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What do you know about Child Exploitation?

Recent headlines:

 “Hull child sex offender brought to justice by North Yorkshire Police”

“Thousands worth of drugs seized in Yorkshire as 10% of country’s county lines smashed in one week”

“County lines drugs gangs in North Yorkshire disguised couriers as key workers during lockdown”

County Lines, Contextual Safeguarding, Criminal Child Exploitation, Online Child Exploitation, Harmful Sexual Behaviour and Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking are all different forms of exploitation, many of them intertwined with each other, however at the centre of all this is a child or young person at risk of harm or a victim of abuse by exploitation.

What does it mean?

Child Exploitation refers to the use of a child for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit often resulting in the child being abused physically, sexually, emotionally and financially. It often occurs without the child’s immediate recognition usually with the child believing that they are in control of the situation and can therefore be difficult to identify.

Child Exploitation comes in many forms and although they have different names, the patterns remain the same. It remains a real problem and one that we are trying to positively impact.

Despite the government lockdown and social distancing measures being in place, young people are still being groomed, exploited and abused and children as young as 12 years old have been used to carry drugs into North Yorkshire.

Know the signals

Signs that children and young people are being exploited can include:

  • receiving unexpected gifts or money
  • using their phone secretively
  • having significantly older friends
  • being picked up from school by strangers
  • showing signs of self-harm
  • regularly going missing from school and home

Next steps

Think about the following questions:

  • Can you identify those children and young people that are exposed to these risks on a daily basis?
  • What can we do to protect our children and young people?
  • How can we disrupt perpetrators behaviour and make it as difficult as possible for them to target the children and young people in our county?

Let us support you

To review your knowledge, pick up new information, and check that you can spot those signs of child exploitation, we have virtual classroom courses available:

Tackling Child Exploitation

17 November 2020

10.00 – 15.00

Click here to book

Young People and Risky Behaviour

24 November 2020

10.00 – 15.00

Click here to book

Both of these sessions can be used as refresher courses for Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputies in schools and settings across North Yorkshire.

Should you require any further support or training please contact our team of Safeguarding experts who will help ensure you have the knowledge and understanding you need to support your pupils: trainingandlearning@northyorks.gov.uk