Children facing away from camera.

Centre for Child Protection

As an international centre of excellence, we provide the chance for you to learn from leading experts in the field.

In the Centre for Child Protection, our aim is to get to the heart of child protection training. We have an international reputation for practice and research and the teaching we provide draws on our innovative work in many areas of child protection.

The Centre’s work regularly attracts research grants to explore new areas of knowledge. This remains a key part of our activities allowing us to stay at the forefront of developments in the field.

Our projects have involved working in partnership with organisations such as the NSPCC, the NHS (National Health Service), the Home Office and Kent Police (Special Branch).  

Our courses are suitable for a wide range of professionals involved in child protection. We provide flexible study options, including distance-learning and part-time courses. We also hold an annual conference.

Our teaching style

We use innovative techniques – such as online simulations – to help you gain the complex skills and knowledge required in this field. During your studies, you are encouraged to develop advanced communication skills, reflective analysis and the critical use of research. We also promote the confident use of direct work skills with adults and children.

Our training and study options

Postgraduate study

You can take a standalone module or work towards a postgraduate qualification (MA, PDip or PCert) in Advanced Child Protection. For more details, see the section on postgraduate study.

Consultant social worker, Claire Pascoe describes her experience of studying on our MA programme


Training simulations

Our award-winning simulations get to the heart of child protection. They are a safe way to raise your own awareness and can also be used in groups or in one-to-one sessions with children and young people. For more details, see our section on training simulations.

Free online training 

  • Practitioners and carers understand the positive impact effective communication with a child or young person can have, but also recognise that it can be difficult to achieve. The Centre has developed a free online course in partnership with FutureLearn which gives you the chance to improve your communication skills by learning techniques which place the child at the heart of the interaction. You can find out what is covered on the course by downloading our leaflet. For details of how to enrol, please go to the FutureLearn course page for Communicating Effectively with Vulnerable Children and Young People.
  • The movement of children and families across Europe brings increased vulnerabilities. Another course offered via the ChildHub Academy provides a useful resource for professionals, both from the statutory sector and non-governmental organisations, working to safeguard children on the move. You can find out more about this project on our Family on the Move research site. Details of the course are available on the ChildHub Academy course page.

If you want to find out more about the work of the centre, please contact us.

Annual conference: Exploitation 2021 

Thursday 24 June – Friday 25 June

Each year the Centre holds a child protection conference. This gives practitioners and students the opportunity to share knowledge and hear the latest research in the field. In 2021, our conference looks at Exploitation: tackling the culture and challenges of trafficking, slavery and county lines.

You can learn, network and reflect at this major research and practice-informed conference which we run in partnership with the Association of Child Protection Professionals (AoCPP).

For more details, please contact the Centre.

Book your place on the AoCPP website.

Research

The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) is a centre of excellence and innovation in research and practice and has a strong research focus. Significant external research and grants include:

  • How young people in care use technology (Department of Education)
  • Social Work education across Europe (Erasmus+)
  • Radicalisation (Home Office)
  • RITA – Responsive InTeractive Advocate (Technology Strategy Board)

The combination of contemporary research and the latest technology has led to the development of a suite of cutting-edge child protection simulations (serious digital games). These simulations, unique to the sector, are interactive in nature and offer an immersive learning experience to users allowing them to assess and reflect on complex inter-professional cases in a safe environment. 

We also led a ground-breaking project to support the UK’s ageing population through the use of responsive and interactive avatars.

For more details please go to our dedicated research pages.

Simulation of woman with two toddlers in the background

Professor Jane Reeves discusses the development of CCP's ground-breaking simulation training

Making an impact

The Centre for Child Protection (CCP) has a proven track record of success in making a positive difference to the lives of young people and professionals all around the world. 

Our fully interactive and immersive child protection simulations are informed by research and collaborative working with relevant child protection agencies. They enable young people to develop critical evaluation skills, to change their online behaviour, and to protect themselves from being groomed and abused. 

Our simulations also provide a safe space in which professionals can explore and evaluate new ways to approach complex issues with children, young people and their families. 

Since its establishment in 2012, the Centre has successfully secured a steady stream of funding for our projects.

Our accreditations

We've received accreditation from the British Association of Social Workers as a provider of continuing professional development for social workers and the CPD Certification Service for our simulation training, namely: Rosie2, myCourtroom, Behind Closed Doors and Looking out for Lottie.

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