A major two-year inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in gangs and groups will publish its interim report this autumn, it was announced today.
The report – which was originally due to be published in July – will shed light on the scale, scope, extent and nature of the problem across England.
Councils, police, health, youth justice, the judiciary and education are providing information to the inquiry to establish, for the first time, the true picture of abuse.
During the second year of the inquiry, led by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), researchers will identify what action needs to be taken to identify, protect and prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
“We have planned a rich programme of work during 2012-13 to make full use of our statutory powers to best promote and protect children’s rights and improve their life chances, particularly those most marginalised,” said Maggie Atkinson, children’s commissioner for England.
She said the inquiry’s interim report “will contain the findings from our first year’s work gathering evidence across the country and will provide the much needed context to support a second year of work”.
The inquiry follows a thematic assessment into child sexual exploitation, published in June by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP), which found social care professionals were still missing key signs of grooming and sexual exploitation.
Community Care Inform will soon be publishing a comprehensive guide for social care professionals working with children at risk of sexual exploitation. It has been written by Emilie Smeaton, research director of Paradigm Research and a member of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People.
The guide, available to all CC Inform subscribers, includes definitions of sexual exploitation, statistics, grooming processes and indicators, cases studies and self-assessment questionaires. Chapters include ‘the impact of sexual exploitation’, ‘working with boys and young men’ and ‘what can we do about it?’.
Special report on sexual exploitation