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Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

In Depth

Domestic Abuse: Special Report

Cases of domestic abuse recorded by police and children's services have risen significantly over the past decade. The government has published a draft bill containing new protections to tackle the problem.

Figurehead of FGM fight: Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre

Derren Hayes speaks to Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre.

Special Report: E-Safety

The digital world has become an integral part of young people's lives, but amid growing concerns of being exposed to harm, Derren Hayes looks at e-safety projects that work to keep children safe online.

Legal Update: Multi-agency safeguarding arrangements

New guidance sets out what organisations and agencies must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.

County lines: child victims of crime

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, examines new measures intended to improve the response to county lines and child criminal exploitation.

Commissioning: Tackling domestic abuse

Joint commissioning is the most effective way to deliver support for children affected by domestic abuse, says Toni Badnall-Neill.

Special Report: Exploitation and Vulnerability

Amid rising concerns about child criminal and sexual exploitation, policymakers and service providers are developing intelligence-led approaches to protecting vulnerable groups and supporting abuse victims.

Guide to contextual safeguarding

A project will deliver contextual safeguarding in three councils. What is it and how does it work?

Advice on using ACE enquiry

Experts say more research is needed on impact of routine enquiry into adverse childhood experiences.

Legal Update: Be alert to signs of child trafficking

Stewart MacLachlan, legal and policy officer at Coram Children's Legal Centre, explores the risks facing child victims of trafficking and reasons for the low levels of prosecution for trafficking offences.

Special Report: Child Sexual Exploitation

Rotherham's child sexual exploitation scandal propelled the issue to the forefront of policymaking. CYP Now investigates the key learning and strides taken to tackle perpetrators and protect children and young people.

Sharing the evidence on CSA: Cassandra Harrison, the Centre of Expertise on CSA

Derren Hayes speaks to Cassandra Harrison, director, the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse.

Legal Update: Access to justice for abuse victims

Marianne Lagrue, policy officer at Coram Children's Legal Centre, outlines new rules on evidence for legal aid in cases of domestic or child abuse that will benefit those living in desperate situations.

Inspections: Joint targeted area inspections

Inspections of local safeguarding arrangements were introduced in 2016 to examine joint working across agencies, uncovering examples of how areas tackle neglect, child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse.

Special Report: Intrafamilial Abuse

Data shows the number of child abuse, parental neglect and domestic violence cases is rising, raising tough challenges for how child protection services and professionals work effectively with families.

Local Spotlight: Oxfordshire County Council

Funding cuts and safeguarding crisis spark innovations in how Oxfordshire delivers CSE support and children's centres.

Special Report: Restorative Practice

Restorative practice is now being used across a wide range of services for vulnerable children, young people and families and has a distinct set of principles and standards underpinning the approach.

Special Report: E-Safety and Online Safeguarding

While the internet provides great opportunities for children and young people, good safeguarding practice is essential to protect them from the threats of abuse, exploitation, bullying and radicalisation.

Safeguarding beyond rhetoric

The absence of powers has made local safeguarding more difficult to tackle, but where leaders have influenced and challenged effectively, success has been achieved, says Jim Gamble.

Your guide to the Children and Social Work Act

What the act means for everyday practice across the children's workforce.

Guide to tackling CSA in schools

Schools are vital in educating about child sexual abuse, but too many do not discuss it, research shows.

Inspections: Local safeguarding children boards

Ofsted inspections of local safeguarding children boards show a varied picture of performance, prompting the government to recommend a new system for joining up local safeguarding practice.

Safeguarding against sexting

How youth workers can help educate young people about the risks of sharing explicit images.

Understanding impact of abuse and reviewing care placement options

Review assesses the evidence on the impact of abuse on children and considers the merits of care placement options. The authors summarise the findings, while three organisations outline initiatives to improve decision making.

The policy context on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

The Department for Education leads on child protection in government, but it shares responsibility for child sexual exploitation (CSE) with the Home Office.

Rebuilding life after child sexual abuse

The NSPCC's Letting the Future In programme works with children who have been sexually abused. Eileen Fursland reports on how it uses play and creative therapy to help rebuild young lives.

Joint inspections reveal agencies' CSE strengths and weaknesses

Findings from in-depth inspections of five areas' work to tackle child sexual exploitation show agencies are collaborating well, but concerns remain over sharing information and monitoring children who go missing.

Rebuilding Rotherham

Rotherham Council and partners are embarking on a new approach to tackle child sexual exploitation in the wake of the revelations that shocked the country. Charlotte Goddard went to investigate.

Lessons from serious case reviews: Online abuse

The internet poses risks to children including grooming by paedophiles, cyberbullying by peers and the sharing of sexual abuse images. What do case reviews tell us about the risk factors and how to prevent abuse?

How health services are tackling child sexual exploitation

The government's action plan on child sexual exploitation stresses the need for health professionals to play a more active role in identification and prevention. Charlotte Goddard investigates why health services have struggled to tackle the problem and what is being done about it.

Good Practice

NSPCC e-safety guides for parents and professionals

Online guides help parents understand how young people use the online world.

Project confronts online sexual harassment

Project tackles barriers to reporting by using educational resources created by young people.

Moving on from domestic abuse

The latest in a series about emerging safeguarding practice looks at how an NSPCC programme supports mothers and their children who have been victims of domestic abuse to move on together.

Evidence and Impact: Scaling up programmes

The latest in a series about emerging safeguarding practice looks at how the NSPCC is supporting the social care and health sectors to implement evidence-based services for children and families.

Luton Prevent programme

Council taken the lead on supporting children and families vulnerable to radicalisation by extremists.

I Define Me

Specialist service in two London hospitals support girls and young women affected by gangs.

Integrated gangs unit

London council's gangs unit brings police and children's professionals together into one team.

Pan-Merseyside integrated child exploitation service

Initiative works with police and safeguarding agencies to identify children involved in crime linked to exploitation.

Lancashire vulnerability hub

Multi-agency hub works with vulnerable young people in Lancashire to reduce their risk of exploitation.

Local Spotlight: Rotherham Council

Yorkshire town with a history of milling was rocked by 2014 child sexual exploitation scandal and is still grappling with high demand.

Evidence and Impact: Harmful sexual behaviour

The latest in a series of articles about emerging safeguarding practice looks at how the NSPCC has developed evidence-based approaches to help professionals respond to harmful sexual behaviour.

Evidence and Impact: Child-centred responses to CSA

The first of a series of articles about emerging safeguarding practice looks at how the NSPCC has developed a child-centred approach to support children and young people after sexual abuse.

Young and Safe

Response to child sexual exploitation refocused from social care approach to be youth work-led.

Protect and Respect

NSPCC runs specialist CSE service to raise awareness of the issue among schoolchildren and care professionals.

Newcastle Sexual Exploitation Hub

Multi-agency group supports children and adults at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation.

South Yorkshire Empower and Protect

Catch22 helped South Yorkshire authorities trial a new support model to keep sexually-exploited and vulnerable teenagers safe.

Whole-family approaches to tackling domestic abuse

Projects in the first phase of the Children's Social Care Innovation Programme have been evaluated to identify common themes. This briefing summarises learning on tackling domestic abuse in the family.

Barnahus approach, Iceland

International studies have shown that Iceland has the second highest rate for child sexual abuse (CSA) among Nordic countries.

How pupils learn to resist grooming

Nine- to 12-year-olds develop the skills to resist grooming.

Legal Update: Safeguarding unaccompanied children

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, explores the government's plans for safeguarding unaccompanied children, including victims of trafficking.

Sheffield City Council

Intrafamilial sexual abuse case review highlighted poor practice on sharing information between agencies.

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: Child sexual exploitation

The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify learning. This issue summarises risk factors and lessons for improved practice around child sexual exploitation.

Exploring Approaches to Child Welfare in the Contexts of Domestic Violence and Abuse: Family Group Conferences

This theoretical paper explores service provision for families affected by domestic violence and abuse.

Family Violence, Fathers, and Restoring Personhood

This paper explored a US group-based fathering programme ('Strong Fathers') for men who had committed domestic violence and whose families received child welfare services.

Trust Me

Free downloadable resource developed by Childnet International helps protect pupils from online radicalisation by developing their critical thinking.

Sexting Guidance

Half-day workshop focuses on how teachers and other professionals should respond to incidents of sexting among young people.

Play Like Share

Films and online resource helps children aged eight to 10 think about manipulative online behaviours in an engaging way.

Walk Online

Thurrock-wide roadshows using drama, film, discussion and guidance to help children and young people protect themselves from online sexual exploitation have reached 12,500 children.

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: 'Hidden' men

The role of men in children's lives is sometimes overlooked by agencies from both a protective and risk perspective. The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify risk factors

Lessons from Serious Case Reviews: Harmful sexual behaviour

The NSPCC has analysed evidence from serious case reviews to identify learning. In this issue, we look at risk factors and best practice around harmful sexual behaviour by children and young people.



E-Safety: Vulnerable Children in a Digital World

For many vulnerable children, the digital environment can be a great equaliser, but safe online use is a basic life skill that a sizeable minority of teenagers simply do not have.

An Assessment of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates

How the Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) service was implemented in early adopter sites.

'Going Viral' and 'Going Country' the Expressive and Instrumental Activities of Street Gangs on Social Media

This study considers the role of the internet in gang culture and activity in the UK. The authors analyse the expressive and instrumental uses of "trap rap" videos posted on YouTube as a means of gaining insight into gang-related activity, such as drug dealing through "working the country lines".

Working with Prevent: Social Work Options for Cases of 'Radicalisation Risk

The 2015 Prevent duty mandates social workers and other professionals "to pay due regard" to possible radicalisation concerns. However, there is currently no guidance on how practitioners might do this.

Safe Foster Care for Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation

This study is the first UK evaluation of specialist foster care for children at risk, or victims, of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and/or trafficking. It investigates how well the Safe Accommodation Project reduced risk and safeguarded these children.

Recognising and Responding to Young People With Learning Disabilities Who Experience, or Are at Risk of, Child Sexual Exploitation in the UK

Findings from recent studies suggest there is an increased risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) for young people with learning disabilities. However, there is a lack of evidence concerning how best to protect, identify and support these young people. This exploratory study aimed to address this gap by examining the identification of, and support for sexually exploited young people with learning disabilities.

Local Authority Support for Non-EEA Migrant Child Victims of Modern Slavery

Cordis Bright was commissioned by the government to review local authority support to non-EEA migrant children identified as potential victims of modern slavery, including trafficking.

Exploring Peer Mentoring as a Form of Innovative Practice with Young People at Risk of Child Sexual Exploitation

Little is known about the use of peer-led approaches as a response to child sexual exploitation (CSE). This small qualitative study aimed to gain an insight into young people's views and experiences of peer mentoring.

Immaterial Boys? A Large-Scale Exploration of Gender-Based Differences in Child Sexual Exploitation Service Users

This research paper provides findings from a study exploring the relationship between child sexual exploitation (CSE) and gender.

Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation with Young People and Parents: Contributions to a Twenty-First-Century Family Support Agenda

This article discusses family work with young people and parents/carers affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE). It presents findings from a 2015 evaluation of an early-intervention project, run by Barnardo's, with young people at risk of or affected by CSE and their families.

Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: Knowledge, Confidence and Training within a Contemporary UK Social Work Practice and Policy Context

This paper reports on the implications of a study commissioned by the NSPCC to explore social workers' confidence and understanding of child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sexual exploitation (CSE) in particular.

Children's Narratives of Sexual Abuse

This paper reports on a qualitative analysis of 2,986 cases of self-disclosure of sexual abuse from children.

How Families Respond to Child Sexual Abuse Disclosure "The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse Discovery on Caregivers and Families: A Qualitative Study"

This qualitative study from the US explores the impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) discovery on non-offending caregivers and their families.

How Do Siblings of Child Sexual Abuse Victims Respond to Disclosure? "Impact of Child Sexual Abuse on Non-Abused Siblings: A Review With Implications for Research and Practice"

This review explores the evidence on the experiences on non-abused, non-offending siblings following the disclosure of child sexual abuse (CSA) from their sibling.

Experiences of Emotional and Physical Sibling Abuse "Lifting The Veil: The Lived Experience of Sibling Abuse"

This study from the US used the narratives of self-identified adult survivors of childhood and adolescent emotional and physical sibling abuse to develop an understanding of the various manifestations of sibling abuse.

Analysing Repeated Referrals to Children's Services in England

This study set out to discover the factors behind children receiving multiple referrals to local authority children's services. The analysis focused on 498,867 children referred during the financial year 2010/11.

The Integrated Model of Restorative Supervision for Use Within Safeguarding

This paper reviews an integrated restorative safeguarding supervision model, to underpin effective safeguarding supervision in universal settings.

A Descriptive Account of Victims' Behaviour and Responses in Sexually Exploitative Interactions with Offenders

The research section for this special report is based on a selection of academic studies which have been explored and summarised by Research in Practice (www.rip.org.uk), part of the Dartington Hall Trust.

Pornography, Sexual Coercion and Abuse and Sexting in Young People's Intimate Relationships: A European Study

Flood's (2009) non-systematic review identifies associations between frequent use of violent pornography and sexually aggressive attitudes among adolescent boys.

Child Protection Social Work in England: How Can It Be Reformed?

Martyn Higgins examines debates about child protection social work in England.

Internet Filtering Technology and Aversive Online Experiences in Adolescents

Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University examine how effective internet filters are when it comes to preventing adverse online experiences.

Special Report: Child Sexual Abuse And Exploitation - Research evidence

The research section for this special report is based on a selection of academic studies which have been explored and summarised by Research in Practice (www.rip.org.uk), which is part of the Dartington Hall Trust.