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Spotting the signs of child sexual exploitation

Would you know if someone in your care was at risk of child sexual exploitation? If you suspected that was the case, what could you do about it?


HEE, in association with the Department of Health, and with the support and help of healthcare staff and professional membership organisations has produced a video that provides advice on identifying the signs of child sexual exploitation in vulnerable young people.

These and many more questions are answered in a new video produced by HEE in association with the Department of Health, and with the support and help of healthcare staff and professional membership organisations.

The video seeks to support healthcare and other community staff on identifying the signs of child sexual exploitation in vulnerable young people.

Child sexual exploitation, or CSE as it is commonly known as, is either contact or non-contact sexual abuse of children or young people. It can occur at any age and particularly around different forms or models, such as the ‘boyfriend’ model of exploitation or by organised gangs.

CSE is an illegal activity that the police and other enforcement agencies are working hard to clamp down on.

All professionals across the healthcare system can play their part in helping to end CSE by identifying the signs of harm and having the knowledge to provide advice to patients or alert the appropriate agencies if they have concerns.

The film, available to view from this page, paints scenarios involving a range of health professionals in a variety of settings interacting with a vulnerable young person presenting with the warning signs of someone at risk of child sexual exploitation.  

Please share this video as widely as possible - inform your colleagues and use it at meetings, seminars and events.

We would like to thank the following people and organisations for their help in producing the video:

Useful resources

Lisa Cooper, Deputy Director Quality and Safeguarding at NHS England (Cheshire and Merseyside) speaking in this video on the issue of CSE

National Crime Agency CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)

Combatting CSE toolkit designed for health professionals to help them identify children who are at risk of or have been sexually abused

BASHH Spotting the signs

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on child abuse

Crown Prosecution Service ‘What is Consent?’

DfE Guidance on what to do if you suspect a child is being abused

Barnados - Spot the signs

 

At a glance reminders

  • Always remember the child and look beyond their behaviour and consider why they are behaving like this
  • Always listen to what the child is telling you
  • Don’t dismiss what a child tells you
  • Be professionally curious if the situation doesn’t look or feel right to you then it probably isn’t right
  • If in doubt always seek advice and support from your line manager or safeguarding lead
  • Share information

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