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Children with radicalisation risk can’t be profiled

It is “not possible” to profile children at risk of radicalisation, Cafcass claims.

In an analysis of 54 family cases, the organisation found that many of the children in question were not “outwardly vulnerable to the extent that they or their family were known to the local authority”.

There is “a high degree of complexity involving a broad range of push and pull factors” when it comes to radicalisation, the report said, and this makes creating a profile of vulnerable children impossible.

Extremist groups used similar methods to recruit boys as street gangs, according to the report. However, this was not the case among girls. In fact, the radicalisation of girls in recent years was “like nothing seen before”. Cafcass found that many of the girls who ended up before the family court in these cases were intelligent, highly motivated and did well in school.

Travel was the most common factor used in these cases to establish when a local authority should step in. There were two considerations when considering travel. Firstly, how likely was it? The second was what the potential impact such travel would have on the child in question.

Richard Green is national child care policy manager at Cafcass. He explained that “the type of radicalisation concerns we are now seeing might appear to be a new phenomenon, especially references to so-called IS”. However, local authorities should approach the matter in the same way they would in any other child safeguarding case.

Last month, the NSPCC launched a 24-hour helpline for parents who are concerned their children may become radicalised.

Read the full Cafcass study

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Bridget Doman says:

    A few points arise from this article in my opinion. First of all, a large number of children have been clearly vulnerable and at risk that have not been on the radar of the local authority despite information given to them by neighbours and schools etc but that has been ignored or dismissed. Such cases have hit the headlines when these children have been killed or have died following years of abuse, neglect and ill-treatment where the local authority should have and could have intervened. So bearing this in mind, who determines which children are vulnerable? Further, what classes as vulnerable? Too many babies and very young children are taken from loving parents, often for forced adoption where the former in particular is concerned to fulfill targets and obtain more money from the government, based on lies and invention while really vulnerable children who are known or should be known to the LA are left to suffer further abuse. But then there’s not profit in removing those children. As for CAFCASS, in my experience enough said about them.

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