CSE Champions Bulletin - April 2016


Essex CSE & Missing Arrangements

February saw the launch of the new Essex CSE & Missing Arrangements.  This document outlines mechanisms and working arrangements under which partner agencies join together in tackling issues related to CSE and Missing across Essex.  These arrangements are agreed as a means of complementing and strengthening safeguarding procedures and are not to be considered in isolation or as a replacement to Southend, Essex and Thurrock (SET) Child Protection Procedures.  The arrangements are intended as guidance and reference for MACE Chairs, agencies and practitioners to ensure that there is clarity and consistency across Essex.

You can view these arrangements and supporting documents on the ESCB CSE webpages.

Clare Livens blog

Clare Livens Child Exploitation Manager updates us on the work she’s been doing around CSE over the last few months. Read more here.

NWG Membership

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board are now in a position to offer individuals within partner agencies a great opportunity to become a FREE Gold Member of the NWG (National Working Group) for Child Sexual Exploitation.

The NWG 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. They have developed a youth advisory board to enable young peoples' voices to be heard through the work that they do.

Gold Membership includes access to special interest forums, seminars, training resources such as an e-learning training tool, access to resources and interactive discussion tools for 1:1 and group work with young people, a public resource section holding a range of community focused resources, research documents and reports.

If you would be interested in becoming a FREE member of the NWG, please contact us with a list of members (names, email addresses and job titles) from your organisation. Ideally one person from each organisation would co-ordinate this.

Champions annual forums dates released

Following feedback and a review of the CSE Champions networking forums, ESCB are now going to offer CSE Champions the opportunity to attend one forum per year for an update and networking opportunity.

Find out more and book on the ESCB website.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Campaign

The web-based I Didn’t Know CSE campaign consists of web films and posters with messages aimed at different areas of the community – young people, parents, public and businesses. The posters contain the messages:

  • I didn’t know my daughter was being sexually exploited – I thought she was out with friends
  • I didn’t know I was being targeted for sex, I thought we were online friends
  • I didn’t know my boyfriend wanted me to have sex with his friends
  • I didn’t know if I had concerns about exploitation I could call the police
  • I didn’t know that texting a naked photo to my girlfriend would end up on the internet forever

Since its launch in March the Essex Police CSE webpages saw a massive 11,425% increase in hits. There have been over 150,000 views of the films with great engagement on social media and a reach of almost 1.5 million.

How to get involved? Posters can be downloaded and printed from the Essex Police website and web films can be accessed here too. Further advice on spotting the signs, where to go for help, advice on speaking with children or teenagers and lots of other useful information, such as how to stay safe online can be found on the Essex Police or Safeguarding Board websites.

Children and Young People's CSE Update - The Choices Programme


“When you understand what it is (grooming) you can see it , makes you think about your relationships and your friends.”

“I’ve learnt what’s right in a relationship, to be more aware.”

“All young people should do this; it’s really made me think about what I do, I think it could help a lot of people.”

‘Choices’ is a bespoke 6 week peer led programme run by the Involvement Team for young women aged 13 – 17 years old who are open to Family Operations, and at risk of CSE and/or going missing/absent.  It is structured to build a safe and trusting environment where young people feel they can express views without being judged.  Over the six weekly, 2.5 hr sessions young people are encouraged to explore the impact of their choices, when they are both in control and out of their control.

The majority of young people attending had heard of ‘CSE’ and grooming, some could explain what it was, others felt that ‘CSE’ in particular did not relate to them as young people. When it was put into context, and by dispelling the ‘White van’ and ‘Asian gang’ myths the group began to understand the relevance to their own lives. At the end of  the programme the groups felt they had a better understanding particularly around grooming, how young people can become vulnerable to CSE and getting help.

CARE (Children at Risk of Exploitation) Update

CARE continue to receive a high level of referrals.  Although the team aim to respond to enquiries within two weeks, this has not always been possible so please contact CARE on 01245 493311 if you are yet to receive a response.

Sarah Simpkin the service manager for CARE will be on maternity from the 29th April, in her absence we welcome Vanessa Reid who begun on the 4th April and will aim to introduce herself to services over the coming month.   

We also welcome Gavin McKenna our new boys and young men’s worker.  We have two groups starting in April, if you would like more information on the types of groups we offer please contact us.

Boys and Young Men as victims


Research shows that Boys and Young Men are overlooked as victims of CSE.  They are often excused as gang affiliated or perpetrators of CSE, however The Children’s Society recognise Boys and Young Men are often at risk of being victims of CSE also.

“The analysis of the Barnardo’s database showed...while males actually accounted for 33% of CSE service users overall” (Cockbain et al, 2014).

The new dedicated Boys and Young Men CSE worker within CARE (Child At Risk of Exploitation) is Gavin McKenna - for more information or support please contact him directly or the CARE team 01245 493311. 

Missing Guidance from the Children's Society

The Children's Society have developed a range of resources to help understand how to support vulnerable young people, in particular those who go missing. These resources help you know what to do when a child goes missing and how to prevent children from going missing in the first place.

More information on the Children's Society website.

Boys Don’t Cry - Improving identification and disclosure of sexual exploitation

This Report by The Children’s Society highlights the experiences of trafficked boys and young men and the approaches of practitioners supporting them, addressing key questions: What is known about the scale of sexual exploitation of trafficked boys and young men?

Home Office Consultation on the Definition of CSE

The Home Office has been consulting nationally over the current definition of CSE with the view to revising this, and has consulted on the use of the new definition in replacing the definition outlined within the statutory guidance, “Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2015”.   The consultation period has now closed but the Essex Safeguarding Children Board has participated and agencies within Essex have fed their views on the proposed definition below:    

Proposed definition:  “Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.”

In the meantime, the current definition will remain unchanged and we await the outcome from the Home Office of this consultation period.

Video for Health and Social Care Professionals

A new video aimed at helping health and social care professionals to spot possible signs of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has launched.
Supported by Health Education England (HEE), in association with the Department of Health and NHS England the video presents a series of scenarios involving a young person potentially at risk of CSE and uses the voice of a real-life victim who talks about her experiences at the hands of a CSE gang.

The video also provides practical advice on what to do if healthcare professionals and others suspect a patient or person in their care is at risk and makes it clear that there is a responsibility to report any activity that they think is suspicious.