The CCATS Conference “Excellence Driven” was held on 28 September 2018 to showcase some of the excellent work that is being undertaken by the team. A summary of the talks are presented below.
Kirsty Alderson introduced the work of CCATS as a therapeutic service and outlined some of the provision and support on offer to children and adults. This was followed by a talk on her PhD research around child sexual exploitation and the implications for working with young people. The talk discussed the gaps in current knowledge around vulnerability and protective factors relating to child sexual exploitation, as well as how the literature could be utilised to provide quality assessment and interventions for those who are vulnerable, or those who have experienced sexual exploitation.
Dr. Carol Ireland presented on both risk assessment and staff exposure to trauma. The first talk discussed the expectations that should be met when completing risk assessment/psychologically informed reports, and the importance of evidence-based formulation to inform later therapeutic engagement. Dr. Ireland’s second presentation covered the findings of a systematic review into staff exposure to trauma when working with young people in care. It identified five main themes: (1) Lack of organisational support; (2) Lack of health work-life balance; (3) Lack of appropriate training; (4) Failure to use self-care techniques; and (5) Staff failure to share when they are experiencing symptoms.
Samuel Keely provided an overview of radicalisation based on the latest available evidence. It covered definitions and the nature and development of radicalisation, signs of potential radicalisation, and suggested courses for action.
Suzanne Bowden’s presentation focused upon the core components of the Life Minus Violence – Enhanced (Aggression and Harmful Sexual Behaviour) programme, an evidence based therapeutic intervention for adolescents and adults. An overview of each module was presented and attention given to the theoretical underpinnings along with key components of the therapeutic approach.
The day was well-received and demonstrated the wide range of work that CCATS undertake with both children and adults.