Centre that promotes participatory practice with young people affected by sexual violence in Europe. Prior to joining the International Centre, Delphine was part of The Children’s Society Safeguarding and Quality Practice team where she developed and improved service models and safeguarding and practice policies to support frontline services. She previously worked for an international development organisation upon completing an MA in International Relations.

Gayanthi Hapuarachchi

Gayanthi Hapuarachchi

Administrator

Bio: Gayanthi Hapuarachchi is a Contextual Safeguarding Project Administrator at the University of Bedfordshire within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. She is currently working as part of the Contextual Safeguarding Team primarily on the Contextual Safeguarding Scale Up Project which is intended to shape policy, regulation and commissioning decisions concerned with safeguarding adolescents who are abused in extra-familial contexts. She is a LLB (Hons) graduate who was previously part of a safeguarding team in a low security setting for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities and behavioural disorders, who assisted in the enforcement and improvement of safeguarding policies and practices.

Joanne Walker

Research Fellow

Bio: Jo Walker is a Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire. As a member of the Contextual Safeguarding team she works across two projects: the Beyond Referrals project, which aims to explore the enablers and barriers to addressing harmful sexual behaviour in schools and to support both local authority partnerships and schools to develop effective approaches grounded within a Contextual Safeguarding framework to address this issue, and the Contextual Safeguarding Scale Up Programme, which aims to embed a contextual safeguarding approach to adolescents experiencing extra-familial forms of abuse across five local authority partnerships.

Dr Lauren Wroe

Research Fellow

Bio: Dr Lauren Wroe is a Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. As a member of the Contextual Safeguarding team, she works on two research projects; a contextual safeguarding evaluation of the MOPAC funded pan-London project ‘Rescue and Response: Improving the identification and response to the impact of the exploitation of young people by organised criminals’ and a UK-wide project exploring alternatives to relocation for young people who have been exploited. Prior to joining the International Centre she worked as a social researcher in the area of international child protection, and practised as a social worker in statutory and non-statutory settings in the field of child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery, family rights and migration, and mental health.

Katie Latimer

Research Fellow

Bio: Katie Latimer is a Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire within the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking. She joined the Contextual Safeguarding project in 2019 as an embedded researcher within Hackney's Contextual Safeguarding Project and Hounslow's Protecting & Empowering Against Child Exploitation (PEACE) intervention. She is also working with Safer London to consider the integration of young people's peers into practitioners' work to safeguard them. Before this, she worked as a Social Worker in a local authority's child protection assessment service.

Angela Rogers

Network and Training Development Manager

Bio: Angela Rogers is the Contextual Safeguarding (CS) Project Network and Training Development Manager. Angela’s key role includes developing and delivering a strategic plan for CS training and co-ordinating the on-line CS network. Prior to joining the CS Team Angelaworked as National Programmes Manager for the Frontline Organisation and Research Manager (Social Sciences) at the Open University.

Rachael Owens

Social Work Practice Advisor

Bio: Rachael Owens is the Social Work Practice Advisor in the Contextual Safeguarding Scale-Up project supporting five sites to create, test and embed contextual approaches within their local area. She is seconded from Hackney where she helped to develop contextual systems, with a focus on policy development. Committed to participatory and relational social work practice with adolescents, Rachael’s roles have involved establishing a service for missing young people and developing Family Group Conferencing methods within community and youth justice. She is currently completing a PhD in Social Work and Social Care which is a practice based explorative study on an intervention for young parents.

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