The impact of child sexual exploitation is devastating, and drugs and alcohol issues, absconding from care homes, sexually transmitted diseases and mental health problems are just a few of the signs.
In the hope of preventing this abuse and support the recovery of children who have been harmed, the Health Working Group - which is chaired by the Department of Health - has published its report on Child Sexual Exploitation. As health professionals can make a significant contribution to identifying and supporting these abused young people, including intervention towards specialist services, it is hoped the recommendations can improve their outcomes and futures.
As well as recommendations for safeguarding those at risk, and outlining health professionals’ responsibilities - including identifying warning signs of risk, sharing information and making referrals to other agencies, in order to fulfill these responsibilities, all healthcare staff need access to appropriate safeguarding training, flexibile learning opportunities and maintenance of skills.
What is essential is that health and other practitioners work together and share information for effective early intervention. There is also guidance for children who are perpetrators, therapy for child witnesses prior to a criminal trial, and the part played by Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards. You can access the report at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271604/Child_Sexual_Exploitation_Report.pdf