The award is presented to clinical psychologists who have shown significant skill within five years of qualifying. Dr Farooq was presented with her award at the Division of Clinical Psychology’s Faculty for Children, Young People and their Families at their annual conference yesterday.
Dr Farooq received the award for her community-based therapeutic service in Rotherham for children and young people at risk of, or currently subject to, sexual exploitation. The service was developed following the abuse scandal in 2014.
“I was honoured to learn that I had been nominated for the award, but also genuinely very surprised,” said Dr Farooq, who joined NSFT last year.
It is great to be recognised by the BPS, especially so early on in my career, but I genuinely feel the work I did would not have been possible without the commitment of the children, young people, their families and the community in Rotherham.
We recognised that traditional services were not accessible to the most vulnerable, particularly those from ethnically diverse communities. As a result, we brought together ideas from community psychology and detached youth work to engage vulnerable children and young people where they were at, which sometimes meant meeting them on street corners and parks, which helped us to engage with them much more successfully. The fact that the BPS has recognised this work is really gratifying as it shows there is a new focus on tackling child sexual exploitation.
I decided to move to Norfolk because it is one of the first areas to highlight harmful sexual behaviour as a priority. There are a lot of issues around peer-on-peer exploitation and sibling-on-sibling abuse in the county, but there is also a real desire to tackle those issues. I was really keen to be part of that and help make a difference to these highly vulnerable young people.”