Child exploitation comes in many different forms, including: forcing children to carry out crime, gang-related activity, sexual exploitation, trafficking, modern day slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and recruitment into broader criminality.
Child Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.
Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources (UK National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People).
Safeguarding Children and Young People From Sexual Exploitation
West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures has a page dedicated to Child Sexual Exploitation. It provides information about child sexual exploitation, the roles and responsibilities of relevant agencies and the procedures practitioners should follow to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people whom it is suspected have been sexually exploited or are at risk of sexual exploitation.
Key facts about CSE
- It affects both girls and boys and can happen in all communities.
- Any young person can be targeted but there are some particularly vulnerable groups: Looked After Children, Children Leaving Care and Children with Disabilities.
- Victims of CSE may also be trafficked (locally, nationally and internationally).
- Over 70% of adults involved in prostitution were sexually exploited as children or teenagers.
- Sexual violence or abuse against children represents a major public health and social welfare problem within UK society, affecting 16% of children under 16. That is approximately 2 million children.
Child Sexual Exploitation Pathway
This is the new Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) pathway which includes access to a CSE screening tool to support professionals in evaluating the level of concern at a very early stage. This information can then be used to focus discussion with staff at the Access Centre and to support decision making about the appropriate response.
- Appropriate Language: Child Sexual and/or Criminal Exploitation Guidance For Professionals (CSE Police and Prevention website, opens in a new window)
- Child Sexual Exploitation: Definition and a guide for practitioners (GOV.UK website, opens in a new window)
- Child Sexual Exploitation – Identification Tool
- Worcestershire Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy and Action Plan 2017 to 2019
- WSCB Multi-agency Child Sexual Exploitation Pathway
- Child Sexual Exploitation Self-Assessment 2019
Making a referral
The Local Authority has a duty to make enquiries where a child may be suffering harm or neglect. If you think that a child may be at risk then you can let us know via the referral form linked below.
- Barnardo’s spot the signs: Advice for parents, professionals and young people on the signs of sexual exploitation and how to keep safe
- Department for Education (Gov.uk) National Action Plan for Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation
- Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation pace is the leading national charity working with parents and carers whose children are sexually exploited
- NSPCC definitions, statistics, facts and resources about CSE.
- NWG Network: Fighting against CSE and working to inform, educate and prevent child sexual abuse within the UK.
Spotting The Signs of Child Sexual Exploitation
a 15 minute YouTube clip from Health Education England