Creative Optimistic Visions (COV) was fortunate to receive the support of West Midlands to promote Protective Behaviours within the area of Willenhall, Coventry. This piece of work has been supported by WMPolice to educate and support professionals, children and young people around the topic of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
COV has taken a very proactive approach to this by inviting Head teachers, learning mentors, local police, local library staff and community champions to attend a Protective Behaviours Foundation Level Course in October 2015 to ensure they feel safe within their working practice to support, and prevent CSE within their practice, and equipping them with a skill set to educate children and young people around their right to feel safe, giving children and young people a tool kit for them to become their first line of defence of abuse and victimisation.
It was important for COV to first approach the professionals working with the children and young people to generate shared meaning of Protective Behaviours and ensure clarity around the language used universally, as well as the familiarity of the Protective Behaviours principles and strategies.
We are now into our second stage of this project, by delivering a Protective Behaviours themed week during February half term 2016. We are inviting all children and young people (ages 5 – 18) within the area to join in a creative, fun week of learning of how to keep themselves feeling safe as well all have the right to feel safe.
We have invited artists and our MC Nia from our Urban Arts project to assist with this creative outlet, exploring Protective Behaviours through a range of workshops. Our activities will incorporate something for everyone. Family and friends will have the opportunity to visit our themed week when we celebrate all the work we have created, visually and lyrically, reinforcing the themes and strategies of Protective Behaviours.