Hi network members,
As the summer unfolds and we near the beginning of another school year I have been reflecting over the last few sunny weeks on the many media articles that we have access to and the amount that our network assistant Sophie posts on our social media pages on Twitter and Facebook. There is a danger out there that as CSE has become such a high priority in every local authority for a number of years now as well as having a high profile in the media that some may become complacent and “tired” of seeing and hearing about CSE and believe we have “done that now” so we can focus on other areas of abuse such as neglect!
However, with complacency comes risk and that risk falls onto children and families whose lives are deeply affected by the abusive behaviour of adults.
There is a move in many regions towards a better understanding of a wider view of child exploitation to include criminal exploitation, county lines and Modern Day Slavery, this is understandable and warranted and the NWG are currently working with many of our network members and partners in developing an understanding of the significant overlap in all areas of child exploitation and to ensure that all of the incredible amount of learning that has been achieved by confronting CSE is used to help form and develop evolving practice. An example of this is how Steve Baguley; the Response Unit’s Education and Communities lead has been meeting with many Directors of Children’s and Adults services from across England to look at improving the transition arrangements of children affected by exploitation as they approach adulthood, we have learnt so much from the Serious Case review (SCR) from Operation Sanctuary in Newcastle as Steve has worked closely with Sam Keith and her dedicated team to learn about the how the adult and children’s services worked effectively together to help the victims of these horrendous crimes
” Child victims are likely to require continuing services during adulthood” Newcastle Joint Serious Case Review (Feb 2018)
This is just one area where the NWG and the Response Unit are helping to share good practice and to help facilitate learning as we recognise the broader definitions of exploitation.
Yesterday another major investigation by West Yorkshire Police was publicised in the media with the potentially the largest number of alleged perpetrators being charged at one time for crimes of CSE, trafficking and no doubt various other crimes against children being reported on the national news networks. As this is a “live” and ongoing investigation we will not be passing any comments to allow the Police and multi agency network involved in supporting the victims to do their work, however, this should be a stark reminder to us all that CSE is still prevalent in our society whether it be by street grooming, on line activities, through sport or entertainment this scourge of abusive behaviour is still present and is not going away. There is a reason as to why child sexual abuse and exploration is still the major Policing priority alongside terrorism as it is still taking place so vigilance is required now more than ever. If you would like to have a discussion about the contents of blogs or the services that the NWG and the CSE Response Unit can offer then do please contact us on the details below
Safeguarding in Sport Lead
CSE Response Unit