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Quest News Issue 74 - 20th February 2023

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”

Welcome to Issue 74 of Quest News. We have 12 hours of off-the-job training for apprentices in care and education to read and learn.

Events of the week

February 21 - Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day 2023

Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day is the day before Ash Wednesday, observed in many Christian countries through participating in confession and absolution, the ritual burning of the previous year's Holy Week palms, finalising one's Lenten sacrifice, as well as eating pancakes and other sweets.

Approx. 30 mins

February 22 - World Thinking Day 2023

February 22 - Ash Wednesday - Lent begins (Christian)

February 23 - Helplines Awareness Day 2023


The Shamima Begum Story

At 15, Shamima Begum left London to join the terror group Islamic State. It made global headlines. She and her two friends became known as the Bethnal Green Girls. Four years later, pregnant with her third child, Begum emerged from the ashes of the so-called caliphate, desperate to come home. But she showed little remorse for her time with the group. The British government decided she was a threat and took away her citizenship, leaving her in a Syrian prison camp. Her lawyers claim she is a victim of trafficking and should be allowed to return to the UK.

For the first time, she’s given her account of what happened since 2014 to investigative journalist Josh Baker. He’s been following her story since the day she left, trying to understand what really happened. For more than a year, he’s retraced her journey, piecing together where she went, who she met and what she did while she was living with IS to try and find out the truth about Shamima Begum’s story

Approx. 90 mins

Policy of the Week – Code of Conduct Policy

A code of conduct is a set of internal guidelines that employees must follow while they work for you. It outlines your corporate values and commitments as a company. More specifically, it sets the standards and expectations for employee behaviour, and allows you to tailor your company culture.

Approx. 60 mins

Safeguarding and ED & I

Missing Children Case Study Video - Catch22

The phenomena of missing children, is a worrying one which has unfortunately been a constant throughout modern education and almost certainly before that. From a safeguarding or school focused stand point, the regular dangers a child or young person is faced with in normal life become exponentially greater the moment they go missing. Whether they went missing because they wished to run away from their established lives, or if they were abducted as in the previous article, the constant factor is their sudden absence from observation and supervision for purposes unknown. But what can be done, given that at some point in your teaching or safeguarding career the likelihood is that you’ll encounter such a scenario at some point. Catch22 is an organization dedicated to dealing with the issue of the country’s children and issues affecting them. Their page on missing children is a good source to acquire some excellent resources. By following the link below you’ll find awareness posters, and a brilliant video on a case study of a missing person who was aided by the Catch22 organization, well worth a look:

Approx. 30 mins

Clever Never Goes - Action Against Abduction

In the safeguarding sphere we talk a great deal about online threats. But the reality that although the internet has allowed potential dangers to come right into the bedrooms of children, the most potent threats are in the real world. And it is when those online activities merge into the physical realm that young people come to be in life-changing danger. The objective of much of the untoward behaviour that children and young people face online, is aimed at bringing the potential offender and the child into the same physical space. However, what if that threat materializes wholly in the physical world. And what if it exists at a potential level whenever a child or young person is outside of their home? In short, that is the overwhelming peril represented by abduction. An act which is still a very real possibility for children when they’re out in the world. In the last year we have data for - 2016/17, there were more than eight hundred cases of stranger to child abduction, recorded by the UK police. As such it is as important today as it was fifty years ago to educate children as to the danger abduction by strangers poses to them. The organisation – Action Against Abduction, was set up in 1999 by Catherine Meyer and aims to aid in creating awareness and driving policy change to make abduction more difficult. They’re currently undertaking a review of the contemporary approach to educating children of this issue in schools. It’s a really interesting document that’s well worth a read, you can find that by following the link below:

Approx. 30 mins

Conversations About Life Online – NSPCC

Safer Internet Day 2023 was yet another success for the awareness campaign, and if you participated in it then you have our thanks, the day really is so important to our work. Prevention is always better than the cure, and making children understand the internet better, is the best way to shield them from its worst excesses. But an article of interest slipped through the net last week, and I’d like to draw your attention to it. The NSPCC earlier this month published ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’. The gist of the page is highlighting ways in which parents and teachers can have sensible, non-accusatory conversations about the online world, and their children’s role within it. It’s a great page for those who are considering having a talk with their pupils about the online space. To find out more follow the link below:

Approx. 30 mins

Supporting Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents Online - UK Safer Internet Centre

In England there are just over four thousand foster carers and two and a half thousand adoptive parents. Their needs are specific and often differ from that of parents with biological children. Their backgrounds can be traumatic, and the older they are the more they likely remember from their often difficult pasts and each memory and experience that’s unconsciously present within the child involved will contribute to their inner trauma. This can sometimes make caring for such children and young people immensely challenging. With this in mind the UK Safer Internet Centre has published guides and resources to help those bringing up children and young people with these needs, in the online space. To find out more please follow the link below:

Approx. 30 mins

Digital Wellbeing – SWGfL

As the internet becomes more important to us and our children as a social space. It is important to develop a sense of how we can all use it to support our lives, but at the same time to guard against negative influences that exist there. Digital Wellbeing relates to how we can turn the internet into a positive force within our lives, and can aid our mental health. The SWGfL has developed a page designed to raise awareness of Digital Wellbeing and good practice while engaging online. On the page they have an interesting video on the subject, a discussion on the importance of Digital Wellbeing at school and more. To take a look at this fascinating page please follow the link below:

Approx. 30 mins

Online safety

Natterhub has published new research on the online experiences of children across the UK. Findings from a survey of 5- to 11-year-olds include: 75% of 6- to 7-year-olds have taken part in a conversation online; three quarters of 8-9-year olds have posted a photo of themselves online; and 60% of 7- to 8-year-olds have felt pressured or anxious online.

Approx. 30 mins

#WakeUpWednesday: What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solutions

The rise of programmes like ChatGPT has brought the use of artificial intelligence solutions into sharp focus. Designed to potentially make our lives easier and support everyday tasks, this advanced machine-learning technology offers boundless possibilities and will be a part of our future, and our children’s future, for generations to come.

The opportunities that these AI solutions bring can’t be underestimated, so it’s important that we, as trusted adults, understand how they work, what they can be used for and what potential risks they could spawn. That’s why we’ve created this week’s guide to help trusted adults understand exactly what AI solutions are all about.

Approx. 30 mins

“The Undressed Song”

Enforcement agencies such as National Crime Agency (NCA) and CEOP have repeatedly warned that sexual predators target young children online in order to trick them into getting changed or undressed on camera by playing a ‘game’ or issuing a ‘challenge’ to see how fast they can get changed into different clothes or into a swimming costume. It could happen over video chat or a live-streaming app.

Children are often unaware that this has happened with video being recorded and distributed across the Internet. Almost 20,000 reports of self-generated child sexual abuse content were seen by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in the first six months of 2022. With children as young as between three and six years old becoming the latest victims in the rise of self-generated child sexual abuse.

Schools and parents can use these resources to start the discussion with younger children and reenforce the dangers of getting undressed online.

Approx. 30 mins

Health & Safety

Online learning: here to stay?

Online/e-learning and distance learning is not a new thing but the pandemic has fast-tracked its growth; the global e-learning market is predicted to reach $400bn by 2026.

Approx. 30 mins

Exploring Britain’s national work-related mental health statistics

The HSE’s annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries highlighted wellbeing as a cause for concern. Dominic Cooper says further analysis is required to reveal the true picture. Here he crunches the numbers.

Approx. 30 mins

Company fined £20,000 for health and safety failings at building site

Work was taking place to convert an old bank into offices on London Road in the Cheshire village.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected the site on 9 October 2020. It found many health and safety failings, including several areas where workers could have fallen from height, a risk of exposure to hazardous substances, and inadequate welfare facilities.

Approx. 30 mins

Disabled workers’ lives at risk due to poor emergency evacuation procedures, finds report

The study by Evac+Chair International found a quarter of business leaders are not aware how many of their employees have access needs and four in five are unsure about their responsibilities.

Approx. 30 mins

£100k fine for care company after tragic death of woman

A supported housing company has been fined £100k after a disabled woman in their care died after choking on a marshmallow.

Approx. 30 mins

Wider Curriculum

DfE pledges action on ‘excessive’ workload pressures for children’s social workers

'Workload action group' to look at cutting 'unnecessary' burdens on practitioners, while care review response also promises steps to reduce case recording requirements

Approx. 30 mins

CQC checks on council adult services still set for April 2023 start

DHSC confirms performance assessments are still due to commence within weeks despite council leaders' calls for a delay and process not having been agreed

Approx. 30 mins

Multiple and complex needs found in backgrounds of children deprived of liberty

Children subject to DoL orders had average of 4.2 of 11 areas of need including placement breakdown, mental health and going missing, finds analysis

Approx. 30 mins

Ofsted: the latest news and insight on children’s social care performance plus ratings for every council

Welcome to our Ofsted page, last updated on 16 February 2023. Here you can get the latest news on children’s social care performance and inspections plus insights from directors and other leaders on what they have learned from having inspectors in. Also, find the latest ratings for your council or any other with our interactive map.

Approx. 30 mins

Social work in prisons: ‘it’s not what you think’

In the first instalment of a new series about social work in unusual settings, we explore the rewards and risks of working in a prison

Approx. 30 mins


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