9 Oct 2018
Islington has launched a new guide to help professionals identify children who are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Islington FGM Risk Assessment Tool, a 12-page workbook, will enable people working in the NHS, schools, education, police and children’s services to identify and assess the risks of FGM.
It can be used to identify and help children at risk of being abused through FGM; children who may have been subjected to FGM; and women with FGM.
The risk assessment tool, produced in partnership by Manor Gardens Welfare Trust and Islington Council, was launched on 8th October in Islington to an audience of local professionals.
Leyla Hussein, one of Britain’s most prominent FGM campaigners and founder of the Dahlia project, spoke at the launch. She said: "The new Risk Assessment Tool is a much-needed resource for professionals. For too long girls at risk have been let down and not given the support they need. Going forwards I hope this tool gives those who are in position to take action and prevent FGM the knowledge and confidence to do so."
Rosalind Jerram, FGM Programme Manager at Manor Gardens Welfare Trust, said: "Whilst many professionals in Islington know what FGM is, we realize from our own experience that actually having the confidence and knowledge to ask the right questions can be difficult.
"This Tool (adapted from one already in use in Croydon) will now be available to help professionals have the knowledge and confidence to investigate risk and also to enhance their existing knowledge of FGM. It is a very practical document designed to be used to help initiate a conversation around FGM whilst also providing additional background questions to enable the professional to build a whole picture around the needs of the child and also their family."
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Islington Council’s executive member for community development, said: “FGM is a crime – it is abuse and all forms of violence against women and girls are completely unacceptable. This excellent, simple new risk assessment guide will help professionals on the frontline identify and help children and women at risk of FGM, or who have already been subjected to FGM. “We’re committed to creating a borough where no form of abuse is tolerated, and where people affected can get the help they need.”
The guide is based on best practice to help professionals across a wide range of public services to best help those at risk of FGM, and those who have already undergone FGM. Professionals in Islington who would like a copy of the FGM Risk Assessment Tool can see www.islington.gov.uk/vawg.