Headlines: May 28th, 2010

A national charity is working with local councils, the police and schools in a new campaign to focus on the safety and welfare of children from black and minority ethnic communities. The NSPCC says it wants to ‘reach across cultural barriers’ to highlight the need to keep children safe from abuse.

The charity is planning to run a series of workshops for BME communities across the country in partnership with police, schools and local authorities. It has also launched a CD Rom, which includes training modules and offers best practice advice on a number of issues. The disc, ‘Keeping Our Children Safe’, has guidance on how to allow children to reach their full potential, their legal rights, the rights and responsibilities of parents and alternatives to physical punishment. The NSPCC pack also contains specific information on how drug and abuse, child abuse, and gang culture can affect communities, and where people can find the right kind of support to deal with problems.

John Brownlow, the head of partnerships and representation at the NSPCC, said child abuse could happen in any culture, and might sometimes be unwittingly fostered through customs and traditions. The NSPCC’s safeguarding manager, Evender Harron, added: “We find that BME groups are harder to reach as they tend not to use local support systems available to them. What we aim to do by focusing on the BME communities is highlight the importance of keeping children safe. Cultural variations and traditions mean that message is sometimes hard to get across which is the reason why we have started this campaign.”