Reframe the blame

Reframe the blame

We're working on a campaign to raise awareness of why children and young people may behave in a certain way and how understanding exploitation is key to better safeguarding.

What does 'Reframe the blame' mean?

When children and young people are involved in criminal activity, such as dealing drugs, or carrying weapons, it is important to look beyond blame and consider how exploitation could be a contributing factor.

Reframing the blame will ask why these challenges are happening and what is at play in a young person’s life to influence this. When reframing the blame, practitioners will shift the focus away from implying that a young person has given full consent or has a choice.

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Vulnerabilities and risk factors

Reframing the blame means educators and professionals will understand that there are vulnerabilities and risk factors in a young person’s life that can lead to issues such as criminal exploitation and consequent displays of serious youth violence. These include, but are not limited to, a lack of a safe home environment, adverse childhood experiences, exclusion from mainstream education, economic vulnerability, learning difficulties, mental health issues and close proximity to gang or serious organised crime group-affected areas and county lines.

Whilst all young people are ‘vulnerable’ to exploitation, reframing the blame will mean practitioners will understand that an individual affected by one or more of these vulnerabilities is particularly at risk of being targeted for exploitation and groomed, and so cannot consent to serious behaviours.

The importance of language

The campaign urges professionals and others to consider the language used when referring to young people and the behaviours they display. For example, the language used to describe young people and the groups or ‘gangs’ they ‘associate’ with will need to be carefully re-considered. Language that implies the child or young person is to blame and does not recognise the exploitation that is potentially at play, should not be used.

As well as avoiding victim-blaming language, practitioners should also challenge any normalisation of violence amongst young people and the glamorisation of violence. The support on offer should not place the responsibility of these behaviours with the young person.


Understanding exploitation leads to improved safeguarding

Schools have a part to play in reframing the blame and informing a more effective safeguarding response. Schools have a wealth of insight and knowledge that can be shared with other professionals, as well as raising awareness of local safeguarding issues among both parents and children.

Crucially, reframing the blame means practitioners understand that victims may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. 

EduCare, and the Reframe the Blame campaign, make it clear that no child can consent to their own exploitation.

Exploitation training courses

Three training courses from our portfolio look at exploitation in-depth.

Serious Youth Violence

Serious violence has been a growing concern for some time, this has been reflected in the need for it to be added to KCSIE 2019 as a specific safeguarding concern and as such is going to be very important in the next academic year.

Our course has been written in partnership with The Children’s Society and includes information about County Lines and the terminology used by young people that helps professionals to improve understand and communicate.

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Serious Youth Violence

Child Exploitation

Exploitation and coercion are key factors in safeguarding issues across the board, including serious youth violence, knife crime and county lines.

Make sure staff are up-to-date with the latest best-practice with this new course developed in partnership with the experts at nwg.

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Child Exploitation

Safeguarding Young People

Safeguarding Young People, endorsed by established youth organisations, provides the key information needed to help raise your awareness of young people who may be vulnerable because of their age, relative inexperience, past abusive experiences or current circumstances.

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Mental Wellbeing course

Buy all three courses for £50.00 ex. VAT

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Exploitation Courses

Safeguarding Young People, Serious Youth Violence & Child Exploitation

WAS £65.00
NOW £50.00


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