The following information will offer an opportunity to check your awareness of child sexual exploitation and key links to materials and research;
Assessing vulnerability and risk of Child Sexual Exploitation
Identifying vulnerability for children and young people is key to providing help to prevent increased vulnerability or further harm.
The Pan-Dorset CSE risk assessment tool has recently been updated with a framework of assessment from the National Tool. This will help practitioners to consider areas where vulnerabilities could be reduced.
The risk assessment is available here.
The guidance to support its use is available here.
All services working with children and young people across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset are expected to use this tool with young people they identify as vulnerable – are you?
In many of the CSE enquiries and Serious Case Reviews Health have been challenged about how they recognise children at risk of CSE. To address this in services where there is limited time to fully assessment the risk young people are exposed to we have been using a shortened 4 question SERAF (Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Form) for children over the age of 10. Where risk is identified practitioners can then refer young people to the CSE Team, to allow a full assessment to be undertaken. The Shortened SERAF is currently being used in A&E, GP practices and Maternity.
The Shortened SERAF is available here.
Boys / young men
Young men have explained that their sexual exploitation is often overlooked by practitioners. There is some evidence that young men who are being sexually exploited are more likely to be criminalised for their behaviour and viewed as a perpetrator. Their experiences often goes unrecognised and professionals may tend to focus on boys and young men’s outward behaviour, such as offending or drug and alcohol use, without questioning the reasons behind it.
Behaviours that may be likely to be recognised as evidence of risk for a girl or young women may be interpreted as a young man experimenting with their sexuality or demonstrating sexually harmful behaviours to others.
In addition boys and young men may be less likely to, or find it more difficult to disclose than young women. Without a disclosure it may be difficult for professionals to justify the time commitment to support a young man at risk of, or suspected of being sexually exploited.
Parents / carer and services working with young men need to vigilant for the risks of exploitation. The risk assessment used across Dorset attempts to address male vulnerabilities as well as those more evident for females.
Research to inform practitioners:
Working effectively to address Child Sexual Exploitation: A briefing
The briefing is intended to highlight salient messages for those involved in the configuration, design and delivery of services; it aims to support colleagues in thinking about how to prevent and respond to child sexual exploitation. It includes a summary of the evidence relating to interventions and concludes with some.
Below are links to posters produced by the National Working Group.
Please do print and display these within public and team areas.
Can you promote this free e-learning for parents across your network?
Keep them safe is a free online learning tool from Pace and Virtual College which has been accessed by more than 29,000 parents and professionals (as of March 2016).
Although the course is aimed at parents, safeguarding professionals will also find this 20-30 minute e-learning training course a valuable source of information to:
- find out more about child sexual exploitation
- learn the signs and indicators of when a child might be being exploited
- understand the impact child sexual exploitation can have on families
- know what to do if you suspect a child might be at risk of this abuse.