Carlene Firmin

Dr Carlene Firmin MBE is a senior research fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, where she leads their work on peer-on-peer abuse and exploitation and heads the work of the MsUnderstood partnership.

Carlene’s work is concerned with safeguarding young people, social justice and inequality, with a particular expertise in the field of violence and abuse between young people. She has a particular interest in building ‘contextual’ accounts of safeguarding issues, drawing attention to the social and cultural contexts in which violence and abuse occurs. Carlene also acts as a consultant to local authorities and voluntary sector organisations developing responses to adolescent safeguarding, and seeks to co-create knowledge with practitioners and young people wherever possible.

Prior to joining the university Carlene was the principal policy advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups, assistant director of policy and research at children’s charity Barnardo’s,and for five years researched the impact of criminal gangs on women and girls, at the charity Race on the Agenda.

Carlene sits on a number of national and Pan-London advisory groups including the London Crime Reduction Board Gangs Panel, the Mayor’s violence against women and girls Panel, the Crown Prosecution Service violence against women and girls scrutiny panel and the Transport for London safeguarding board, and is a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust. Carlene was featured in Glamour Magazines 35 most powerful women under 35 in 2011, the Black Powerlist 2014, received a London Peace Award in 2008, and in 2011 was awarded an MBE for services to Women and Girls Issues.

All posts by Carlene Firmin

Contextual safeguarding: key considerations for applying the approach

Learn how the contextual safeguarding approach was developed, how it has been applied to date and how you might use it in your own practice.

Facilitator guidance for CPD session: responding to peer-on-peer sexual exploitation

Learn as a group: CSE – responding to peer-on-peer sexual exploitation

Using a composite case study, the interactice CPD session guides you through how to build a ‘contextual’ response to peer-on-peer exploitation