Training Officer in child exploitation at the Centre for Child Protection at University of Kent
27 Jun 2022
Emma Soutar has over twenty years’ experience in the voluntary and education sector. During this time she has developed a broad knowledge of issues affecting the most vulnerable in society and the frameworks in place to protect and support them. Her passion lies in sharing this knowledge through training. As part of her work at the Centre for Child Protection she has developed an expertise in grooming and child sexual exploitation (CSE).
Emma runs regular training sessions for professionals on tackling CSE through the interactive child protection simulation ‘Looking out for Lottie’. In 2018 she worked closely with the NSPCC to update the simulation and also supported the Childline campaign on healthy and unhealthy relationships which featured Lottie over a five week period and received over two million hits to the webpages.
She has also developed an expertise in grooming for radicalisation and extremism and delivers training in ‘Behind closed doors – routes to radicalisation and extremism’, which follow 14 year old Maryam as she is groomed into a radical Islamic group and Joe as he is groomed into the far right. She co- wrote and developed ‘Crossing the line’ with Professor Jane Reeves. This interactive training tool uses a contextual safeguarding approach to inform practice around gangs, county lines and knife crime.
Emma is an educator on the centre’s MOOC on Future learn on ‘Effective communication with vulnerable children’. She also supported and built the e-Learning resource ‘Family on the move’ which was part of an Erasmus project. The resource invites participants to reflect on theory, practice and ethics as it follows a fictitious refugee family as travelling across Europe. This is available on the child protection hub for south east Europe and is used as part of the centre’s MA and also with social work students at Stirling university.
Following the centre’s recent successful bid to ‘End violence against children’. Emma will be part of the team developing & delivering training to professionals in Thailand and Cambodia in a serious game to combat online child sexual exploitation and trafficking.
Emma has co-authored a book chapter on children and young people’s vulnerabilities to grooming. This was published in ‘Contemporary perspectives on child psychology and education’.(Reeves et al 2018)