Grooming Awareness Workshops
The grooming of children and teenagers is a serious and complex problem. All adults with responsibility for safeguarding urgently need to tackle it.
A 2020 Dreams Grooming Awareness workshop will help schools to deliver effective support to their students so that they can understand what grooming is, protect themselves from being groomed and know where to access appropriate help if they have been or are still being groomed.
Grooming is the deliberate development of an emotional connection between one person (usually an adult) and another (usually a child) for the purpose of training or preparing them for a future activity.
Grooming can be very hard to detect due to the lengths the perpetrators go to control their victims and prevent them from reporting the behaviour. Some of the symptoms include:
- Secretive behaviour
- Receiving gifts from ‘friends’ (clothes, shoes, games, money, jewellery, etc.)
- Having an older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’
- Meeting and going away with older ‘friends’
- Playing truant
- Behaviour changes (withdrawing, becoming aggressive, developing eating disorders, self-harm, etc.)
Who is at Risk of Grooming?
The two most widely recognised forms of child grooming in the UK are:
- Grooming to recruit for gangs
- Grooming for sexual abuse and exploitation
In the first case, young vulnerable people are targeted by older gang members or their peers. They are often tempted with gifts of clothes, shoes, jewellery, money and sex. In return they are expected to carry out activities for the gang, often including delivering drugs or concealing weapons.
A common pattern in modern times is the training of young people to run county lines operations – a form of child drug trafficking.
In the second case, children are groomed to engage in sexual activity with adults – either online or face-to-face. Perpetrators often lie about their age and pretend to be interested in forming a genuine relationship with the young person.
In both cases, awareness of the dangers is the first step to keeping our children protected.
Grooming: Online and on the Streets
Grooming can happen online or on the streets. Perpetrators can easily hide their true identity and make contact with young people online through social media platforms, teen dating sites, gaming forums, mobile apps and other channels. They may deliberately target young people who have posted comments revealing a low self-esteem as they will usually be easier to flatter and develop power over. In the age of mass communication, they might contact hundreds of individuals before following up on those who respond.
Some young people will be approached at school or on the journey to and from school. They might also be groomed during the holidays and weekends and persuaded to play truant.
What Happens in a 2020 Dreams Grooming Awareness Workshop?
2020 Dreams workshops are highly engaging, using active learning techniques to ensure the course material is understood and remembered.
One powerful active learning method is role-play, where young people will get to play the part of the perpetrator and victim in a safe and fun environment. This will not only help raise awareness but will also teach students practical strategies for staying out of danger.
Another effective technique is the open forum discussion. Facilitated by our specialist instructors but led by the students, this format allows children to talk about their own experiences and develop their own solutions.
2020 Dreams Grooming Awareness workshops can be delivered anywhere in the UK and can be tailored to any age group or context, from primary schools to Pupil Referral Units.
To find out more details about workshop content or to make a booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 4714983.