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Sacpa webinar: Cuckooing

28 June @ 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Course content:

This webinar examines the issue of cuckooing and explores the link between cuckooing and serious organised crime, in particular County Lines Methodology. A complex, problematic issue which is often misunderstood or viewed through a narrow lens, this webinar examines why cuckooing must be explored in the context of safeguarding and child protection and is therefore important learning for anyone who works to safeguard and support children, young people and vulnerable adults. Cuckooing targets the vulnerable and increases the likelihood of exposure to other forms of violence and abuse.

Training topics include:

  • What is cuckooing?
  • How is cuckooing linked to County Lines and other serious organised crime models?
  • What are the indicators of cuckooing activity?
  • Who is vulnerable to cuckooing?
  • Why do we need to consider cuckooing in the context of child protection?
  • What are the risks and harms commonly experienced by children and adults in a cuckooed context?
  • What are the typologies of cuckooing and how do they impact on children, young people and vulnerable adults?
  • How does adopting a public health approach provide an effective response to this issue?

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of the course delegates will:

  • Have a comprehensive understanding of this complex issue and be able to understand and explain the often-inextricable links between cuckooing and county lines
  • Understand why cuckooing must always be explored in the context of child protection
  • Understand why cuckooing requires a multi-agency, public health approach as opposed by a police-led response
  • Feel more confident to talk to people about cuckooing and the associated risks and harms.


  • All practitioners working with children, young people or vulnerable adults, DSL/DSO, DDSL, Safeguarding Manager/Lead.


  • Member rate: £60
  • Member rate (additional attendee): £15
  • Non-member rate: £120*
*If you would like to become a member and access discounted rates for Sacpa CPD and events, please click here.

Trainer: Nikki Holmes, Founder, Safer Together

After graduating with a degree in Criminology and Psychology, Nikki began her career as a police officer with West Midlands Police where she enjoyed a variety of different roles. This is where her passion for working with and supporting vulnerable young people began. In 2008, and in response to increases in youth violence in Coventry, she wrote and co-produced with young people “Get My Point” a piece of youth drama which successfully contributed to the reduction in weapon assisted crime. This work saw her presented with a Chief Constable’s Commendation.

However, it was Nikki became an Offender Manager working with some of the most prolific and complex young offenders that she identified that most, if not all of children and young people known to the Criminal Justice System, had a variety of vulnerabilities and unmet need. The recognition of the victim offender overlap resulted in a career change, moving from policing into the field of substance misuse.

As the service manager of a young person’s substance misuse service in Warwickshire, Nikki developed a number of pathways to improve service provision and support for children who were not actively misusing substances themselves, but were nonetheless impacted by substance misuse due to having a parent or sibling with a substance dependency. This work was recognised by the Care Quality Commission as being innovative practice which should be replicated nationally.

Nikki went on to work for the Care Quality Commission in 2017 as a Children’s Services Inspector. In this role, she contributed to and led a number of national reviews, such as Children Looked After and Safeguarding (CLAS) reviews, Joint Targeted Area Inspections (JTAI’s) and Local Area Special Educational Needs and Disability Inspections (LA SENDs). She also lent her expertise in the fields of Safeguarding and SEND to develop a number of thematic reviews such as the Control and Restraint in Children’s Home review which is awaiting publication. She remains a bank inspector for the commission.

In 2020 Nikki founded and launched Safer Together, her own training and consultancy enterprise. Safer Together was commissioned in September by Coventry and Warwickshire CCG and Coventry Local Authority Public Health to lead on a Child Exploitation Project on their behalf. Safer Together recognises the challenges associated with navigating the current complexities of the safeguarding landscape and is on hand to support statutory and non-statutory organisations with any aspect of training and consultancy related to child safeguarding and SEND.


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28 June
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
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