NSPCC Research – Views of parents & carers of disabled children
The NSPCC commissioned research to seek the views and expertise of parents and carers of disabled children to find out what they think about:
- the most effective ways to keep their children safe from sexual abuse and where they feel they need more support
- how they have conversations with their children about sexual abuse
- who they go to for advice and support and how they would like professionals and other community groups to engage with them on preventing child sexual abuse.
Thirty parents and carers contributed to this research. Some of the key findings include:
- Schools and other agencies should work in partnership with parents to ensure that disabled children receive consistent, clear, accessible information on safe touch, choice and control, puberty, sex, relationships and abuse, and knowing how to let others know when they feel unsafe.
- Parents and carers need to have opportunities to discuss and share ideas with each other on safe touch, choice and control, puberty, sex, relationships and abuse in a safe and sensitive environment.
- Disabled children should have access to communication methods and tools which enable them to have a level of choice and control, and access to a people who understand their communication method. This should be included in all children’s education, health and care plans.
- Disabled children should be helped to understand that they have a right to be safe and to learn about who and how to let know if they do not feel safe.
- Professionals need improved training to help them spot the signs of abuse in disabled children and prioritise the protection of disabled children.
Please go to http://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/2019/protecting-disabled-children-from-sexual-abuse/ to read about what these parents and carers told researchers Anita Franklin, Alex Toft and Sarah Goff in more detail, and find links to resources for parents and practitioners.