Friday 2 August 2013

A Step By Step Guide To Tackling C.S.E

I tracked down the original document that WYP have gathered their info from for the C.S.E campaign

What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually exploited 

A step-by-step guide for frontline practitioners 

1. This step-by-step guide complements, and should be read in conjunction with, the 
Safeguarding children and young people from sexual exploitation statutory guidance 
published in 2009. It is intended for frontline practitioners in the statutory and voluntary 
and community sectors (VCS). It outlines the actions they should take, as a minimum, if 
they suspect that a child they are in contact with is being sexually exploited. 

2. Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse which involves children and young 
people (male and female, of a range of ethnic origins and ages, in some cases as young 
as 10) receiving something in exchange for sexual activity. Perpetrators of child sexual 
exploitation are found in all parts of the country and are not restricted to particular ethnic 

3. Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are responsible for ensuring that 
appropriate local procedures are in place to tackle child sexual exploitation. All frontline 
practitioners need to be aware of those procedures (including ones for early help) and 
how they relate to their own areas of responsibility. LSCBs and frontline practitioners 
should ensure that actions to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young 
people who are sexually exploited focus on the needs of the child. 

Step 1: Identifying cases 

4. Frontline practitioners from voluntary and statutory sector organisations (including, for 
example, health and education) should be aware of the key indicators2
 of children being 
sexually exploited which can include: 

  • ƒ going missing for periods of time or regularly coming home late; 
  • ƒ regularly missing school or education or not taking part in education; ƒ
  •  appearing with unexplained gifts or new possessions; 
  • ƒ associating with other young people involved in exploitation; 
  • ƒ having older boyfriends or girlfriends; 
  • ƒ suffering from sexually transmitted infections; 
  • ƒ mood swings or changes in emotional wellbeing; 
  • ƒ drug and alcohol misuse; and 
  • ƒ displaying inappropriate sexualised behaviour.

Practitioners should also be aware that many children and young people who are victims 
of sexual exploitation do not recognise themselves as such. 

5. A significant number of children who are victims of sexual exploitation go missing from 
home, care and education at some point. Return interviews for young runaways can help 
in establishing why a young person ran away and the subsequent support that may be 
required, as well as preventing repeat incidents. The information gathered from return 
interviews can be used to inform the identification, referral and assessment of any child 
sexual exploitation cases. 

6. In assessing whether a child or young person is a victim of sexual exploitation, or at 
risk of becoming a victim, careful consideration should be given to the issue of consent. 
It is important to bear in mind that: 

  • ƒ a child under the age of 13 is not legally capable of consenting to sex (it is statutory 
  • rape) or any other type of sexual touching; 
  • ƒ sexual activity with a child under 16 is also an offence; 
  • ƒ it is an offence for a person to have a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year old if they hold a position of trust or authority in relation to them; 
  • ƒ where sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old does not result in an offence being committed, it may still result in harm, or the likelihood of harm being suffered; non consensual sex is rape whatever the age of the victim; and 
  • ƒ if the victim is incapacitated through drink or drugs, or the victim or his or her family has been subject to violence or the threat of it, they cannot be considered to have given true consent and therefore offences may have been committed. 

Child sexual exploitation is therefore potentially a child protection issue for all children 
under the age of 18 years and not just those in a specific age group. 

Step 2: Referring cases 

7. Where child sexual exploitation, or the risk of it, is suspected, frontline practitioners 
should discuss the case with a manager or the designated member of staff for child 
protection. If after discussion there remain concerns, local safeguarding procedures 
should be triggered, including referral to local authority (LA) children’s social care and the 

police, regardless of whether the victim is engaging with services or not. 

Step 3: Assessment 

8. On receipt of a referral to LA children’s social care, a qualified social worker should 
discuss the case with other services and professionals that they consider relevant and 
decide on a course of action within one working day of the referral. Where there is a risk 
to the life of a child or a likelihood of serious immediate harm, an agency with statutory 
child protection powers must act quickly to secure the immediate safety of the child. 

9. An assessment under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 must be undertaken in all 
cases where child sexual exploitation, or the likelihood of it, is suspected. The local 
authority, health and other partners must follow the process set out in the Framework for 
assessment of children in need and their families.
The assessment is not an end or a process in itself, but the means of informing the planning 
and delivery of effective services for children. The need to make timely, proportionate 
assessments to understand a child’s needs and circumstances is critical to secure good 
outcomes for the most vulnerable children and young people. The assessment should contain 
a conclusion as to whether the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. 

10. If a section 17 enquiry shows that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant 
harm, the social worker should hold a strategy discussion involving the police, health and 
other relevant statutory and VCS organisations to consider whether a section 47 enquiry 
is required. If the decision is taken to initiate a section 47 enquiry, the social worker 
should convene a child protection conference. 
11. The child or young person’s wishes and feelings should be considered when 
determining what services to provide and before making decisions about action to be 
taken to protect individual children. 

12. Where the child or young person is not deemed to be in need, the social worker must 
consider onward referral to agencies who provide services for children and young people 
with additional needs (for example, a VCS or health organisation; see Step 4 below). 

Step 4: Supporting victims out of CSE and in recovery 

13. Statutory agencies and voluntary sector organisations should reach agreement on 
the services to be provided to the child or young person and on how they will be coordinated. The types of intervention offered should be appropriate to the needs of the 
child or young person. They should take full account of both the identified risk factors and 
the child or young person’s family and wider circumstances. The latter might, for 
example, include previous abuse, running away from home or care, involvement in gangs 
and groups and/or child trafficking. The health services provided might include sexual 
health services and mental health services or counselling. 

14. Because the effects of child sexual exploitation can last well into adulthood, such 
support may be needed over a long period of time. For this reason, effective links should 
be made between children and adult services and between statutory and VCS 

15. Consideration should also be given to supporting the families of victims, including 
through the work of organisations like the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping. 

Step 5: Identifying and prosecuting perpetrators 

16. The police and criminal justice agencies lead on the identification and prosecution of 
perpetrators. All frontline practitioners involved with victims of child sexual exploitation 
should continually gather, record and share information with the police as soon as 
practicable, including data on running or missing episodes. 

Step 6: Ensuring child victims are supported through related legal proceedings 

17. Child victims should be supported throughout the prosecution process and beyond, 
including through the use of special measures where appropriate. Independent Sexual 
Violence Advisers or specialist VCS services, where available, may also have an 
important role to play. 

Further information
18. Further information on child sexual exploitation can be found on the Department for 
Education website

Also See: 
Assets: Letter To Safeguarding Teams
Letter To Sue Berelowski 2012
Letter To Sue Berelowitz 2013
Letter To Ann Coffey MP

C.S.E Action Plan
Reforms To Protect Children In Care

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