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Key Messages

  • Few alleged abusers are convicted of sexual abuse. Child Safety practitioners have a role in supporting the safety of children in homes where abuse is denied and there has been no criminal proceedings or outcomes. 
  • Alleged abusers manipulate and coerce children and parents. They also manipulate and coerce professionals. If you are aware of strategies used by alleged abusers to obtain access and opportunity to sexually abuse children, you can manage and tailor your responses accordingly.
  • Although statistically small in number, females do sexually abuse children.
  • Direct work with the alleged abuser is important to help understand the parent and child's experiences and the strategies an alleged abuser has used.
  • A child and their parents are likely to have had positive experiences of the alleged abuser. When this is not acknowledged or respected by the practitioner, a working relationship with the child, parent and the alleged abuser is far less likely to form.
  • Consultation with experienced staff, such as senior team leaders, senior practitioners, regional practice leaders and Specialist Practice teams such as Practice Advice and Support (who provide support with complex case consultations and decision making) will assist you in your work with alleged abusers.

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