I understand the concept, I just disagree that the effectiveness would justify the effort and downsides of implementation. If extra eyes are needed, then I’d suggest WSO/sector & wing WO visits would be a better avenue.
Realistically though, it’s training the other (particularly junior) CFAVs and older cadets as to what is right and normal that is going to lead to things being noticed, not someone who pops in to the squadron occasionally for a meeting.
I would argue that just because we sit in a room for a death by powerpoint run by one of us, with some scenarios, does not mean we are not trained and certainly not qualified, only slightly better informed. I get the impression that safeguarding is something you don’t get trained in per se, anyone can report a safeguarding concern. But those who are ‘qualified”, are trained in dealing with the effects and using combinations of other organisations to try and resolve the problem(s). Which we do not have the time or access to do anything, other than play “in-house” games.
I think it would be better if our training was delivered by LSCBs as they would be experienced professionals and if done on say an area basis, they would be local, know of any local issues in the community and be potential POCs for us and actually give us external referral points. It might still be death by ppt but it would be delivered by people who have experience day to day, and if questions were asked be able to give answers relating to real life. Also they would be people dealing with things ranging in complexity, rather than us who might get something specific to the organisation once in a blue moon. While it would be almost impossible to achieve, I feel if we all shadowed a children’s social worker for a couple of days it would show just what really working with in this subject area really entails and put some things into stark perspective.
This could be open to all people involved at the squadron including CWC members on a voluntary basis, unless they are those with a foot in both camps.
Frankly how much contact people have with others, has no bearing on the harm they can cause or being able to see problems. I think sometimes we CFAV are too close and too busy to really see things.
Couldn’t agree more. Every LSCB course I’ve ever done has been engaging and relevant. They have exceeded the various RAFAC courses I’ve been subjected to over the years by a factor of at least 10. For me though, one of the best bits of the LSCB courses has been that they are often delivered by the people who pick up the case in Childrens Services - knowing that these people are there, they are human and that it’s their job gives a lot more confidence than phoning a partial trained WExO or CPO to flag concerns.
Also, with it being local, they can walk you through the local processes. There will undoubtedly be variations (I had one 3 months ago, who was a resident in a neighbouring LA) which had an online reporting system rather than phone based. But that local knowledge, the type and range of support services available, and how they take forward and manage cases gives so much more confidence in making the reports.
Our LCSB do free courses for voluntary organisations. They run them on weekdays, evenings and weekends. 2, 3 and 6 hour courses available. As well as Universal Safeguarding training, some targetted courses are available which cover off some of the issues we’ve experienced on sqn - or which are more relevant to some than others to (Mental health, CSE, County Lines, Knife Crime, Prevent, FGM, Gangs, e-safety).
I just wish RAFAC would stop banging on about “their” course over ones provided by trained professionals rather than trained volunteers.
This sort of thing would be invaluable to inform us about the things cadets face day to day in their lives and affect them more than anything they might be exposed to in the Air Cadets.
I’ve seen a rise in knife crime and gangs reported in the local press and you can’t help but think it could be related to county lines.
I have to say my recent refresher was both: the RAFAC course but delivered by a professional.
It was probably a lot more interesting and engaging than if it had just been delivered by “some bloke/blokette” but I’m not convinced that the basic point wouldn’t still have gotten across even if it wasn’t.
These are important and very relevant for us to be aware of today and in our local area, which will be different in different parts of a town let alone Wing or country, as these as I say affect the youngsters in the Air Cadets when they aren’t being cadets. We can’t if we are going to even attempt to get things right not have a real and proper awareness.
TBH I think the cadets could do a better job on informing us.
In terms of safeguarding I was told that one of the biggest factors in terms of radicalisation is right wing factions in pro and semi-pro football teams and gangs are a real problem when it comes to sexual abuse. Were these covered?
Better that than A.N Other off the Civ Comm who is about 1000 years old and only turns up once a year which sums up most Civ Comm members I’ve met in the past 20+ years, despite the rose tinted spectacles the 1 or 2 exceptions seem to have.
There was reference to the involvement of external agencies, and so far that only happens when the matter escapes the ACO clutches because the situation has been missed for so long and it is serious enough to the Police and CPS.
Recently one of the major bus companies has signed up with an external agency for the reporting of Health and Safety breaches - this no doubt protects the identity of the informant. The ACO may have systems in place, but these are controlled by the very individuals to whom the CFAVs actually report and that can lead to all sorts of issues. Maybe an investigation by another Wing/Region, but ultimately everything reports to the CAC. What is not guaranteed is anonymity except for the subject of the report and the victim(s).
I dont think any of this discussion is about Civcom involvement in dealing with abuse victims, it is about identifying, reporting and ensuring action is taken and above all avoiding repetitions.
But as Rumpole said none of the cases revealed up to now, have involved a Civic member - only those who seem to have benefited from the ACO training.
An independent mechanism is required, which it totally tamper proof.
You do have a chip on your shoulder, don’t you? Just because no member of Civil Com has been reported for abuse, doesn’t mean they are all saints.
I would imagine that if someone was to become a member of the RAFAC with the specific aim of attempting to groom a cadet/cadets, then surely they would choose the role which would give them the most access? So CFAV, rather than civil com.
In the same way that if I was dishonest, and wanted to target Sqn funds, I would have to join the committee and become a signatory to the accounts.
Of if I wanted to run an eBay business selling new uniform, I might become a SNCO, because that gives me the highest chance of having unrestricted access to stores.
Edited to add:
If you believe abuse has taken place, there is nothing to stop anyone from going to the police/local council safeguarding team for advice.