We believe parents and carers are, and should be valued as partners in safeguarding children from exploitation outside the family.
Our vision is to work in partnership with parents to end child exploitation.
We believe in the strength of families and are committed to amplifying the voice of parents by providing support that recognises the impact of trauma.
We respect the right of every child in every family to be able to grow up safely and free from exploitation.
We are dedicated to working alongside parents and families to ensure that systems for protecting their children from harm are fit for purpose.
We believe parents and carers should be valued as key partners in safeguarding children from exploitation. We set out to:
- Support parents and carers through the trauma caused by exploiters of child exploitation.
- Provide parents and carers with knowledge to support them to keep their children safe from exploitation.
- Facilitate parents and carers in communicating their intrinsic role in safeguarding children against exploitation by opening up the channels to voice their experience, role and knowledge.
- Enable parents and carers to be active and respected partners with other agencies in combating child exploitation.
- Work with parents and partners to disrupt and bring exploiters to justice.
- Collate evidence and undertake research in order to influence policy and practice.
- Challenge and change public attitudes on child sexual and criminal exploitation and the role of families.
- Sustain long term change by training partners in the active role of parents and carers safeguarding their children.
Ivison Trust was founded over 25 years ago through the compassion and courage of parents and their unflinching determination to keep children safe from exploitation.
CROP, as we were originally known, was founded in 1996 by Irene Ivison and a number of parents following the murder of Irene’s 17-year-old daughter Fiona. When she was 14 years old, Fiona was groomed and sexually exploited. Irene was devastated about what was happening to her daughter and spent three years asking social services to help remove Fiona from her exploiter. Their view at the time was that Fiona was making her own choices, and it was not viewed as the exploitation and manipulation of a vulnerable child. When Fiona was 17, she was coerced into prostitution by her exploiters. Three weeks after she was forced into prostitution, Fiona was murdered by a man she had been coerced into having sex with.
The man who killed Fiona received a life sentence, but the exploiters who groomed and coerced her into prostitution walked free. It was these twin agency failures – the inability of the social services to intervene and the refusal of the criminal justice system to recognise the exploiter’s role in Fiona’s death – which propelled Irene to set up CROP.
Irene and the founding trustees were pioneers in ensuring the lived experiences of affected parents were heard for the first time. Very sadly Irene died after complications from a routine operation in 2000, just four years after CROP was established. But her influence on government policy was clear. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair thanked her posthumously for her contribution in highlighting that children exploited through prostitution are victims of sexual abuse, and her recommendations informed the Sexual Offences review (2003) and National Plan to Prevent Sexual Exploitation of Children.
CROP became Pace in 2013 and the following decade saw the expansion of our partnerships with local authorities providing specialist parent workers for affected families, the development of our national training programme and the growth of our national support service for affected parents and carers.
In honour of Irene Ivison and her pioneering vision we hope our new name Ivison Trust will support our ambitions to reach more children and families whilst holding firmly that golden thread of compassion and belief that children deserve to be free from exploitation.