Strategic Advisory Groups

Strategic Advisory Groups

Secretariat provided by the Department for Education and The Victoria Climbié Foundation UK ( 2014 - 2017)

The National Working Group is a multi-agency response to child abuse linked to faith or belief; comprising representatives from statutory, voluntary, community and faith organisations, as well as individuals with specialist knowledge or expertise, committed to the implementation of a national action plan to ensure this type of abuse is not overlooked within child protection.

Terms of Reference:

The group’s overarching purpose is to improve the national and local response to children at risk, or already being harmed through links to spirit possession, faith or belief. The National Working Group has a strategic role in achieving this, providing consistent high quality responses to child abuse linked to faith or belief, including raising awareness and prevention.

Latest terms of reference, including list of current members, is available – on request


The National Working Group members must be a representative of a charity, or community interest group, a limited company or public sector service, or an individual – where the organisation or individual is currently providing a service, or has recognised expertise, related to child abuse linked to a belief in witchcraft or spirit possession.


2016: An Exploration of Child Abuse linked to Faith or Belief – Manchester Metropolitan University, VCF, CCPAS

2014: Training DVD for frontline professionals working with children – MPS

2012: Pull, B. Child Witches and Trafficking – CCPAS

2012: A Rapid Literature Review on evidence of child abuse linked to faith or belief – Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre | DfE

2012: DfE Press Release: Action plan to stop child abuse in the name of faith or belief

2012: DfE National action plan to tackle abuse linked to faith or belief | Summary

2011: Safeguarding Children’s Rights Initiative – Centre for Social Work Research | Trust for London

2006: Child Abuse linked to Accusations of ‘Possession’ and ‘Witchcraft’ – Eleanor Stobart | DfES