The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 34 states 'governments must protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation'. Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on key organisations to ensure that they work together to improve the wellbeing of children.
The Working Together Guidance 2009 Supplementary Guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation outlines how organisations and individuals should work together to protect young people from sexual exploitation.
The Department of Education coordinating the cross government Tackling Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan published by the government in 2011 with progress report in 2012, brings together a range of national and local partners to protect children from this previously hidden form of abuse.
Information on training and CSE Champions can be found in the Learning and Development section of the ESCB website.
National working group
The NWG (formerly The National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People) is a Charitable organisation formed as a UK network of over 10 000 practitioners who disseminate information down through their services, to professionals working on the issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and trafficking within the UK. The Network covers voluntary and statutory services and private companies working in this field. They offer support, advice and raise the profile, provide updates, training, share national developments, influence the development of national and local policy informed by practice
Essex Safeguarding Children Board and Southend Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) are Gold Members of the NWG which allows membership for all agencies and practitioners across Essex and Southend. This allows access to further training, research and resources in relation to sexual exploitation.
To become a member email either the National Working Group directly ([email protected]) requesting to be added to the Gold Membership for the Essex Safeguarding Children Board or Southend LSCB. Or email the ESCB ([email protected]) or Southend LSCB ([email protected]) requesting membership. An agency may submit one request with a list of names and email addresses for their organisation. Please be aware that NWG or the ESCB Southend LSCB must be updated should the worker leave the organisation in the future so that their membership can be removed.
Young people who run away may be at risk of significant harm whilst away from home or care placement e.g. those who remain missing overnight or for several days, sleeping rough and in contact with people posing a risk to them. Young people may also only be missing for a short time period and risk may still be significant.
We will lead efforts to locate children who are missing, working closely with Children’s Social Care when children are missing from care placements. This also applies to children living at home.
When the child is located we will carry out an immediate vulnerability check (safe and well) to identify any indications that the young person has suffered harm; where and with whom they have been; and to give them an opportunity to disclose any offending by, or against, them.
Essex Police, Children’s Social Care & any agency involved with a child who has run away/ gone missing will share information and where necessary take action to safeguard or offer support to the child and family.