The free-to-access resources on this website – consisting the Mr Shapeshifter animation with three supporting activities – were all commissioned by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
The free resource is specifically designed to help 9-11 year old children, parents and carers to discuss the issues raised by the animation and to provide essential information and support. It is also designed to help and support children living, learning or being cared for in different, unconventional and complex settings and situations, and the adults caring for and supporting them.
It is designed to function as a simple awareness raising and engagement tool for children and adults. It is not a training or education package in itself but it could support both. It is essential therefore that any local authorities, professionals and agencies linking children and adults to this website make this absolutely clear and also provide information on local CSA/CSE support to ensure people do not watch the animation in isolation.
The purpose of the free resource is simple and straightforward: to bring adults and children together to watch the animation and to then engage in a positive and pro-active dialogue, in which they can share concerns, fears and questions and look at how these can be addressed by working together. The key and abiding principle is to get children and adults talking and listening to each other about these complex issues.
In some families and settings this will serve to focus and enhance any dialogue which has already taken place. In others the resource will introduce key safeguarding and self-protection messages to children for the first time. Either way it provides an excellent and positive intervention.
The free-to-access resource will continue to evolve and develop. We are exploring ways in which it could grow and be adapted to reach very vulnerable and at risk children, as well as those with very different and specific emotional and learning needs. There are also plans being made for a Mr Shapeshifter online app, which could further empower children to recognise, report and disclose CSE/CSA by becoming an essential tool to help manage and support their online lives.
This is the beginning and not the end of a journey. We are breaking new ground by opening up the capacity to reach and engage with children, staff, governors, parents, carers, families and people in wider communities. This approach will lead to increased rates of earlier detection, recognition and disclosure. It will also offer significant potential to gather more focussed information, recording and intelligence, which could be used to track, address and tackle complex county lines issues.
This is a first. A theatre company working together with local authorities, a Police and Crime Commissioner, with safeguarding professionals and with children, families, schools and communities – using creativity as a positive force and a driver for social change and child protection. A regional approach with national significance.
1: Watch Mr Shapeshifter
Watch the animation together.
2: Keeping Safe from Shapeshifters
An activity for children and adults together
3: My Safety Poster
An activity just for children
Print it off and stick it on your wall
4: Be the Protector
Information just for adults
Print off and keep in a safe place