Children and young people may be vulnerable to exploitation from within their family and from individuals they come across in their day-to-day lives. These threats can take a variety of different forms, including parents or carers encouraging children to sell drugs and other commodities for financial gain or exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups; trafficking; online abuse; sexual exploitation and the influences of extremism leading to radicalisation.
Children who are exploited can be vulnerable because of chaotic or traumatic experiences in their lives, making them targets for perpetrators, gangs and networks. However, it can happen to anyone and perpetrators use a variety of means to coerce & control their victims. Children do not sometimes realise or feel that they are being exploited.
Definition of Child Sexual Exploitation
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.(DfE 2017).
Definition of Child Criminal Exploitation
Child Criminal Exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of a person under the age of 18 and may coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under that age into any 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 and/or (c) Through violence or the threat of violence. The victim may be exploited even if the activity appears consensual (i.e. moving drugs or the proceeds of drugs from one place to another). Child Criminal Exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology. (Home Office 2018)
Pan-Cheshire approach to tackling Child Exploitation
Halton adopts a Contextual Safeguarding approach to practice and this is supported at a Pan Cheshire level. As a result some titles on existing documentation have changed such as the Child Exploitation Screening and Assessment Tool which are now referred to as Contextual Safeguarding Screening and Assessment Tools.
Where child exploitation, or the risk of it, is suspected, frontline practitioners should complete the Pan Cheshire Contextual Safeguarding Screening Tool. The screening tool should be sent to the Halton’s front door iCART. They will review all information and a multi-agency decision on level risk will be made and actions agreed. If the child is an open case then a request would go to the lead professional to complete the Contextual Safeguarding Assessment tool. If the child is not known a decision on the best placed practitioner to complete the risk assessment tool will be made.
If you have concerns about individuals that could be exploiting children or locations where exploitation maybe occurring (be that a physical or online location) then please complete the Contextual Safeguarding Operational Group Information Form.
**Please note that in the ’ subject line’ of your email when sending this form into the [email protected] you must include the following – ‘Halton High’ in the text on that subject line.
Contextual Safeguarding Operational Group (CSOG)
This group brings together practitioners including Practice Leads, Case Managers, Service Managers Children Services, Police Criminal Exploitation/CSE and PVP Officers, Police OCG Officers, Education Officers and Health Workers-Safeguarding. Leads share information and risk analysis on identified cases to identify connectivity, themes and trends to enable the group to identify further action that could be undertaken. The work / responsibility of this group does not replace the role of the child protection conference or core group process and procedure. It can add value and make recommendations for consideration.
- Contextual Safeguarding Assessment Tool
- Pan Cheshire Children’s Contextual Safeguarding Strategy 2021-2023
- Pan Cheshire Contextual Safeguarding/Child Exploitation Pathway (2019)
- Peer Assessment Template
- Vulnerability Factors
- Child exploitation disruption toolkit
- National County Lines Coordination Centre County Lines Awareness Video – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3yY_GgyH6-cIM9DPY7JUpw
- Tackling child exploitation resources pack – https://www.local.gov.uk/publications/tackling-child-exploitation-resources-pack
- Salvation Army – national contact point for support for victims.
- Medaille Trust – following reasonable grounds can support via the Salvation Army – providing safe housing, staff to support on ABEs
- Believe in children Barnardo’s – https://www.barnardos.org.uk/resources-help-identify-and-engage-young-people-risk-sexual-abuse-and-exploitation
- NSPCC- https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/child-sexual-exploitation/
- NSPCC- https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/gangs-criminal-exploitation
- NSPCC National Child Trafficking Advice Centre: Protecting children from trafficking and modern slavery | NSPCC Learning
- CEOP- https://www.ceop.police.uk/Safety-Centre/
- Fearless- https://www.fearless.org/en/professionals/resources/cse
- The Children’s Society- https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/our-work/child-criminal-exploitation-and-county-lines
- Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan
- Step by Step Guide for Practitioners
- NHS Advice for Healthcare Staff
- CSE Z-Card – CSE Safeguarding Practitioner Guide
- Pan Cheshire CSE Leaflets and Posters – CSE Teenage Posters, CSE Teenagers information card
- Parents and Carers Child Sexual Exploitation Advice and Guidance
- https://keepthemsafe.safeguardingchildrenea.co.uk/ – free e-learning for parents and carers that explains how to identify the signs of CSE and protect children. This course has been designed by Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation (Pace)
- SWGfL and The Marie Collins Foundation -The Harmful Sexual Behaviour support service has been provided in response to the concern of harmful sexual behaviour within schools. As well as this, to support professionals with advice and guidance around handling these types of incidents. https://swgfl.org.uk/magazine/new-harmful-sexual-behaviour-support-service-launched/
- Safecall – confidential advice phone line run by the Missing People charity: Support for professionals – Missing People
- Stop The Traffik – Human trafficking charity – The STOP APP – Report Human Trafficking – STOP THE TRAFFIK
- Catch 22 provide a rescue and response service – this would be limited to young people from GMP/Merseyside/West Mids/London who turn up in Cheshire: CATCH22 Rescue Poster.jpg (3508×4961) (sharepoint.com) CATCH22 Support Poster.jpg (3508×4961) (sharepoint.com)
- Victim Support – Children and young people – Victim Support
- Young Minds (mental health support) – YoungMinds | Mental Health Charity For Children And Young People | YoungMinds
- The Mix – Support for young people – The Mix – Essential support for under 25s
- Childline – Childline | Childline
- St Giles Trust – Home – St Giles (stgilestrust.org.uk)