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Childhub blog

Serious simulation games for further education of professionals at Kent University

Hello, from the Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent.

This blog is to tell you about the Centre and the innovative approach to teaching and learning myself, Professor David Shemmings and the team have pioneered here in the UK


Professor Jane Reeves                                  Professor David Shemmings                            Vanisha Jassall & Tracee Green

The Centre was launched in 2012 and this Blog will introduce you to the innovative work that the Centre has developed into the use of serious game simulations to upskill professionals into dealing with complex and difficult aspects of child protection practice, but also to help children and young people protect themselves, in particular, from online and face-to-face grooming.  We also run a successful distance learning MA in Advanced Child Protection (now in its 5th year) which trains child protection practitioners from all over the world in excellence in child protection practice, theory and research.  We literally have students from all over the world studying with us, online, from their own countries.


A further part of our success has been our approach to teaching and learning in the complex and difficult topics of child protection.

Professor Shemmings and I wanted, not only to modernise training approaches in child protection but to ensure any approach we developed was impactful, research informed and sustainable. Consequently, after a year of research and going to visit organisations where pilots, shop assistants and Doctors were trained, as well as learning from new and exciting approaches in gaming technology, we developed ‘Rosie 1’, an immersive simulation in child protection training for professionals.  ‘Rosie 1’ gave practitioners the opportunity to ‘virtually’ go on a section 47 statutory home visit to a young girl following a referral from her nursery.  The ‘player’ is offered the opportunity to make conversational choices with the family in this ‘game’, overcome an appearance from a snake, explore the environment and ultimately safeguard Rosie.

This simulation was so successful many others have followed, details of which are below.

Put simply, what we do is take complex child protection issues, consult and work in partnership with experts, review closely the research and then turn all of this information into interactive, immersive child protection simulations for professionals and young people.

The ‘magic’ is in the teaching and learning elements we build into the simulations – all designed to keep the ‘player’ or learner on track with the topic, the story, the characters and the key messages we want to get across. Technological sophistication has enabled us to progress significantly in the development of the teaching and learning approaches we now include, which help embed learning and retain key messages.

Following ‘Rosie 1’, many more simulations have followed.


‘Rosie 2’ for professionals on neglect and complexity.  Uses avatars as characters in a 13 scene home visit.  Includes tackling the issues of professional home visits, thresholds for intervention, the perspective of the child, mentalisation and attachment, disguised compliance and professional over-optimism. You as the child protection professional have to assess the outcomes for the children in the family.

IIndividual licence for a year £200 plus VAT.  Single trainer package for use by one trainer in one organisation for use 20 times in 12 months: £750.  Group trainer for 5 trainers within an organisation each using it 12x in 12 months: £2500.  In English with English sub-titles

‘MyCourtroom: Rosie’s family go to court’ has been developed in partnership with Cafcass in the UK and is a continuation of the ‘Rosie’ simulation series.  It has a direct work scene and interactive courtroom for use by professionals and young people as well as depicting how professionals prepare and give evidence in court. It follows Rosie and her family through public and private court proceedings and makes decisions on Rosie and her twin siblings and baby brother. 

‘Individual attendance at the training session in UK £199 (concessions available).  Single trainer package for use by one trainer in one organisation for use 20 times in 12 months: £750.  Group trainer for 5 trainers within an organisation each using it 12x in 12 months: £2500.  Uses Avatars, in English with English sub-titles.


‘Zak’ developed with Kent Country Council and Kent police, on radicalisation – versions for young people and professionals.  Winner of the Chief Constables Commendation Award 2015.  Social media format.

Contact CCP for individual and group training prices across Europe/world.

UK training & annual licence £199. We would be happy to work with training ‘champions’ across Europe to host training events.  Contact to discuss this.

‘Looking out for Lottie’ is about the grooming of a young girl by her ‘boyfriend’ for the purposes of child sexual exploitation.  Follow Lottie’s story and spot how she is groomed and discuss with young people how to prevent this.  Also take a look at Jake and see why he becomes a groomer. Versions for professionals and for professionals to work with young people.  Winner of the Guardian Award for Digital Innovation 2016.  Social media format in English.

Contact CCP for individual and group training prices across Europe/world

UK training and annual licence £199.  We would be happy to work with training ‘champions’ across Europe to host training events.  Contact to discuss this.



‘Behind Closed Doors’ on the grooming for radicalisation of three girls to travel to Syria, and a young man groomed for a far right organisation by a female groomer.  Social media format using national and international stories from Sky and BBC News 24 on hate crime, Charlie Hebdo attacks, Bethnal Green girls, Paris attacks and the Swedish attacks.

Contact CCP for individual and group training prices across Europe/world and to express your interest in this forthcoming simulation.


Our simulations are used all over the UK and internationally and are written/recorded in English.  Information on these simulations can be obtained from the link below

If you are in the UK and would like to be trained to use any of the simulations we run regular training - details of which and the cost can be accessed here

If you are based across the world and would like to talk to us about accessing our simulations or our MA in Advanced Child Protection and would like to talk to us about cost please contact us on

January 2017

Hello readers! It has been a while. We hope you have had good holidays and that you are back at work with full swing. We have been quite busy in this period finishing the now ready child participation e-course! The other language versions should be ready by end of February. Another course on supervision will be available soon! With these courses ChildHub has finally introduced its own e-learnings! There will be two more courses coming online: one you have already seen, the multi-dsiciplinary child protection course developed by Tdh in Albania - will be available in English as well as other languages. And, last but not least we are working on an e-course on promoting participatory practice for children affected by sexual violence. Please stay tuned for more news on this!

This is not all! We would like to highlight two new functionalities of the ChildHub that you will surely find useful and interesting:

1. you can now subscribe to a sort of "rss feed": on your profile page you can click in the topics you are interested in, and if we are uploading new content in those topics, you will be notified. This way you do not need to come back and check each tim,e but we will let you know directly.

2. We now have a directory of organisations: we invite all of you to suggest your organisation which we can then publish with a logo. This way all the news, documents, events, and other items your organisation has will be linked to this profile and you can promote your organsiation on ChildHub. Please go to CONNECT and click on Organisational Directory

What's next? We have just conducted a mid-term review of the project, having asked close to 200 people in the 8 countries about their opinion and feedback. We received very useful comments and proposals and we will work on them this year.

Have a wonderful 2017 and we hope to see you on- and offline as well!

October Updates

This month the biggest news on ChildHub is the launch of our game where you can become Children's Ambassador for a day and try how you can make decisions for the world's children! The game is being promoted on facebook and we hope to attract new users - as well as engage our current registered users more!

What's even better is that by playing the game you are helping a soon-to-be selected project to get funding to assist marginalised children: for each game-play, Terre des hommes will be donating EUR 1 to a project. Which project? The call for applications will be out next week, and then you, the readers and players will have a chance to choose the winning project!

We welcome your feedback. How do you like the game?

We have also introduced a system you may already be familiar with on Linked-in: you can endorse your colleagues or fellow professionals for a specific skill or another: if you think that your colleague has specific skills, you can choose from a list and testify that this colleague has experience in those subjects. You can help your colleagues building their credibility and profile through endorsement, while you are collecting points.

Probably the change with the biggest impact however is our system, whereby you can get automatic alerts on your e-mail if there is new content on our website in a given topic. Let's say you are only interested in news and resources related to the refugee crisis: on your profile you can choose this topic, and then you will get e-mails (maximum daily) when new content is uploaded with this topic. This will hopefull ease your work, as you don't have to search for things but it will come straight to your e-mail.

Do you have an idea for improvement? Please write to us!


Looking to use your language skills for a good cause? – We are Recruiting Virtual Translators!

To extend the Child Protection Hub reach and make a greater impact in the South East Europe region, we are currently recruiting volunteer translators to translate content from English into the following languages:  Serbia/Croatian/Bosnian, Romanian, Hungarian, Albanian, Bulgarian and Russian.

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering with Child Protection Hub/Terre des hommes can provide you with a unique opportunity to further develop your work experience and skills by dedicating a few hours per week to help translate and disseminate existing English content in other languages. By doing so, you can become part of the professional child protection community and connect with others with similar interests. Exposure to child protection topics while you volunteer will increase your overall knowledge in this field and in the South East Europe region. You will also significantly help child protection professionals to better serve their communities by providing them with access to information in their local languages.  Additionally, you will receive a certificate in recognition of your volunteership. 

Content you will translate

The Child Protection Hub covers an array of topics and you have the liberty to choose those that interest you most based on your time commitment and interests.  These are some of the types of content in need of translation:

  • Research summaries (ranging from 1-100 pages)
  • Infographics
  • Animated videos and subtitles
  • Short news
  • Website features

Join our international volunteers

Be part of our international team of volunteers. Current volunteers are located in Europe, Canada and the US. We also work with student volunteers from Oxford University, Central European University and York University. Take advantage of this exciting opportunity and join us.

Contact us to begin making a difference!

Please click here to see the full description of the vacancy and apply.

We look forward to working with you!


End of Summer

It is almost September now, people are spending their last days on vacation - many are already back. At ChildHub we also took a break, but we are back in full force!

What's new?

1.We hope you have noticed, now, if you do some actions for which you get points or badges, you get the feedback instantly in a separate pop-up. Do you like it? We do! We were thinking of giving these diferent characters a name. Do you have any suggestions? We are happy to open a competition for names!

2. We heard you: due to the current pre-occupation of Europe with refugees, our news stream has been flooded with related articles: while we wish to continue reporting on this, we will now display these news under the highlight page 'refugee crisis', while the general news will feature more child protection related activities.

3. Did you know? If you are the author of a publication we feature, you can now identiy it as your product by clicking the button "Link me as the author of this resource". The administrator will be notified and if all goes well, your personal profile on ChildHub will be linked with the document - and the document will appear on your personal profile page.

4. For the last quarter of the year ChildHub is planning to organise exchange visits to four pre-defined locations to allow professionals to learn about a good practice from first experience. Look out for details in the next weeks!

Hope your transition back to work is going well and we are always delighted to hear from you. Write to us!

Childhub: July update

It is the middle of Summer, most people are on holiday, half of the addressees of the Newsletters have out-of-office replies. And it is good like this: everybody needs a break from work and have time with family!

Our office however is still going strong. We have just introduced gamification to the website: there are little characters that speak to you, ask you to do things, or congratulate you for having contributed. You can see who is on the website at that moment, what they are doing, and you can see how many points you have collected, compared to others. On your profile, you can see your points in detail and badges you have collected.

We have worked on this hard: to develop the concept and then to programme it, and there are still things to finish, like some translations, for example. It is our first experience of gamifying the website, and it looks like it is also the first gamified website for child protection professionals. Therefore, we strongly need to hear your feedback.  How do you like the new features? Which character is your favourite? What do you find the most attractive? Does it help you to go through the website?  What would you recommendto change?  Please share your ideas, recommendations!

Then, if you are on holiday, check out our film recommendations: on our facebook page we publish a film recommendation every Friday. These are always related to children’s issues: child development, family life and family problems, growing up, etc. Still,  they are mainstream films, entertaining, good for the weekend.

And... don’t forget to have fun and relax! Have a great summer and we hope to see you back in September! We are planning exciting new things for you!

This project is funded by: