National safeguarding concerns

Recap of safeguarding training covering FGM, faith or belief based child abuse, ironing, radicalisation and county lines

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Written by Support
Updated over a week ago

This help centre article was written for childminders preparing for registration with the Koru Kids' Home Nursery service

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This article is a recap of what you learn in your Safeguarding training with to National safeguarding concerns.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation is the partial or total removal of the female genitalia for cultural or other non therapeutic reasons.

  • A girl at immediate risk of FGM may not know what's going to happen. But she might talk about or you may become aware of:
    - A long holiday abroad or going 'home' to visit family;
    - Relative or cutter visiting from abroad;
    - A special occasion or ceremony to 'become a woman' or get ready for marriage;
    - A female relative being cut – a sister, cousin, or an older female.

  • You can find statutory guidance on Female Genital Mutilation here.

Child abuse linked to faith or belief (including witchcraft)

Child abuse linked to a faith or belief occurs across the country.

  • In such cases a parent or carer has come to view a child as ‘different’. They have attributed this difference to the child being possessed and as such will attempt to exorcise the child.

What is witchcraft?

  • Witchcraft is known by many terms; black magic, kindoki, ndoki, the evil eye, djinns, voodoo, obeah or child sorcerers.

  • All link to a genuine belief held by the family or carers (and in some cases, even the children themselves) that a child is able to use an evil force to harm others.

Breast ironing

Breast ironing uses heated objects, including stones and hammers to flatten a girl's breasts and stop them developing.

  • This is carried out as they enter puberty.

  • This is often done by the family with a misguided intention.

  • It is thought that in the UK 1,000 girls living in west African communities have had this done and as yet not one person has been convicted.

Radicalisation and extremism

Prevent is the Government’s strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism in all its forms.

  • Prevent works at the pre-criminal stage by using early intervention to encourage individuals and communities to challenge extremist and terrorist ideologies and behaviours.

What does Prevent Duty mean in practice?

  • Ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum is in place to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.

  • Assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism.

  • Train yourself and staff/assistants to recognise radicalisation and extremism.

  • Refer vulnerable people to Channel (a programme which provides support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism).

  • You can read more about Prevent Duty guidance here.

County lines

Gangs are deliberately targeting vulnerable children – those who are homeless, living in care homes or trapped in poverty.

  • These children are unsafe, unloved, or unable to cope, and the gangs take advantage of this.

  • These gangs groom, threaten or trick children into trafficking their drugs for them.

  • They might threaten a young person physically, or they might threaten the young person’s family members.

  • The gangs might also offer something in return for the young person’s cooperation – it could be money, food, alcohol, clothes and jewellery, or improved status – but the giving of these gifts will usually be manipulated so that the child feels they are in debt to their exploiter.


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