Spotlight on Child Exploitation

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March 2022: Spotlight on Child Exploitation

This month's Spotlight has been prepared to mark Awareness of Child Exploitation Day on March 18. 

Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up to get it regularly

What is Child Exploitation?

Child exploitation is complex and often cannot be categorised neatly into one definition and many children and young people cross over the different definitions.

The main forms of child exploitation are:

Help and support for victims of child exploitation

If you are concerned about the welfare or safety of a child you will need to contact Children’s Social Care. All referrals to Children’s Social Care are first dealt with by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

If you don’t believe the risk requires immediate action, contact the MASH team to discuss your concerns with a social worker.

Call 020 8496 2310 or email

Here are services available for children and young who are being exploited (accessed through the MASH team):

  • Supporting young people (14 to 17) at risk of exploitation: voluntary service provision 
  • Adolescent at Risk workers: early help support for young people at risk of exploitation, primarily aged 11 to 14
  • Liaison & Diversion: meeting young people's needs in custody
  • NIA: 121 support for young women affected by child sexual exploitation or any other form of sexual violence 
  • Rescue & Response: provide support to any London-based young person aged up to and including 25 years that is impacted by criminal exploitation (county lines)
  • Ask Us: trained ambassador are liaising with the the programme about risk relating to people and places in their local area
  • Spark2Life: detached outreach supporting individuals with emerging gang affiliation to address the root causes and to work they to provide a different lifestyle 
  • Exploitation Risk Panel (ERP): A forum that takes place every 2 weeks, where people from across different services discuss children or vulnerable adults who might at risk (ERP 7 minute briefing)
  • Daily Risk Management (DRM): Daily meetings to ensure action is taken regarding high-risk cases and overnight critical incidents are addressed in coordinated manner

Contact to find out more

Resources for tackling child exploitation

The Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children Board leads work around Adolescents Safeguarding & Resilience which is an overarching priority for the Strategic Partnership. Our vision, approach and ways of working to safeguard adolescents, including tackling child exploitation can be found in our Safeguarding Adolescents Practice Guide

There are a number of resources available that can be used to improve practice:

Email for more information on these resources

Safeguarding Adolescents Practitioner Network

The Safeguarding Adolescents Practitioner Network brings together individuals from across services and organisations share information and resources and to improve practice when it comes to tackling all forms of child exploitation.

It provides an opportunity to learn about any current safeguarding issues affecting our young people in Waltham Forest. Network events take place about every 6 weeks.

If you are interested in signing up to the network, please contact Addo in Strategic Partnerships:  

Email Addo

Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) training


Non-Violence Resistance draws inspiration from those who have sought to bring about changes in society in a non-violent manner. Famous examples include Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. 

The NVR Parenting Approach was originally developed to support adults caring for young people presenting with behaviours such as violence, risk taking, aggression or self-destruction, who were not responding to traditional therapies. 

The NVR approach is now being used in a variety of contexts including adoption, communities, SEND, schools and with adults in both direct work and in group settings.

Foundation Level training in NVR is being offered during the following dates:

Course A: March 22, 29, and April 5 (day 4 to be confirmed)

Course B: May 17, 24, 31 (Day 4 to be confirmed)

Express interest

Youth at Risk workshops for carers, parents and professionals

The Youth at Risk service (YARS) are delivering a series of virtual workshops (1.5 hours each) on exploitation, gangs and trauma that vulnerable children may potentially be exposed to in Waltham Forest.

Parents, carers and professionals are invited to attend the workshops, which touch on the following subjects:

  1. Drugs Awareness Workshop: delivered jointly with the CLG (commissioned drugs service for LBWF) – covers the links to exploitation, trauma and gangs via drugs
  2. Missing Child Awareness Workshop: delivered jointly with the LBWF Missing Outreach Team – covers the links to exploitation, trauma and gangs with missing/truancy episodes
  3. Gangs Awareness Workshop: covers the links to exploitation, trauma via gangs. Current gang tensions, conflicts, territories, grooming (CSE and CCE) and social media use by gangs
  4. Healthy Relationships Awareness Workshop: covers negative friendship groups, exploitation from gangs and the impact this has on a family
  5. Cyber Safety Workshop: covers the links to exploitation via the internet, grooming on social media used by gangs

Email to join workshops

In other news...

  • Become a qualified Mental Health First Aider for young people:

Do you work with or care for children and young people? Do you want to improve your skills, knowledge and confidence in supporting the mental health of a young person? Why not become an accredited Mental Health First Aider?

The training will teach you the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need. In doing so, you can speed up a young person’s recovery and stop a mental health issue from getting worse.

Information and course dates 

  • Become a qualified Mental Health First Aider for adults:

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course which teaches people how to identify, understand and help adults who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis – and even potentially stop a crisis from happening. You’ll learn to recognise warning signs of mental ill health, and develop the skills and confidence to approach and support someone while keeping yourself safe.

Information and course dates

Introducing Pride Together, new LGBT+ befriender service

Elop's Pride Together is a new befriending service for over eighteen LGBT+ people, providing a 6 weekly programme focusing on developing social skills to support forming new friendships and building the confidence to engage in new social activities.

This is an ideal service for those who feel isolated, want to meet other LGBT+ people, make new friends and improve their social skills in a safe and inclusive LGBT+ space. 

The online programme will require a commitment to attend 6 consecutive weekly group sessions and three brief 1:1 meetings with a befriending team member.

If you are working with anyone who you feel is suited to the service, please pass on our details and likewise send any referrals to our befriending email address

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

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