Identifying and Reducing the Risk of Female Genital Mutilation
This 1 day FGM course has been designed to maximise the knowledge that would benefit a range of professionals who might, through their work, come into contact with individuals and communities who have experience of FGM. Such professionals include:
- Those working in health and social care
- Education (primary, secondary schools, colleges and HEIs)
- Law enforcement
- Those delivering third sector services.
Whilst part 1 of the course focuses on increasing knowledge and insight with regard to FGM and its physical, emotional, legal and socio-cultural implications, part 2 will involve inter-professional learning through shared activities to enhance skill development and decision making. It is anticipated that together these 2 parts of the course will enable participants to transpose their learning into their specific area of practice, while at the same time developing a network of support.
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Research undertaken by FORWARD, the lead agency working to tackle FGM in the UK, in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Department of Midwifery at City University, initially estimated that nearly 66,000 women with FGM were living in England and Wales.
These figures were based on the 2001 consensus and, due to migration to the UK from practising countries, these estimates have risen dramatically over the past decade, with Greater Manchester being the fifth hotspot area for FGM (New Economy Team, 2012). Indeed, it is now estimated that 279,500 women, already resident in the UK, have undergone FGM and 60,000 girls, under the age of 16 years, are at risk of the practice (Equality Now, City University, 2013), the latter indicating an increase of 38.000 within a decade, the previous estimate being 22,000 girls (Kwateng-Kluvitse, 2004).
Small scale academic studies and local authority casework interventions on girls deemed at risk of undergoing FGM, show that it is a continued traditional practice among specific African communities living in the UK (Morison et Al., 2004). Such evidence is indicative not only of the hidden nature of FGM in the UK, but also transpires the level of responsibility required on the part of professionals in safeguarding those at risk and in supporting FGM survivors.
The unwillingness on the part of communities to speak out about the practice and its implications can lead to a lack of emotional and physical support for victims of FGM. Subsequently, we believe that there is a need for a variety of organisations (statutory and non-statutory) to work extensively with communities on awareness-raising and education regarding the practice of FGM.
Half day - AM programme (9.30am to 12.30pm): Voicing the Unspoken Part 1
This session will provide the following basic information:
INTRODUCTION TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM):
- Description; Background; Classification
- Beliefs, values and traditions: analysing impacts in contemporary British society
- Cultural competency
- Physical & psychosocial consequences of FGM
- FGM Risk Factors and warning signs
- Legal implications and Safeguarding: Policies & Challenges
- Referral pathways and challenges
Half day- PM programme (1.30pm to 4.30pm): Voicing the Unspoken Part 2
This session will be more practical to strengthen participants’ knowledge through the following:
- Supporting girls and women affected by FGM and responding to their needs
- Protecting girls and young women at risk of FGM
- Engaging communities in tackling FGM: exploring strategies
- Multi-agency cooperation, and working together with affected communities
- Putting acquired knowledge into practice: Case studies /Activities
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- Better understanding of FGM, the social and cultural context in the UK
- Better understanding of FGM practices and its complications
- Mental health issues related to FGM
- Increased knowledge of the UK law, safeguarding policies and challenges
- Improved knowledge of how to identify girls at risk
- Gain insights on appropriate responses to safeguarding at risk girls
- Explore practical issues and strategies for working with communities and multi-agencies