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Shortfalls in mental health support for victims of sexual exploitation

Are health and social services failing to support sexual exploitation victims with the impact their traumatic experiences have on their mental health? Radio Four’s ‘File on 4’ series has been investigating the standard of follow-up care for victims of grooming and the stories shared in the programme raise serious questions over how mental health services […]

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New service launches for younger children displaying harmful sexual behaviour

Children with harmful sexual behaviour face many challenges – shame, stigma, access to support, even vigilante action – and barriers, as do some social care professionals working with them (see our special report for more).  So, those working in the south west may be interested to know that a new programme to tackle harmful sexual […]

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‘You have to be able to see the child, rather than the behaviour’: Helping children who sexually harm

Kate Jones, service director at Branas Isaf – CareTech’sresidential children’s home and school for adolescent boys who display harmfulsexual behaviour – describes what she’s learnt about how to work with this group of young people “I’ve worked at Branas Isaf for 12 and a half years now, working with boys aged 10 to 19 who […]

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Seven brilliant guides to help social workers respond to child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is aninsidious form of child abuse that has damaging and long lasting impacts, writes Emilie Smeaton, research director of Paradigm research. Overthe past two years there has been an explosion of media attention upon child sexual exploitation (CSE) anda general awareness among professionals that children from arange of social and ethnic backgrounds […]

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77% of social workers not confident their area is effectively responding to sexual exploitation

Some interesting findings from a straw poll of children’s social workers: Nearly two thirds say news stories and government reports on child sexual exploitation have raised awareness and concern in their safeguarding teams. However, 65% have received no further training and 77% feel less than confident that their area is effectively responding to such abuse. […]

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‘These are vulnerable children, not sexually precocious Lolitas’

Rochdale’s sexual exploitation scandal has attracted a lot of media attention, much focusing on social work failings and the race of offenders. Here, Sue Kent*, of the British Association of Social Workers, argues for a colour blind approach to such crimes and more specialist training for social workers   Of all the disturbing claims regarding […]

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How do you protect children who ‘know their rights’?

Should carers be able to stop young people from going out if they are suspicious about who they’re meeting? Yes, if it would protect them from abuse, says David Jones*, a residential care worker. Here he describes the ‘heartbreaking’ helplessness he and colleagues often feel. It was nearly 10pm when Joanna*, 15, came downstairs. Dressed […]

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‘I was crying. If I cried, I thought he might not do it.’

Following the news that Rochdale council is launching a serious case review into the grooming of young girls, here’s another chance to listen to a disturbing interview on Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour with ‘Girl A’, one of the victims.  Now 19 (then 15), she describes the way she was groomed, manipulated and threatened by the gang […]

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Support for young runaways depends on united front

Failures to address gaps in the child protection system have prevented the early identification and protection of young runaways at risk of abuse, writes Andy McCullough, new chair of the English Coalition for Runaway Children*. This government has recently begun to show signs that running away from home or care should be taken more seriously […]

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Sexually harmful behaviour in children: 5 resources

Following our special report on sexually harmful behaviour in girls, published today, we have pulled together five key resources to help social workers deal with this issue in children of both sexes. (1) Our interactive quiz Designed to go alongside the special report, this free quiz helps you test your existing knowledge of sexually harmful […]

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