May 2017 saw the launch of the first Keep Safe manual. It is available to practitioners who were previously trained to participate in the Keep Safe feasibility trial (2014-2016) and those who attended our first open training event in February 2017.
Keep Safe is a manualised intervention for young people (12 years and over) with learning disabilities who display harmful sexual behaviours. Keep Safe development, and its feasibility trial, was led by a collaborative of practitioners and researchers hosted by the Tizard Centre with support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Our first open 2 day Keep Safe training in Bristol was a stimulating, lively and oversubscribed event! 45 practitioners from CAMHS, CAMHS-LD, education, police, probation, social care, Youth Offending Services/Teams, as well as voluntary and community sector and private providers attended. Previous Keep Safe training had been restricted to practitioners in feasibility sites.
Some of the Keep Safe training team
Audience participation in Keep Safe activities
Keep Safe built on the experience of SOTSEC-ID and their practitioner/research collaborative approach to sharing, growing, evaluating and disseminating innovative best-practice.
Tizard’s Professor Glynis Murphy led the Keep Safe development and feasibility study, with Rowena Rossiter as Project Manager, and Aida Malovic, as development assistant and the Keep Safe Development Group. This represented community specialist services (Stephen Barry and Team, Be Safe, Bristol); a national community service (Oliver Eastman and colleagues, NCATS/NSPCC, London); a community and inpatient child and young people’s forensic LD service (Jack Kennedy and colleagues); a medium secure LD adolescent inpatient (Emma Marks and colleagues) and advisors with learning disabilities from the Aldingbourne Trust/Powerful Trainers ( the Keep Safe Focus Group-co-ordinated by Jill Davies, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities- see their 3 minute video.
Keep Safe Focus Group of Advisers
Demonstrating session activities in training
The participants at the recent training were particularly from Bristol, South Gloucestershire and the south-west as funding from the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner and Bristol Safety Partnership enabled completion of the Keep Safe manual. It allowed the development of additional guidance on delivering Keep Safe as an individually-focused family intervention. Participants also came from London, the south-east and south, midlands, Wales and Northen Ireland.
The Keep Safe training was very “activity-based”. After context setting, including Keep Safe Focus Group of Advisers video, learning progressed through experiencing key intervention activities via demonstrations and group exercises for the young people’s, their parents/carers and the joint sessions. Feedback included “refreshing”, “informative”, “practical”.
The Be Safe team in Bristol were the first site to complete a Keep Safe feasibility group. They contributed massively to the Keep Safe development, the manual and this training event- so mega-thanks to them.
The next 2 day Keep Safe training will be held in London in 2018- email Emily for information.
After our first open training, a Senior Commissioning Officer – Children’s Services emailed … “we had some fantastic feedback from colleagues who attended the 2 day Keep Safe Training” and asking to buy in the Keep Safe training. Hence, we’ll be developing a “team” of trainers to service this need.
Key national documents have recently recognised the lack of research and practice specifically with children and young people with learning disabilities who display harmful sexual behaviour including:
- NICE guideline, NG55, (2016) Harmful sexual behaviour among children and young people.
- NSPCC (2016) Harmful sexual behaviour framework: An evidence-informed framework for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviours.
- Rowena Rossiter co-ordinated and presented the “Expert testimony” to inform the NICE guideline development on behalf of Tizard and the Keep Safe Development Group.
- Barnardos 2016 ‘It’s not on the radar’ The hidden diversity of children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation in England.
- Barnardos 2016 Now I know it was wrong: Report of the parliamentary inquiry into support and sanctions for children who display harmful sexual behaviour. Barnardos; London.
- Franklin, A. Raws, P. & Smeaton, E. 2015. Unprotected, Overprotected: meeting the needs of young people with learning disabilities who experience, or are at risk of sexual exploitation. Barnardos; London.
We’re currently completing the analysis of the follow-up data from the Keep Safe feasibility study (thanks to Claire Bates, Honorary Research Associate, Tizard Centre for her support) and preparing papers for publication.
Below, some of the Keep Safe Focus Group of Advisers with Jill Davies and Ro Rossiter at the Thank-you and celebration lunch following the recent launch of the Keep Safe manual.
Well done to all, and thanks again to ySOTSEC-ID, all the Keep Safe Development Group, the Keep Safe Focus Group of Advisers, and the feasibility sites - a really exciting time!