Child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a terrible crime with destructive and far reaching consequences for victims, their families, and society.

It is not limited to any particular geography, ethnic or social background, and all councils should assume that CSE is happening in their area and take proactive action to prevent it.

Cllr David SimmondsRecent events have shown that all areas need to be prepared to respond to this challenge robustly, and there are many good examples of effective work to be found around the country. The case studies in the report and online showcase some of the work that is already underway to improve local practice. These cover initiatives such as community engagement, regional work across local authority boundaries, building effective multi-agency partnerships and commissioning independent audits of local work.

Alongside these case studies, our 2015 resource pack contains a range of materials that councils may find useful when planning work locally. This includes an overview of key learning from recent reports and inquiries, a myth busting guide to common stereotypes around CSE, and advice for councillors on how to assess the effectiveness of local practice. Further resources, including training tools and advice on working with the media are available online, and will be updated regularly.

Tackling child sexual exploitation must be a priority for all of us, and the resources available in our 2015 report and this online resource highlight the very real difference that councils and their partners can make in preventing this awful crime – and the crucial role of councillors within this.

Councillor David Simmonds, Chair of the LGA Children and Young People Board

About this resource

This resource aims to help councils implement effective responses to child sexual exploitation within their own organisation, with their local partners and their communities.

Recognising that councils will have different approaches and circumstances, it does not set out a ‘one-size-fits-all' resource that all councils should follow. Instead, it brings together and shares a set of resources, both new and existing, in order to provide councils with ideas and materials that can be adapted to suit local needs. It includes briefings, communications support, training materials and case studies.

What is child sexual exploitation?

Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (eg food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition, for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet or mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child or young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social, economic and/or emotional vulnerability.