Nicola has long been campaigning on child protection, raising awareness of child sexual exploitation and working with police and other frontline services to recognise warning signs and act to better protect young people. Now as Minister for Public Health, she has launched a new initiative ‘Seen and Heard‘ at Homerton University Hospital. Seen and Heard has been developed by The Children’s Society and funded by the Department of Health.
Seen and Heard is an interactive e-learning course for hundreds of thousands of health professionals, with the aim of supporting NHS staff to recognise the signs of child sexual abuse or exploitation, as well as understand how to make children feel able to speak about what is happening to them.
Nicola launched the video, which has been developed with the help of over 100 young people, some of whom victims themselves, and it is now available for any member of the NHS to view. There will also be specialist staff acting as ‘Seen and Heard champions’ who will spread information by sharing the e-learning programme amongst colleagues.
To see Nicola’s speech in full, see here.
Nicola says: No child should have to experience sexual abuse. Health and care staff are well positioned to make that vital difference in spotting and preventing child sexual abuse.
That is why it so is important that children and young people feel able to trust and talk to them about their concerns, so that they can get the help and support that they need much sooner.