Everyone has a responsibility to safeguard children and young people and protect them from harm. During the course of your normal work, be curious and ask yourself ‘could this child or young person be at risk of exploitation?’ ‘Are they displaying some of the warning signs of abuse?’ If the answer is yes, you need to act. There is a wealth of information and support available to help you recognise and respond to child sexual exploitation.
Scroll down to find out more about local resources available to people working with or around children and young people.
Visit the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board to find out more about your role in helping to stop Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The page includes information on:
- What CSE is
- Who it affects
- Signs to spot
- Screening tool and risk assessment
- Where to get help.
There is also a comprehensive list of online resources available to professionals who work with individuals/groups or schools (including SEN&D schools). These look at social media and sexting as well as videos aimed at young people, boys and young men and children who regularly go missing.
Updated guidance from the Department for Education - 16/02/2017
The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a guide called 'Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners'. This is aimed at practitioners, local leaders and decision makers working to protect children from child sexual exploitation.
The advice is non-statutory, and has been produced to help practitioners, local leaders and decision makers who work with children and families to identify child sexual exploitation and take appropriate action in response. This includes the management, disruption and prosecution of perpetrators.
You can download the full guide here.
Resources for healthcare staff
Health Education England (HEE), in association with the Department of Health & Social Care and NHS England have created a video providing practical advice on what to do if healthcare professionals and others suspect a patient or person in their care is at risk of CSE.
You can view the video here (15 mins duration).
Chat Health is the school nurse messaging service run by the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. The young peoples’ service provides confidential advice and support for 11-19 year olds attending secondary schools across West Sussex. The service is available to discuss any problems that they may be facing such as relationship, mental health, bullying, alcohol & drugs and healthy eating.
If you think this service may benefit any of the young people you work with, please call 07480 635424.
If you would like to discuss your concerns with someone, or would like to discuss a safeguarding referral, please call the West Sussex Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. Please see the 'Where to get help' box, right, for contact details.
Across West Sussex we have formed a number of strategic partnerships including those with Asphaleia, Barnardo’s and Missing People.
Using Big Lotto funding, Asphaleia have developed CSE provision aimed at children identified at lower risk of exploitation, who could benefit from intervention (including 1:1, group work and parenting support). The aim of this is to help keep children and young people safe from harm. As part of this work, the charity has also been working with schools across the county to provide age appropriate support in the form of a series of safeguarding assemblies, lessons and workshops with year 6 children, in addition to more formalised support to teaching staff.
Barnardo’s have been a strategic partner of West Sussex County Council for a number of years. The children’s charity provides training opportunities on behalf of the county council to a range of public and community sector workers and professionals. The county council also commissions Barnardo’s to provide a targeted intervention service (BYOU) for young people affected by exploitation.
In 2016, Missing People were awarded the contract to conduct independent return home interviews for all children and young people reported missing in West Sussex. The charity has worked with the County Council to increase the support offered to vulnerable young people upon their return to home or care setting.