Starting a conversation about child neglect in Dudley

1 in 10 children experience neglect according to the NSPCC, but what does this mean for Dudley borough families?

In November, Healthwatch Dudley brought local people and organisations together to learn new ways of finding out about what it means for children and young people to thrive.

The approach called participatory appraisal, involves using creative ways of researching views and experiences from a wide range of communities. Dudley Office of Public Health is investing in this piece of work as a big priority for Dudley Safeguarding Children’s Board and Dudley Children and Young People’s Alliance.

The project isn’t about reporting neglect but trying to find out how people view and understand what neglect is.

Conversations and feedback captured through the research will help Dudley borough decision makers develop a common understanding of this important issue and help them think about how future support is provided.

Healthwatch Dudley teamed up with Resources for Change to host Participatory Appraisal Training for 14 young people aged
between 14 and 21. The training was then repeated with staff and volunteers, health professionals and community representatives.

Each group learnt exciting and fun ways of working with other people to explore what it means to thrive, as well as
looking at the causes and effects of neglect. The group explored their surroundings, practiced conversation starters and created new ways to spark important discussions that have fed into our research.

People who took part have been trying out the new visual techniques and have been out in force at conferences and community events asking people to visualise what it means when children and young people thrive and what it looks and feels like when this doesn’t happen.

“I facilitated a group at a Dudley Council Local Offer workshop and used the skills I learned to help me, I hadn’t done anything like that before so it really gave me confidence.” Anne, Group member

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