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Speaker: Dr Leona Vaughn

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Safeguarding children from radicalisation

In August 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned a review of the ways in which children’s services are responding to radicalisation and extremism among young people. The study – an update to the 2016 safeguarding and radicalisation evaluation – will be informed by research from across 10 English local authorities.

Reportedly, “there is a lack of current research evidence to understand how children’s social care engages with increasingly varied cases, the consistency of approaches adopted and an understanding of the unique challenges different types of extremism may pose.”

This seminar will hear from Dr Leona Vaughn, who will share lessons from research undertaken during the introduction of the Prevent Duty, and this will be followed by an open discussion.

The seminar is hosted by the Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR), the Victoria Climbié Foundation UK (VCF) and the BME & Migrant Advisory Group for safeguarding children and young people (B-MAG).

Lessons from research during the introduction of the Prevent Duty

Dr Leona Vaughn will talk about the main lessons from her research into how practitioners in Liverpool who worked with children and families were preparing to implement, and implemented the Prevent Duty in their safeguarding practice. It explores how practitioners learned about safeguarding children from radicalisation; what the practitioners described as departures or challenges to their ‘everyday safeguarding’ children policies and practices as well as how judgements and perceptions of childhood radicalisation risks were inherently classed, racialised and gendered.

Dr Leona Vaughn is a Sociologist and qualified coach/mentor for senior professionals, with over 20 years working as an equalities and social justice expert nationally and internationally.

At the Crown Prosecution Service, she worked on the first ever public prosecution policy on race hate crimes and the first ever positive action scholarship scheme with the Attorney General’s office to address under-representation of Black prosecutors. Other former roles include Chief Executive of the hate crime charity Anthony Walker Foundation and Non-Executive Director of Liverpool Football Club’s Foundation.

In her current role as tenure-track Derby Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool (UoL), her work is on developing anticolonial methodologies for researching ‘slavery and unfree labour’ which centre minoritised groups in knowledge production. As Research Director for the UK Collaborative for Development Research international consultation on safeguarding, part of the research community’s response to the abuses in Haiti, she designed, co-delivered and co-authored the research and report and Safeguarding Guidance adopted by all research councils in the collaborative.

Leona researches and writes on ‘risk’, ‘safeguarding’, ‘racialisation’, ‘child labour’, ‘modern slavery’ and ‘childhood radicalisation’. She established the ‘Risk Work in Young Lives Researcher Network’ for the North West Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme to bring together researchers, practitioners and young people to share and develop practice.

She is lead author of Heseltine Institute Liverpool City Region Briefing ‘Racial Inequalities and COVID-19: Building Back Better for All’ and was the Principle Investigator on a rapid response research project on the racialisation of risk narratives for COVID-19 prevention in Ghana, Kenya & South Africa, collaboratively designed with in-country academics and community researchers.

She is also co-chair of the UoL Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network, and co-produced a report of the Network’s Black Lives Matter in Higher Education panel outlining the challenge to local HEI’s.

This seminar will be of interest for practitioners, policy makers and academics/researchers, and social work students, including those required to implement the UK government’s Prevent duty

We look forward to welcoming you and your contributions

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