Residential carers held significant concerns about a 16 year old female who was often missing from home. She wasn’t talking to her carers, so they had very limited visibility about her safety risks.
The carers in her unit completed the Power to Kids training, gaining confidence to have brave conversations about sexual safety. They utilised Power to Kids sexual health resources, ensuring that these were accessible to young people in the unit. Through these resources they worked to empower young people with information and destigmatise conversations about sex and relationships.
The young person approached a carer, embarrassed that she had a virus on her phone as a result of watching pornography. Drawing on her training, the carer had the confidence not to shut the conversation down or shame the young person. Instead, she built trust with the young person arranging to have the phone fixed and opening up a conversation about sex and relationships.
Drawing on her training, she talked to the young person about pornography and the different values people attribute to it. They openly discussed the impacts that pornography can have on developing brains and how often pornography creates unrealistic expectations for sexual relationships and normalises violence towards women.
Most critically these conversations sparked a closer relationship between the carer and young person. It was this relationship that later empowered the young person to make a disclosure about her experience of sexual exploitation. Skilled carers were able to provide her with support she needed to engage with police and help in keeping her safe.