Online safety, children's rights and coercive control are just some of the key issues facing young people in Guernsey today, which have been highlighted at this year's Safeguarding Children Conference.
Professionals working with children and families across a range of different sectors were invited to attend yesterday's event, which welcomed a number of UK and local speakers.
"We started the day with the perspective of children and young people themselves because they shared the outcome of the annual Young People's Survey," explained Pan-Island Independent Chair for the Islands Safeguarding Children Partnership, Sarah Elliott. "There are some really strong themes that came out of that, that we've been able to cover in more detail. For example, we talked about the real benefits of the online digital world but also the importance of supporting children and young people in keeping themselves safe.
Pictured: Sarah Elliott.
"One of the things that came from the audience that we discussed is the opportunity to ask young people themselves to act as mentors and trainers to others. They're the ones that are actually keeping up with all of this and often are better placed in terms of starting that conversation with friends or peers who they are worried about. It's not all about the adults having all the answers because so often we don't.
"Another thing that came through the survey was relationships. There's a growing concern from young people about control and coercion, sometimes even between themselves."
Visiting theatre company Alter-Ego had the chance to present its hard-hitting production 'Tough Love' which focuses on domestic abuse in teenage relationships, before discussing the issues raised with the conference.
Another visiting speaker, Anna Kettley from UNICEF UK, used her time to talk about the organisation's 'Child Friendly Cities' initiative, which aims to help children benefit from local decisions and services.
Pictured: A map of areas participating in the Child Friendly Cities initiative from childfriendlycities.org.
"It's a global initiative that's currently run in 40 countries around the world," she explained. "Essentially, within the UK what we focus on is working side by side with local government and a whole range of different children's services to uphold children's rights under the UN Convention and how we can ensure that children's voices are heard in the decisions in the services and the places where they are.
"We work with a whole cross section of different services whether it be education, health, local policing, community services, as well as with local children and young people and talk to them about what would make a difference for them and their lives. Ultimately, we're working towards ensuring that there are better outcomes from children and recognising that, in the current context, we need to be doing more and finding different and innovative ways of working.
"Guernsey's already put in place really ambitious plans for children and young people, so this is about how we can bring it all together and how we can support. We've very excited by the prospect that Guernsey could become the very first child friendly island."
The conference was held in partnership between the Children and Young People Plan and the Islands Safeguarding Children Partnership.
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