My boss said this to me today. He said, “They don’t want to speak the unspeakable”. He was referring to professionals who try and down play the gangs and CSE problem that is rife all over the UK.
I am shocked by the number of practitioners and professionals in the UK that still choose to believe that gangs and CSE is not a massive issue in almost all areas. It always fails me why people are not recognising that ALL children and young people are at risk of gangs and CSE no matter your background. But you know what shocks me the most. No, let me change that…You know what disappoints me as a human the most? Professionals and practitioners that know we have an issue but say and do nothing. Or very little.
If you are not educated around Gangs and CSE then I am not directing this at you. But any practitioner or professional…on any level… Who is aware of children and young people involved in gangs and/or CSE and does not do what they can to support these young people…. Then shame on you.
People who know there is an issue but will not publicly admit this, for fear of embarrassment or admitting that yes there is an issue with gangs and CSE, but we don’t know how to resolve this… Then shame on you.
I have a friend who works in housing. Gangs and CSE still affect her clients but in a different way, to say how it affects the young people I work with. She must deal with the aftermath of a person being the victim of cuckooing. She has to deal with the addicts that are left on the streets once the gangs are finished with them. And she said today “There is a lot of talking from some people but not a lot of doing”
And she is bang on the money. In the past 4 weeks alone, I have encountered some amazing people who are out there, changing lives, doing something about the issues our young people are facing. Yep, the are meeting and talking but they are also doing. People are putting their jobs on the line to speak out and advocate for our young people in crisis. Of course, I am not saying that people should do that…I am just pointing out that people ARE doing that.
In the past 4 weeks alone, I have encountered professionals and practitioners that have had full blown “Discussions” with other professionals around the issues of who is and who is not addressing the gangs and CSE issue. These conversations have been lengthy at times and I can honestly say that some professionals have not mentioned or addressed the actual need of our children and young people. Disappointing.
Me…well…I guess I am a bit of a rebel. I am a front-line worker. I can hand on heart say that I put the young people first. I know that I do all that I can right now for the young people I work with. I will never shy away from what is happening to our children.
I will never back down so that someone can keep their job if that means a child or young person will suffer. I will never turn a blind eye. I will never get involved in the politics that seems to surround child protection and whistle blowing.
Know this and know this well…If I know that you are letting down a child or young person deliberately, if you are covering up or letting someone suffer, at whatever level, …if you could stop this and don’t…. Damn straight I will call you out. I will blow my whistle so loud that peoples ear’s will be ringing like they just walked out a 10-hour rave!!
But…I like to think that I publicly and privately big up those that are doing an excellent job of being out there. I know that I support and champion others where I can and If I see s fellow practitioner struggling I offer a hand up…not a kicking while they are down.
So, if you are reading this and know that you have turned a blind eye to victims of Gangs and CSE, not intervened where you could have or allowed a young person to suffer so that you kept your job…. shame on you.