During our crowdfunding campaign, we have rightly talked a lot about the impact of abuse on survivors of that abuse and their families and/or carers. Something we haven’t discussed yet is the impact Safeguarding Incidents have on those that must manage them, and what that means for social workers, particularly in the time of COVID-19.
Practitioners work with children and young people for a number of reasons, but whatever our main motivation, seeing children thrive and reach their full potential is always at our heart. So, when a safeguarding report comes through, the stakes are high, and it is also challenging to our own values as someone who dedicates their live to protecting children and young people.
When a practitioner knows that a child, young person or adult is a risk from harm, there is huge pressure on that practitioner to make the right decisions and take the right actions to keep someone safe. Each situation requires careful assessing, planning and intervention to ensure that the whole situation is understood and responded to in the most ethical and safe way. Along the way practitioners will often hear difficult stories of violence, abuse and unthinkable acts. During that process they must remain calm and clear headed and not be led by emotion but by good practice. No matter how many stories of abuse you hear, they never get easier and often those stories stay with you for months, if not years. The pressure to make the right decision never lessens either. This is even more prevalent for partners working in areas where it is more challenging to access support from statutory organisations such as Social Care. These pressures are why so many practitioners across the world will experience periods of burnout, vicarious trauma or exhaustion during their careers.
At Chance for Childhood we believe that the practitioners, our safeguarding superheroes from our local partners, who support children young people and adults at the most difficult and traumatic times in their lives also deserve the support to process the stories they hear and the cases they manage. We believe that for practitioners to be the best they can be after dealing with moments of trauma and huge pressure, they need to be given the space and time to process what they’ve heard and what they’ve held. This is why our Survivors Support Fund will not only support the survivors of abuse but will also support the practitioners that journey with those survivors to find the very best outcome for their future and for the futures of the people that care about them. This means that the next time a practitioner is faced with supporting another survivor of abuse they will once again be able to approach the incident with strength and a clear head ensuring that every survivor has the best possible outcome in their lives.
Survivors Support Fund: Keeping Children Safe During COVID-19 and beyond
Listen to Vicky speak at our upcoming free webinar
18th September, 12:30
Global Safeguarding Lead