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Practitioner & Volunteers

Child Sexual Exploitation

 Child Sexual Exploitation – Information for Professionals

New definition of Child Sexual Exploitation now included in Working Together 2015

After consultation the government have agreed the following definition:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. (Working Together 2015 p93)

The Deaprtment of Education has produced new Child Sexual Expolitation guidance  in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire and Research In Practice, the full document is also available here

The young person may think that their abuser is their friend, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend.
However they will put them into dangerous situations, forcing the young person to do things they don’t want to do.

It may appear that the young person is making their own choices and ‘placing themselves at risk’, however in reality they are likely to have been groomed into making these decisions. CSE is not the victim’s fault, and a child or young person cannot consent to their own abuse.

Professionals hold a vital role in the identification, prevention and disruption of CSE, as well as in safeguarding the young people involved.

CSE can happen to any young person, regardless of gender, sexuality, background or ethnicity. However, research has shown that particular groups of young people are especially vulnerable…

  • Looked After Young People
  • Young people with unstable or chaotic homes (e.g. Domestic Violence, Young Carers, parents with substance misuse issues)
  • Young People who have substance misuse issues
  • Young people who do not attend school (exclusions, missing in education, truancy, part-time timetables)
  • Those young people with vulnerable friendship groups (bully, victim of bullying, isolation from friends, friends with other young people at risk of CSE)
  • Young people with a history of sexual or physical abuse, or neglect
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) young people exploring their sexuality in an unsupported way (e.g. chat rooms, social networking)
  • Young people with learning difficulties and disabilities

Some key indicators that a young person may be at risk of, or experiencing CSE are listed below…

  • Missing from home or care
  • History of neglect/ abuse/ domestic violence
  • Substance misuse/ Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Low self esteem/ self harming/ mental health concerns
  • Inappropriate friendships with adults/ older teenagers
  • Unexplained money or possessions
  • Truancy/ Exclusions/ Missing from Education
  • Secretive or extensive use of the mobile phone/ internet
  • Unexplained injuries or sexually transmitted infections
  • Sudden changes in behaviour/ appearance/ friends
  • Older boyfriend/ older female friend
  • Talking about visiting different places/ being in cars
  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol

If you are concerned about a young person who may be being sexually exploited, please contact Solihull CSE Team cse@solihull.gcsx.gov.uk or Children’s Social Work Services on 0121 788 4333 (Monday- Thursday 8.45am- 5.20pm, Friday 8.45am-4.30pm) or out of hours Emergency Duty Team 0121 605 6060

If your concern is about a child in immediate danger, please ring Police on 999.

"Say Something" is a 24/7, anonymous helpline, that creates space for young people to share any worries they have about themselves or their friends and will provide support to help them keep safe.

Call or text 116000

Facebook: /SaySomething

Twitter: @SaySomethingIf 

One of the biggest threats facing policing today when tackling CSE is the large scale of cyber enabled abuse where victims have been groomed and abused through the use of social media applications (apps).  There are currently thousands of apps being used with developers creating new ones every day.  As a result, West Midlands Police have created a social media record  of those that have been linked to CSE.

The spread sheet consists of 5 columns:

1.   NAME – the name of the app

2.   DESCRIPTION – a brief description of the app

3.   CATEGORY – the apps currently in the library are categorised as either CONTENT SHARING, DATING, GAMING or MESSAGING

4.   WEBSITE – a link to the apps official website, and

5.   DATE ADDED – the date the app was identified and added to the library.  This will serve the purpose of helping to identify new and emerging apps.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  It is not a list of all social media apps, but merely a list of all apps that have been identified as being linked to the commissioning of CSE at a point in time. This library should be treated as a living document and will be updated when new apps are identified.

Information of the Assessment of CSE across the West Midlands for April-June 2017 can be found here and here.

Below are links to procedures and documents which will form part of your safeguarding response to CSE…

  • Solihull CSE strategy is available here
  • Solihull LSCB provides full safeguarding procedures relating specifically to CSE
  • The procedures include links to the following documents…
    • CSE Screening Tool
    • Pathway for Action CSE
    • MASE (Multi-Agency Child Sexual Exploitation) Meeting Agenda’s – Initial and Review
    • CSE Risk Assessment for completion within MASE meetings
    • Referral form for CSE Team Specialist Worker

Resources for supporting young people experiencing or at risk of CSE…..

  • Solihull MBC have developed resource packs to support professionals in carrying out relationships education and prevention work around CSE with primary and secondary aged children and young people. 
  • Barnardos have created a leaflet for young people explaining more about Child Sexual exploitation
  • Birmingham & Solihull’s Umberella service has some useful information about Child Sexual Exploitation, and can be contacted to discuss sexual health concerns. Opening times for sexual health clinics are also available on the Website
  • Barnardos have developed an app which can be downloaded for free which helps you to consider safe choices relating to relationships and Child Sexual Exploitation."Wud U?" can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play or by visiting Barnardos website

For further resources for supporting young people experiencing or at risk of CSE, please click on the Child Sexual Exploitation – Information for Children and Young People section

For resources for supporting Parents or Carers please click on the Child Sexual Exploitation – information for parents or carers section of the website. There is a free interactive education tool for parents/ carers available here

Useful information and Reports for Professionals…

Modern Slavery & Trafficking 

The organised crime of child trafficking into and within the UK has become an issue of grave concern to all professionals with responsibility for the care and protection of children, as victims are coerced, deceived or forced into the control of others who seek to profit from their exploitation and suffering. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 makes provision about slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour and about human trafficking, including provision for the protection of victims. There is Victims of modern slavery- frontline staff guidance and guidance aimed at nursing staff which could be useful to others.