The International Centre for Child Protection - an innovative knowledge hub for practitioners

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Date of webinar: 
21 Apr 2020
Start and finish time of webinar: 
13:00-14.00 GMT / 14:00-15.00 CET

Jane Reeves is a Professor of Teaching, Learning and Innovation in Child Protection and Simulation Development at the University of Kent.  A qualified social worker, Jane has an MPhil. (Kent) and PhD. (Open University).  Since becoming Co-Director of International Centre for Child Protection (ICPP) she has produced several immersive simulations tackling complex child protection issues. Her research focus is on evaluating the impact of the simulations in innovative ways. She is currently editing a book on Trafficking and working on a new gang, knife crime and county lines interactive training tool for practitioners.

Vanisha Jassal is a Senior Lecturer and Acting Director of Studies for the MA in Advanced Child Protection. She joined the Centre at its inception in 2012, appointed to develop what was to become one the world’s first distance learning, online MAs in this field. She lead the design and delivery of the Centre’s first MOOC in 2018 entitled ‘Communicating Effectively with Vulnerable Children and Young People’.  She is currently supporting pre-school children with behavioural and emotional issues. Her research interests are child protection and BAME communities.  For more information please visit her webiste:

Emma Soutar has over twenty years’ experience in the voluntary and education sector. During this time she has developed a broad knowledge of issues affecting the most vulnerable in society and the frameworks in place to protect and support them. Her passion lies in sharing this knowledge through training. As part of her work at centre for child protection she has developed an expertise in grooming and child exploitation. Her career highlight was her work with Child Line on a national social media campaign with ‘Looking out for Lottie’ on tackling CSE.

The University of Kent Centre for Child Protection and Child Protection Hub

About the webinar:

Join us for an introduction to the International Centre for Child Protection given by Professor Jane Reeves. The Centre combines contemporary research with an online multi-professional distance-learning advanced MA and standalone modules, as well as cutting edge child protection simulations and research.

Learn from Vanisha Jassal, the Acting Director of Studies about the part-time, distance-learning MA in Advanced Child Protection, which trains child protection practitioners from all over the world in excellence in child protection practice, theory and research. 

You will see demonstrations by Emma Soutar of the Centre’s award-winning simulations on complex child protection issues. These interactive learning tools allow professionals to encounter a variety of situations faced in practice, in a safe environment and are used internationally. The simulations all provide a safe medium to explore and reflect upon child protection assessment and methods to deal with complex and difficult aspects of child protection practice. Today you will be introduced to three of the simulations and see a demonstration of one:  

  1. Looking out for Lottie: Developed with NHS Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and updated in collaboration with the NSPCC, Lottie is designed to raise awareness of, and to prevent child sexual exploitation and grooming. It is styled to incorporate aspects of the latest social media apps to appeal to young people. Winner of The Guardian University Award for Digital Innovation 2016.
  2. Zak at University and Young Zak the Gamer: Developed with Kent Police (Special Branch) and Kent County Council, Zak is an engaging learning tool, based on a social-media-style interface that increases staff confidence and raises awareness of radicalisation and online grooming. Due to demand, an additional option ‘Young Zak the Gamer’ has been included to look at over-sharing information through gaming.
  3. Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors the Centre’s latest online interactive simulation, funded by the Home Office, to address routes to radicalisation and extremism on right-wing and religious extremism.

These simulations are used all over the UK and Internationally as well and have the potential to be translated into other languages.  They also have a wide reach, enabling professionals, once trained, to use them directly with children and young people.  To date some five and a half thousand professionals have been trained enabling some 150,000 young people to be reached.  Evidence suggests that these simulations are not only, innovative, interactive and unique but they also develop skills of critical evaluation in children and young people, encouraging them to keep themselves and their friends safe online.

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