Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit
Guidance on Child exploitation disruption toolkit
What is child exploitation?
The exploitation of children can take a number of different forms and perpetrators may subject children and young people to multiple forms of abuse at the same time, such as criminal exploitation (including county lines) and sexual exploitation.
Parents and carers
Parents/carers are often vitally important in disrupting exploitation. Where possible they should be provided with practical support on child safety and be encouraged to actively build positive relationships and support networks with members of the community as well as understand safe and unsafe spaces in the local area. This will help create wider support networks for children when they are out in the community and empower parents/carers to take a larger role in disrupting exploitation.
To support parents/carers in disrupting exploitation, consider the following:
- liaise with parents/carers to ensure missing episodes are reported to and recorded appropriately by the police
- support parents/carers by providing an allocated police officer who they can contact to discuss concerns or potential evidence regarding a child at risk of, or experiencing, exploitation
- ensure parents/carers have sight of police and children’s services action plans agreeing on joint actions should the potential victim go missing, to ensure understanding of their responsibilities
- where possible, parents/carers should be supported to engage and contribute to disruption activity such as gathering and submitting information and intelligence regarding incidents
Introduction to Child exploitation disruption toolkit
This toolkit has been developed to support frontline practitioners to safeguard children and young people under the age of 18 from sexual and criminal exploitation. This includes social workers, police officers, housing officers, education staff, healthcare staff, charity staff, and others.
It is vital that people working in frontline roles effectively identify the exploitation of children and work together proactively with other agencies to disrupt offending and safeguard victims.
This can only be achieved by effective joined-up working and consistent, proactive, sharing of information held by different services.
Criminal investigation and prosecution of perpetrators should always be pursued alongside actions to support the safeguarding of children and young people exposed to this kind of harm. The use of disruption tactics, including legislative tools such as civil orders and injunctions, are an essential part of the safeguarding process and can also support future prosecutions.
When using this toolkit, all partners should have as their primary focus:
- The experiences of the victims involved,
- the views of the victims,
- the impact any chosen approach may have on them, and
- the risk of further harm to them, possible future victims or the wider community.
The toolkit is focused on child exploitation, although some of the tools listed can be used to disrupt the exploitation of adults too.
The toolkit is split into two sections:
- Supporting problem profiling and sharing information
- Measures that can be used to disrupt child exploitation
FosterWiki has further reading on County Lines in the links below:
- NSPCC – Protecting children from County Lines
- County Lines- Introduction, Information and Guidance
- National Crime Agency guide to County Lines
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