Issue 12 | 20th October 2023
Hello and welcome to your L&D Newsletter.
Happy Friday, you have made it through the week and the weekend is nearly upon us to enjoy. This week the family safeguarding model has been launched and we hope that you took the opportunity to see what it is all about on Tuesday. Monday also saw the partnership facilitate some motivational Interview training which was really well attended. For those of you who were unable to attend there are some more sessions on this planned for the future.
Dates for your diaries
- Adult safeguarding week 20th to 24th November 2023
- Safeguarding adults board launch and learning day 21st November 2023
Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation
This week the partnership are raising awareness of Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation. Friday sees the complex safeguarding event where we hope you will come and find out more about these topics to enhance your knowledge and better your practice. Keeping with the theme this newsletter will be looking at CCE.
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. When a child or young person is exploited they're given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities.
Child criminal exploitation (CCE) takes a variety of forms but ultimately it is the grooming and exploitation of children into criminal activity. Across each form that CCE takes, the current reality is that children who are coerced into criminal activity are often treated as criminals by statutory agencies rather than as victims of exploitation.
This weeks' week of action is focussed on Exploitation and runs from 16 to 20 October 2023.
What is it?
Child Sexual Exploitation is a terrible crime with destructive and far reaching consequences for victims, their families, and society. It is not limited to any geography, ethnic or social background. Having a shared definition of CSE is critical to identification, monitoring and effective multi-agency responses. The government issued the following definition in 2017. “CSE 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) 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. CSE does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur using technology.”
Why does it matter?
The impacts of CSE are wide-ranging and can be profound & long lasting. This is particularly true when victims do not receive appropriate support. Victims can suffer a range of health impacts including physical injuries, sexually transmitted infections and longer-term gynaecological consequences for females. They can experience emotional trauma/mental illness such as depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress disorder and drug/alcohol problems. CSE also impacts longer-term, being associated with higher rates of youth offending, poor educational prospects, involvement in adult sex work, isolation from family and friends, negative future relationships and increased risk of other forms of violence or abuse. CSE can also create strong ripple effects on friendship circles, family networks and the wider community.
Like any other form of child sexual abuse, CSE:
- Can affect any child or young person (male or female) under the age of 18 years, including 16/17 year olds who can legally consent to have sex
- Is abuse - even if sexual activity appears consensual
- Can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may or may not, be accompanied by violence or threats of violence
- May occur without the child or young person’s immediate knowledge (for example, through others creating videos or images and posting on social media)
- Can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, males or females and children or adults
- The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse
- The fact that children & young people often see themselves as making a choice can prevent them from seeking support
- Understanding the context within which ‘choices’ are made by victims is critical to our ability to respond effectively to CSE
- The response to CSE requires a shift to viewing parents/carers as partners in the safeguarding process (rather than a source of risk)
- Safe and consistent relationships are paramount to the promotion of resilience in children & young people
- Involves a power imbalance in favour of those perpetrating the abuse. This power imbalance can be due to a range of factors including age, gender, intellect, physical strength, status, and access to economic and other resources.
- The fact that children and young people often see themselves as making a choice can prevent them from seeking support.
- Understanding the context within which ‘choices’ are made by victims is critical to our ability to respond effectively to CSE.
- The response to CSE requires a shift to viewing parents/carers as partners in the safeguarding process (rather than a source of risk).
- Safe and consistent relationships are paramount to the promotion of resilience in children and young people.
What to do…
Those affected by CSE say that professionals need to prioritise them, to be visibly attentive, responsive and reliable, sticking with them even when this might be difficult. You should speak to the safeguarding lead in your agency if you suspect that a young person is affected by CSE.
- GM CSE Procedure
- CSE Definition & Guide (2017)
- Innovation Project (Achieving Change Together.
Questions to ask yourself…
- Am I confident in my understanding of the signs and indicators of CSE?
- How can I build trust with children and young people who have been exploited by adults?
- How can I create opportunities for disclosure without pressuring victims to disclose before they are ready?
- How can supervision help me to develop my practice.
Recognise, Record and Refer
If you are worried that a child is at risk of CSE discuss with your line manager immediately. If you think a young person may be at immediate risk of harm ring 999.
In the news…
A round up of some articles in the news that may e of interest to you. If you think anything should go in the next newsletter then let us know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic abuse: Women’s Aid has published research looking at children and young people’s understanding of domestic abuse to inform the design of education about relationships. The report includes two surveys with 7- to 18-year-olds and 18- to 25-year-olds. Findings show: 70% of children and young people would seek support if affected by domestic abuse, however 61% of them were unsure or did not know where to go for this; and 35% of adults recalled no education about domestic abuse, healthy relationships or controlling behaviours in school. The report calls for relationships, health and sex education (RSHE) to be strengthened.
Read the report: NSPCC - Women’s aid publishes ground-breaking research into what influences children and young people’s understanding of domestic abuse.
Poverty: Children in Wales has published findings from two surveys into child and family poverty in Wales. The surveys were carried out with professionals, children and families, with the aim of identifying current issues. Findings include: respondents said the mental and emotional health of children, young people, parents and carers has deteriorated over the last 12 months; and 39% of children stated that they see poverty related bullying. Respondents discussed the impact of poverty on safeguarding.
Read the report: NSPCC - Children in Wales launches its 7th annual child and family poverty survey findings.
TSB Fund for those fleeing domestic abuse: The fund offers existing TSB customers up to £500 to escape an abusive situation, with £356 being provided on average so far. The fund assists people with the cost of essentials such as travel, clothing and toiletries.
TSB introduced the scheme in December 2022, with TSB branch staff also receiving specialist training to spot signs of domestic abuse and to help survivors.
Read the story: MSN - Emergency funds ‘desperately needed’ by domestic abuse survivors (msn.com) and The Sun - Little-known fund offering up to £500 vital lifeline for those fleeing domestic violence - how to claim.
Rising numbers of young people leaving care in England are facing homelessness, according to new figures. Government data shows that, since 2018-19, there has been a 33% rise in the number of care leaver households aged 18-20 assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness. Read the full story BBC - Care leavers: Number facing homelessness rises by a third.
The Church of England has today published a set of National Safeguarding Standards, an essential benchmark to understand the quality and the impact of its safeguarding activity at a local and national level. The Standards will enable Church bodies to identify both their strengths and areas for development, which will in turn inform their strategic planning in respect of safeguarding. Read the full story Thinking Anglicans - Church of England Safeguarding Standards Published.
E-safety training: This in-person course will help you gain an understanding of the positives for children and young people accessing online platforms. See here for more information and to book on: E-Safety Training on the 8th November 2023.
Safer recruitment: The training is for senior leaders and staff who participate in the recruitment process for employees, the course will enable participants to: undertake Safer Recruitment Consortium accredited training on Safer Recruitment and achieve certification. Go to Safer Recruitment Training 27 February 2024 for more information and book your place.
A selection of free courses looking at trauma: Alison - Free Online Trauma Courses.
Capacity Guide - Guidance for clinicians and social care professionals on the assessment of capacity: Capacity Guide.