November 24, 2020. News

Oxfordshire County Council Fostering Service and Thames Valley VRU – CCE awareness sessions

Throughout November 2020 Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit hosted remote awareness sessions for Tier 3 foster carers across Oxfordshire. The sessions followed on from a successful series of events held in 2019 in towns across the county and were developed jointly with Oxfordshire County Council’s Fostering Services.

The events were specifically focused on the role of foster carers in contextualised safeguarding and drew from the insights provided by a serving County Lines offender who admitted to having specifically targeted children in care as he saw them as more vulnerable.

The awareness training provided local contexts and explored key themes of the Serious Violence Strategy (Home Office, 2018), especially the importance of recognising that young people who may be involved in criminality or seemingly making bad choices may be doing so because they are victims of exploitation.

Due to the success of the events, Thames Valley VRU are also looking to expand the learning to foster carers in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. PC Russ Massie, delivering the training said,

We are grateful to Oxfordshire County Council Fostering Services staff and the foster carers that attended the event for their feedback and support.

We recognise that children who are cared for can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation and it’s important that we do all we can to empower those trusted adults responsible for their care are equipped with the knowledge to prevent exploitation and signposted to further support where necessary.