Lambeth Children's Social Care Child Sexual Exploitation

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter details a range of issues around sexual exploitation and contains the update definition of ‘sexual exploitation’ in an amended Working Together (2015), (see Appendix 1: Definition of Child Sexual Exploitation) and DfE guidance, to which there is a link. The chapter contains a range of useful tools, including Assessing Level of Risk of Child Sexual and the Exploitation and CSE Risk Matrix Tool, together with information around a range of local Lambeth resources. (See Appendices).

RELATED GUIDANCE

DfE, Child sexual exploitation: definition and guide for practitioners (2017)

DfE, What to do if you suspect a child is being sexually exploited, (2012)

London Child Protection Procedures: Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation

Lambeth LSCB: Prevention of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) – Lambeth Strategy 2014 – 2017

RELATED CHAPTERS

Missing from Home and Care Protocol

1. Introduction

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of child abuse and, when appropriate, will be subject to statutory child protection procedures. See Appendix 1: Definition of Child Sexual Exploitation.

Lambeth’s policies closely follow the Pan London CSE Procedures, which also contain further helpful guidance and should also be consulted, see London Child Protection Procedures: Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation

2. Determining Whether to Refer to Children's Social Care

Agencies that have a concern that a child or young person may be at risk of CSE should refer to the Lambeth LSCB Threshold of Needs Chart to help decide if the concerns meet the referral threshold for Children’s Social Care or whether the concerns can be managed in universal or targeted services. Advice can be sought from the First Response Team (020 7926 3100).

All agencies that have concerns that a child or young person may be vulnerable to or at risk of CSE should complete the revised Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool which will help them to identify the risk and vulnerability factors for the child or young person.

Where an agency determines that there is no need to refer to Children’s Social Care, there will be low-level concerns, where the concern is for vulnerability of a child or young person, and where there is no evidence of actual abuse or harm taking place. The parents or carers will have been responsive to the concerns and acted protectively, and be agreeable to appropriate support for the young person. Such cases would not have any police involvement.

Where agencies are supporting young people vulnerable to CSE and coordinating Team Around the Child support, details of the concerns and intervention should be emailed to Cathy Henchion, CSE coordinator, (csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk) to support the understanding of need and interventions across the borough.

3. Referring to Children's Social Care

Referrals should be made on the MARF (multi-agency referral form), and emailed to: dutymanager@lambeth.gov.uk or telephone 020 7926 3100. Any concerns for actual harm to a child or young person that require immediate investigation and response should be referred immediately.

Where possible this should be accompanied by a completed Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool which is helpful to identify specific risks/vulnerabilities, however this should not hold up a referral that requires immediate response.

4. Social Care Response to Referrals

If concerns arises about a child or young person that has an allocated social worker, then the social worker should update the Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool and discuss the new information with their Team Manager. The CSE Co-ordinator should be informed and can offer case consultation on how to respond to the concerns.

A decision will be made whether the concerns meet the threshold for a Strategy Meeting.

For all referrals for children not open to Children’s Social Care, the First Response Team will consider the referral. New referrals will be screened using the Pan London Threshold of Need and categories of child sexual exploitation risk- see Appendix 2: Police Risk Categories and LCPC Thresholds of Need. Cases at Level 1 may be the most complex and difficult to screen risk and consultation should be had with the CSE coordinator to determine how to respond. A decision will be made whether the case should be allocated for Section 47, a Children & Families assessment, stepped down to Early Help or if no further actions will be taken.

The CSE Co-ordinator should be informed of all referrals irrespective of the outcome of the referral and will record information to help support the understanding of the local needs and patterns of concerns. This information is reported to the MASE panel and the LSCB.

5. Section 47 Enquiries and Strategy Meetings

The relevant Team Manager will need to review if the concern meets the threshold for a Section 47 investigation. Some referrals may come from the police, and in many of those cases the situation will already meet this threshold. Where a joint or single agency Section 47 investigation is required, a Strategy Meeting should be held. Safeguarding concerns regarding CSE that meet Section 47 threshold should be the subject of a multi-agency statutory meeting rather than a telephone discussion, as the investigation and immediate safeguarding intervention will need to be a multi-agency approach. Lambeth CSE police (PPU) will attend a strategy meeting or send written information for all level 2-3 cases (evidence of a crime), and some Level 1 cases (vulnerable but no evidence of a crime).

Where it is not possible to hold a full meeting within 24 hours of the referral, a strategy discussion should take place between social care, police, health and schools where relevant to agree any immediate investigatory and safeguarding actions. A further meeting should however be scheduled, to be chaired by the Team Manager, and recorded as a Strategy Discussion on Mosaic by the Team Manager, and follow the agenda outlined in Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex). The CSE Coordinator should be invited to the meeting and will attend where possible for high risk cases or else can provide advice. The social worker or duty social worker in most cases will establish all the involved agencies to be invited to the meeting, coordinate the invitations, seek information from agencies unable to attend, and ensure that minutes are sent out to all attendees.

Consideration should also be given to inviting the subject and family to a part of the statutory meeting where appropriate.

As a general principle all persons who may hold significant information, or who can contribute to safeguarding the child, should be invited to attend, or else should contribute relevant information, and should be sent minutes of the meeting. The CSE coordinator will also need to be invited via csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk, to attend if possible on new or high risk cases, or else to provide guidance if needed. For a full list of persons to invite, please see Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex).

Specific persons to invite, and seek information from:

  • Parents where appropriate (for part of the meeting if other young people or confidential police information needs to be discussed);
  • Young person where appropriate and possible (even if for part of the meeting);
  • CSE Police at LXMailbox – ChildSexualExploitation@met.pnn.police.uk;
  • CSE coordinator – Cathy Henchion csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Missing Coordinator if high risk or regular misper – Emily Wareham missingcoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • School;
  • YOS practitioner (if unsure if they are involved, invite so they can share information) lambethyos.grp@lambeth.cjsm.net (this is a secure email so would need to email secure account);
  • Sexual Health/Other Agency/Charity worker working with young person;
  • Foster carer and SSW/agency, or other placement staff;
  • EWO team (even if unsure if they are involved, invite so they can share any information) educationcourtsteam@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • IRO where child is LAC;
  • CP Chair if the child/young person is subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Virtual school where child is LAC – lambethvirtualschool@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Colin Newman, Community Safety/Gang Strategy – not to attend meeting but to share information if there is concern around possible gang association – cnewman@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Health: (both teams are based in the Mary Sheridan Centre for Child Health 020 3049 4005);
  • CAMHS practitioner (if known to this agency);
  • Legal where the child is Looked After and orders may be necessary to safeguard their welfare;
  • Social workers for any other young person that the child is thought to be with or who may hold significant relevant information.

The meeting will need to consider the individual circumstances of the child /young person and should follow the agenda in Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex). The meeting will determine the current level of risk to the child or young person based on the information shared at the meeting. Risk assessment should consider the context of risk factors for the individual child but a general guidance is that a child/young person will be considered:

  • No risk - if there are no identified risk factors at the current time;
  • Low risk - there are identified vulnerability factors but no presenting evidence of actual abuse;
  • Medium risk - there are identified risk factors that suggest the child/young person may be the victim of grooming or abuse;
  • High risk - there is evidence that the child/young person is a victim of ongoing child sexual exploitation.

See Appendix 4: Assessing Level of Risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, and Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool for further guidance.

In consultation with other agencies, the team manager will consider the need for a Section 47 investigation and actions required, allocate for a Children & Families assessment or review (C&F assessment), and determine whether a review strategy meeting is required, or whether the next review should take place as part of a Child In Need review meeting or Core Group.

If the child is Looked After and placed out of borough, discussion should be had with the local police as to how they can attend the strategy meeting, including by conference call, and support a possible Section 47 investigation.

The resulting plan for the child or young person, or the updated plan, should ensure that every risk factor and vulnerability identified for a child/young person is specifically addressed in their plan, i.e. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, Early Help Plan, Looked After Child or Pathway plan.

See Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan for assistance with ensuring that all areas are planned for to reduce risk and enable positive relationship building with the young person to best effect change.

6. Sexual Harm and Exploitation Involving more than one Young Person

The team manager will also need to consider if the incident involves more than one young person, either as victims or perpetrators. Where more than one young person is involved, they will all need to be considered individually as part of the strategy meeting. Consultation should be had with a Child Protection Chair, on a duty rota/via the CPC Team Manager, to arrange for them to chair the Complex Strategy Meeting where required. If the alleged perpetrator is a child or young person, the Chair and all professionals will need to ensure that they follow the London Child Protection Children Harming Others procedures.

Where the other young people involved have allocated social workers, from within Lambeth or other local authorities, they should be invited to the meeting. Where there is no allocated worker for a child or young person, the team manager must ensure that that appropriate referrals have been made for them to FRT, and a duty worker from CAT will need to be allocated to attend the strategy meeting. Relevant Team Managers should also attend where possible, and YOS should also always be invited. If the young people are in the same school, the Safeguarding Manager in the Education team needs to be invited, please see Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex) for full invite list.

The Child Protection Chair, in liaison with the social worker presenting the concern, will ensure that the appropriate police team, health, education and a relevant social worker and team manager for each young person is invited to the meeting, and that the duty manager for the Youth Offending Service and the CSE Coordinator are informed. The Social Worker for each individual child or young person will then be responsible for forwarding the invite to appropriate involved professionals, confirming attendance, and seeking reports where professionals are unable to attend. A copy of the minutes and actions will be need to be sent to all agencies.

It will not usually be appropriate to invite families and young people to complex strategy meetings due to the need to discuss multiple young people, however the meeting will need to consider how they are to be informed and best included going forward. The meeting will need to consider the individual circumstances and risks, however should follow the attached agenda in Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex). Decisions and actions will need to be established for each child or young person in relation to Section 47 investigation where appropriate, new or updated Children & Families assessment, safety plan and support plan, and whether a further complex strategy meeting, or individual review meetings, will need to be held.

As before, the resulting plan for each child or young person, or the updated plan, should ensure that every risk factor and vulnerability identified for a child/young person is specifically addressed in their plan, i.e. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, Early Help Plan, Looked After Child or Pathway plan. Please see Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan for more guidance about different options to explore.

7. Cases which do not meet the Section 47 Threshold

Where concerns are identified that a child or young person is at risk of CSE but this does not meet the threshold for a Strategy Meeting, a multi-agency meeting, with the child and parents/carer, should still be held to consider the needs and risks of the child or young person, and to determine the safeguarding and support strategies. This should be entered on a Mosaic episode as a Child In Need Meeting. In some cases it may be appropriate to combine the CSE meeting with existing planned meetings, such as a CIN meeting or Core Group Meetings, however it is recommended that where possible the Team Manager chairs the initial discussions in relation to CSE concerns, and as above the CSE coordinator should be informed.

Those listed in the invitation list within Appendix 3: Guidance and Agenda for Strategy Meetings (including Complex) should still be invited where relevant, and the agenda will still be useful as a guide to best inform the meeting.

As before, the resulting plan for the child or young person, or the updated plan, should ensure that every risk factor and vulnerability identified for a child/young person is specifically addressed in their plan, i.e. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, early Help Plan, LAC or Pathway plan. Please see Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan for more guidance about different options to explore.

8. The Role of the CSE Coordinator

All cases where CSE is identified as a possible concern should be alerted to the CSE Co-ordinator via involved agencies sending the completed risk matrix and brief information of Team Around the Child (TAC) support plan, or through invitation to initial strategy meetings or CSE meetings. Invitations to be sent to csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk.

The CSE coordinator will:

  1. Provide case consultation;
  2. Provide support and advice to managers chairing strategy meeting;
  3. Co-chair/chair complex CSE Strategy meetings when requested and where this is possible, to support Team Managers or CP Chairs who are new to the procedure on the first occasion;
  4. Record on the CSE tracker, and monitor changes in level of risk and progress towards outcomes while the case remains open;
  5. Quality assure plans to ensure risk is being addressed and reduced;
  6. Provide support to social workers where required to ensure that plans continue to best meet the needs of the child, and to support complex direct work with young people and/or parents, and support analysis in ongoing assessment of progress, need and risk;
  7. Make a decision whether to present the case to MARP.

9. Ongoing Social Work Assessment

The risks to the child in relation to CSE will need to be considered as part of the holistic assessment, and protective actions or support included in the relevant plan. The assessment will need to consider risks outside of the family and within the social context of the child/young person. As above, progress in relation to these actions should be reviewed in review strategy meetings where appropriate, or as part of existing CIN meetings, core group meetings or LAC meetings.

Every child aged 10 years+ should be reviewed to consider any risk and vulnerability using the CSE Risk Matrix, which can be uploaded as a document. (The CSE risk assessment embedded in Mosaic is currently under review). Where risk or high vulnerability is indicated, the Risk Matrix should be reviewed regularly:

  1. Low risk: review every 6 months or every time there is a new incident or change in risk;
  2. Medium: every three months or every time there is a new incident or change in risk;
  3. High Risk: Every month or every time there is a new incident or change in risk.

Every medium/high risk case should be alerted to the CSE Coordinator.

All children/young persons who have been assessed as medium/high risk of CSE should have this risk considered in every review, assessment and plan. Multi-agency support should always be considered for direct work. See Appendix 5: CSE Resources in Lambeth and Online.

10. Children Place out of Borough, known to Visit other Boroughs or Transferred

Where placement moves are planned, in considering the most appropriate placement of a child known to be at high risk of CSE, where possible the social worker should contact the local CSE coordinator of the authority where the potential placement is located to explore if there are known additional risks within the area. Careful consideration also needs to be paid to the needs of any other young people in the placement, and any existing known risks. Lambeth’s CSE coordinator can assist in obtaining contact details of coordinators in other local authorities.

If any child /young person considered to be at high risk of CSE is placed out of borough, or if there are concerns arising linked to their travelling to another borough, then the host Local Authority should be informed of the CSE risk. The social worker should have a discussion with the local CSE Coordinator to determine if a referral should be made to the local MASE panel and to identify local resources.

Where cases are transferred, the CSE coordinator in the host local authority should also be informed and invited to transfer conference or a handover Child In Need meeting where possible.

The Lambeth CSE Coordinator should be informed of any out of borough placements for CSE medium-high risk cases and can support the communication with the host Local Authority.

11. Multi-Agency Risk Panel (MARP)

The Multi-Agency Risk Panel (MARP) meets monthly and individual cases are presented for multi-agency planning and support. Social workers will be invited and should attend where possible, although their availability should not be a barrier to case discussion.

  1. High risk CSE, Missing children and children with high risk sexually harmful behaviour can be presented to the panel;
  2. Cases should be referred if agencies believe that there is a barrier to multi-agency working, that there is drift in the case or that the risks are not reducing;
  3. Some high risk cases may be presented for information sharing purposes;
  4. CSE cases are further risk rated at this panel;
  5. Referrals should be made to the CSE coordinator csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk.

12. Multi-Agency Sexual Exploitation Panel (MASE)

39. The Multi-Agency Sexual Exploitation Panel (MASE) meets monthly. Lambeth MASE panel is a strategic meeting and is not focussed on individual case discussion, although some high risk cases may be presented for information sharing. MASE reviews data and information to identify the local profile and to plan disruption and prevention of CSE. The CSE coordinator will seek to identify any patterns or hotspots and present this information to MASE, to support coordinated strategic action.

13. Closure of Cases

Through appropriate protective actions and multi-agency support, over time the assessed current risks to young people should decrease. For the majority of cases which remain assessed as Level 2 or 3 risk, ongoing social care involvement is likely to be appropriate. In some Level 2 risk cases the young person may be sufficiently safeguarded through positive engagement and ongoing involvement of specialist services that does not require further social care monitoring or support. Where children/young people who have previously been identified as medium or high risk have had a Child & Family assessment completed and a decision is made to close the case, then consideration should be made to referring or signposting the child/young person to a local support service See Appendix 5: CSE Resources in Lambeth and Online. The CSE Coordinator should be notified before any medium/high risk CSE case is closed so a case discussion can be held with the social worker and team manager to ensure the child/young person is safeguarded.

Appendix 1: Definition of Child Sexual Exploitation

It is important to emphasise that child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. The definition of child sexual abuse in Working Together 2015, the government's statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, is as follows:

Child Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.

This guidance also uses the nationally agreed Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) definition of child sexual exploitation - this underpins the Metropolitan Police Service's Pan-London Child Sexual Exploitation Operating Protocol (MPS, 2015).

  • Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the young person (or third person/s) receive 'something' (e.g. 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 (CSE) can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post images on the internet / mobile phones without immediate payment or gain;
  • Violence, coercion and intimidation are common. Involvement in exploitative relationships is characterised by the child's or young person's limited availability of choice as a result of their social, economic or emotional vulnerability;
  • A common feature of CSE is that the child or young person does not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship and does not see themselves as a victim of exploitation.

Appendix 2: Police Risk Categories and LCPC Thresholds of Need

Mapping the Metropolitan Police Service 'Categories 1-3' to the 'Thresholds of Need' in the London Child Protection Procedures
Tier 1
Children with no additional needs whose health and development needs can be met by universal services.
Tier 2
Children with additional needs that can be met through the provision of 'early help' - a referral to children's social care is NOT required.
Tier 3
Children with complex multiple needs who need statutory and specialist services. A referral to children's social care is required.
Tier 4
Children in acute need. Require immediate referral to children's social care and / or the police.
   

Police Category 1:

A vulnerable child or young person, where there are concerns they are being targeted and groomed and where any of the CSE warning signs have been identified. However, at this stage there is no evidence of any offences.

Police Category 2:

Evidence a child or young person is being targeted for opportunistic abuse through the exchange of sex for drugs, perceived affection, sense of belonging, accommodation (overnight stays), money and goods etc. This will also include a child or young person being sexually exploited through the use of technology and without the child or young person receiving any reward. I.e.: the exchange of indecent images on-line. The likelihood of coercions and control is significant.

     

Police Category 3:

A child or young person whose sexual exploitation is habitual, self-denied and where coercion/ control is implicit. This is often carried out by multiple perpetrators.

 

[13/14/15] Threshold document
[16] Metropolitan Police Service's Pan-London Child Sexual Exploitation Operating Protocol (MPS, 2015).

Appendix 3: Strategy Meeting Guidance and Template for CSE Meetings, including concerns for sexual harm between children and young people

For children and young people who are victims of CSE from an adult or unknown source

The relevant Team Manager will need to review if the concern meets the threshold for a Section 47 investigation. Where a joint or single agency Section 47 investigation is required, a strategy meeting should be held, where possible within 24 hours of the referral. Safeguarding concerns regarding CSE should be the subject of a multi-agency statutory meeting rather than a telephone discussion, as the investigation and immediate safeguarding intervention will need to be a multi-agency approach. Lambeth CSE police (PPU) will attend a strategy meeting or send written information for all level 2-3 cases (evidence of a crime), and some Level 1 cases (vulnerable but no evidence of a crime).

Where it is not possible to hold a full meeting within 24 hours of the referral, a strategy discussion should take place between social care, police, health and schools where relevant to agree any immediate investigatory and safeguarding actions. A further meeting should however be scheduled, to be chaired by the Team Manager, and recorded as a Strategy Discussion on Mosaic by the Team Manager. The CSE Coordinator should be invited to the meeting and will attend where possible for high risk cases or else can provide advice.
Consideration should also be given to inviting the subject and family to a part of the statutory meeting where appropriate.

As a general principle all persons who may hold significant information, or who can contribute to safeguarding the child, should be invited to attend, or else should contribute relevant information, and should be sent minutes of the meeting.

Specific persons to invite, and seek information from:

  • Parents where appropriate (for part of the meeting if other young people or confidential police information needs to be discussed);
  • Young person where appropriate and possible (even if for part of the meeting);
  • CSE Police at LXMailbox – ChildSexualExploitation@met.pnn.police.uk;
  • CSE coordinator – Cathy Henchion csecoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Missing Coordinator if high risk or regular misper – Emily Wareham missingcoordinator@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • School;
  • YOS practitioner (if unsure if they are involved, invite so they can share information) lambethyos.grp@lambeth.cjsm.net (this is a secure email so would need to email secure account);
  • Sexual Health/Other Agency/Charity worker working with young person;
  • Foster carer and SSW/agency, or other placement staff;
  • EWO team (even if unsure if they are involved, invite so they can share any information) educationcourtsteam@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • IRO where child is LAC;
  • CP Chair if the child/young person is subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Virtual school where child is LAC – lambethvirtualschool@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Colin Newman, Community Safety/Gang Strategy – not to attend meeting but to share information if there is concern around possible gang association – cnewman@lambeth.gov.uk;
  • Health: (both teams are based in the Mary Sheridan Centre for Child Health 020 3049 4005);
  • CAMHS practitioner (if known to this agency);
  • Legal where the child is Looked After and orders may be necessary to safeguard their welfare;
  • Social workers for any other young person that the child is thought to be with or who may hold significant relevant information.
Agenda for Strategy Meetings
  1. Introduction and status of individual meeting; inform whether this is the first or review meeting:

    Information given at this meeting is confidential. Matters discussed here should only be disclosed to professional colleagues with a real need to know. All participants will be invited to contribute any information they have. Information not presented openly at the meeting cannot be considered in assessing risk. It is important that it is clear from contributors what is fact and what is opinion.

    This borough has an equal opportunities policy. It is important that everyone at the conference is treated with mutual respect giving due regard to race, religion, language, culture, gender, sexuality and disability. Discriminatory attitudes, opinions or language expressed at this meeting will be challenged.

    All children in the family should be considered at this meeting.
  2. Attendance and Apologies;
  3. Factual information / details;
    Who the meeting is about, details of the children involved.
  4. Reason(s) for discussion
    Clarify any new or presenting incident, ensuring that it is clearly identified what is factual information, what is allegation/disclosure, what is wider suspicion and professional concern. State any wider concerns and the purpose of this meeting.

    The chair should request a copy of any currently completed CSE risk assessment for review.
  5. What is the parent and child's view of the concerns and what do they think will help?
    Family awareness / response to risks;
    Child's/young person’s view of their situation and of the concerns;
  6. Complicating Factors
    Explore factors which make the situation more difficult to resolve e.g. substance misuse, learning difficulties, mental health, new diagnosis of illness.
  7. What is working well? (existing strengths, existing safety protection)
    Identify protective factors in place: within the family, in the community and the child’s individual resilience;
  8. What are we worried about?
    To include any past harm to child/young person
    Concerns and Indicators (please refer to Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool and Appendix 4: Assessing Level of Risk of Child Sexual Exploitation for guidance)
    Sexual health concerns
    Risk of ongoing contact with perpetrators
    Other child protection considerations
  9. Analysis of risk and future danger
    Risk discussion – what are the specific risks to the young person?
    Chairs summary (including level of risk) – with reference to Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool
  10. Decisions and recommendations including plan to safeguard and support the child;

    It needs to be clearly identified if this is a joint or single agency investigation, or else if a C&F will be undertaken or updated, or other action. Where there are ongoing concerns, the plan needs to ensure that the key areas are covered:
    Investigate, Disrupt, Protect, Prevent, Divert
    • What protective actions will be taken by each agency, and the parent, to safeguard or seek to minimise the particular risks identified? Who will complete and what timescale?
    • How will the identified needs of the child or young person be met? By whom and timescale?
    • Who is the most appropriate person to seek to build a trusting relationship with the YP and support them to understand the risks and empower them?
    • How will the support needs of the parent or carer be met? By whom and timescale?
    Please see Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan for further guidance in each specific area.
  11. Review date.
    To include consideration of any further persons who should be invited. If other young people have been identified as being at risk during the discussions, appropriate referrals need to be made.

    A list of actions and timescales should be completed during the meeting, signed by involved agencies, and copies provided.

    Minutes should be typed up and distributed as soon as possible, and within 3 working days. They should be uploaded to Mosaic under a Strategy Discussion, with a note placed in case notes to show the date of the meeting, date of any further meeting, and inform of where the minutes are stored.
Strategy Meetings to explore for sexual harm or exploitation involving more than one young person

Where more than one young person is involved and at risk, they will all need to be considered individually as part of the strategy meeting. Consultation should be had with a Child Protection Chair, on a duty rota/via the CPC Team Manager, to arrange for them to chair the Complex Strategy Meeting where required. If the alleged perpetrator is a child or young person, the Chair and all professionals will need to ensure that they follow the Children Harming Others procedures.

Where the other young people involved have allocated social workers, from within Lambeth or other local authorities, they should be invited to the meeting. Where there is no allocated worker for a child or young person, the team manager must ensure that that appropriate referrals have been made for them to FRT, and a duty worker from CAT will need to be allocated to attend the strategy meeting. Relevant Team Managers should also attend where possible, and YOS should also always be invited. Invitations should be sent to all persons listed as above, for each child or young person, by the relevant social worker for that child. In addition, where the victim/s and perpetrator are from the same school, the Safeguarding Manager within the education team, Sarwan Jandu, should be invited sjandu@lambeth.gov.uk.

It will not usually be appropriate to invite families and young people to complex strategy meetings due to the need to discuss multiple young people, however the meeting will need to consider how they are to be informed and best included going forward.

The meeting will need to consider the individual young people’s circumstances and risks, however should follow the agenda above, ensuring that:

  • It is clearly identified which professionals are working with which young person.
  • That there is clear consideration of the risks to each child, and the risks that they may pose to other children or young people.
  • Decisions and actions will need to be established for each child or young person in relation to Section 47 investigation where appropriate, new or updated C&F assessment, safety plan and support plan, and whether a further complex strategy meeting, or individual review meetings, will need to be held.
  • Where young people attend the same school, this will need careful consideration in liaison with the headteacher/senior school staff, and the Safeguarding Manager from Education. The chair should explore if there are grounds for exclusion in line with existing school bullying or violence policies; if not whether the young people can be separated either by using alternative sites, or separation within school, and/or escorted at times of increased risk; the possibility of reduced timetables and/or alternative provision to support this; and how the school’s wider strategies in relation to reducing violence in school and raising awareness of CSE can be best utilised.

As before, the resulting plan for each child or young person, or the updated plan, should ensure that every risk factor and vulnerability identified for a child/young person is specifically addressed in their plan, i.e. Child Protection Plan, Child in Need Plan, Early Help Plan, LAC or Pathway plan.

Please see Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan for more guidance about different options to explore.

Appendix 4: Assessing levels of risk of Child Sexual Exploitation

ntroduction

The CSE Risk Matrix Tool is a tool developed to help identify children and young people who are vulnerable to or at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation. It is not designed as a comprehensive risk assessment and professional judgment should be used throughout the screening exercise to determine the level of risk/vulnerability to the child/young person.

Every child/young person aged 10 years + open to Lambeth Children’s Social Care should be screened for CSE and this should be reviewed at various stages throughout the intervention with the child/young person.

When an individual or agency contacts children's social care regarding a child or young person they might not have the knowledge or expertise to identify the risk factors for sexual exploitation. Hence, children's social care should assess whether sexual exploitation is a risk for any child or young person even where it isn't raised by the person making contact. (Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation- London LSCB procedures 2016)

Early identification of vulnerability or risk to CSE will allow practitioners to plan interventions to safeguard the child/young person and to reduce the levels of vulnerability and risk.

Universal use of the tool will allow Lambeth to map the extent of the CSE within the borough and enable service planning to address local need.

Completing the CSE Risk Matrix Screening tool

The CSE Risk Matrix Screening tool should be completed for every child/young person aged 10 years + open to Lambeth Children’s Social Care; this applies to all males as well as females and children with a disability.

The tool should be completed as soon as possible in new cases and initial assessments should incorporate the information needed. At times information may not be immediately available and the practitioner should ensure that any new information received is included in a revision of the screening exercise.

The tool is a professional tool and should not be completed with children/young people or families. It is expected that other agencies working with the child/young person will hold pertinent information to the screening and this information should be sought and included.

Risk factors

There are a number of risk factors contained in the tool which will help you to focus on specific risks and vulnerabilities. These risk factors are based on research and are not an exclusive list. You may identify additional risk factors for your child/young person and should include this in your assessment of vulnerability/risk.

When considering the risk factors you need to use professional judgement in regards to age and development stage of the child/young person, e.g. unknown friends on social media and accessing adult on-line sites may be age expected behaviour for a 17 year old but would be of concern for an 11 year old.

Some behaviour may be considered historic and again you need to use your professional judgment to decide in individual cases, e.g. a history of truanting from school or missing from home over 12 months ago but this behaviour has not recurred in the last 12 months could be considered historic but a history of multiple terminations a year ago should still be considered relevant and of concern to current risks.

It is important that practitioners do not apply value based judgments on identification of risk factors and have an understanding of normal adolescent risk taking behaviour within a developmental and social context.

Categories of risk

Due to the nature of this form of child sexual abuse it may often be difficult to evidence your concerns due to denial, lack of evidence, a lack of disclosure or engagement.

It is important that professional judgment is used to determine risk as vulnerability and risk factors need to be considered within the individual child’s circumstances. Individual circumstances to consider include the age of the child/young person, cognitive abilities, social networks, family circumstances, history and if some concerns are historic when did they occur?

Many children and young people will present with indicators of vulnerability and risk who are not being sexually exploited and these indicators should be reviewed regularly to ensure the risks are current.

  • No risk- if there are no identified risk factors at the current time;
  • Low risk- there are identified vulnerability factors but no presenting evidence of actual abuse. One or more of the low risk indicators identified;
  • Medium risk- there are identified risk factors that suggest the child/young person may be the victim of grooming or abuse. Any of the low risk indicators and one or more of the medium risk indicators identified;
  • High risk- there is evidence that the child/young person is a victim of ongoing child sexual exploitation. Any of the low/medium risk indicators and one or more of the high risk indicators.
Factors that may increase vulnerability to Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Witnessing/experiencing domestic violence and abuse, and/or teenage relationship abuse;
  • Children and young people ‘Looked After’;
  • Patterns of abuse and/or neglect in family;
  • Homelessness/sofa surfing;
  • Substance misuse by parents/carers/child;
  • Learning disabilities, special needs or mental health issues;
  • Uncertainty about own sexuality;
  • Breakdown in adult/carer relationships;
  • Death, loss or illness of a significant person in the child’s life;
  • Financially unsupported;
  • Some form of family conflict;
  • Gang associated;
  • Lack of love and security;
  • Adult soliciting (prostitution);
  • Migrant/refugee/asylum seeker;
  • Other, please specify (could be other forms of violence against women and girls, such as online stalking/harassment etc).
Risk factors that may identify Child Sexual Exploitation Low risk factors:
  • Regularly coming home late or going missing- truanting from school;
  • Overt sexualised dress – is this age appropriate or different from peers?
  • Sexualised risk taking, including on the internet- sexting and accessing pornography, again is this age appropriate behaviour?
  • Unaccounted for monies or goods;
  • Secret phones or SIM cards, multiple phones;
  • Associating with unknown adults;
  • Associating with other young people who are at risk of CSE or who are being sexually exploited, if going missing with these persons this will increase the risk;
  • Reduced contact with family/friends, are they being controlled or isolated from family and friends?
  • Sexually transmitted infections, repeat? What age? Did they access sexual health services alone?
  • Experimenting with drugs/alcohol, how is this being funded?
  • Poor self image, low self esteem;
  • Eating disorder;
  • Superficial self harm.
Medium risk factors:
  • Getting into cars with unknown persons / adults? Is there a possibility they are being trafficked? If so then this may be a high risk factor;
  • Associating with known CSE adults, what level of association? if going missing with these persons this will increase the risk, if provided with a phone by these people this will increase risk;
  • Being groomed on internet, can share images or agree to meet with a dangerous person;
  • Clipping i.e. offering to have sex for money or other payment and then running before sex takes place;
  • Disclosure of physical assault with no substantiating evidence to warrant a S47 enquiry, then refusing to make or withdrawing a complaint;
  • Being involved in CSE through being seen in hot spots i.e. known houses or recruiting grounds;
  • Older boy/girlfriend, usually considered 4 years older but depends on age of child;
  • Non school attendance or excluded, is this sudden or a long entranced pattern? Where is the child when not at school?
  • Staying out overnight with no explanation, have they been reported missing? Are they staying with friends or do they refuse to state where they have been?
  • Breakdown of placements due to behaviour;
  • Unaccounted money or goods i.e. mobiles, drugs, alcohol, clothing, food;
  • Multiple sexually transmitted infections;
  • Self harming requiring medical assistance;
  • Repeat offending;
  • County lines- being exploited by adults to supply drugs out of London;
  • Gang association or membership.
High risk factors:
  • Child under 13 engaging in sexual activity;
  • Pattern of street homelessness and staying with an adult believed to be sexually exploiting them;
  • Child under 18 meeting different adults and exchanging or selling sexual activity;
  • Being taken to clubs/hotels for sexual activity with adults;
  • Disclosure of sexual assault and then withdrawal of statement;
  • Abduction and forced imprisonment;
  • Being moved around for sexual activity, this is being trafficked;
  • Disappearing from the 'system' with no contact with support;
  • Being bought/sold/ trafficked;
  • Under 16 with multiple miscarriages or terminations.

Appendix 5: CSE Resources in Lambeth

Support for parents/professionals
  • Parents and carers can self-refer to PACE, a telephone support line. (Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation) www.paceuk.info/
Support for young people:
  • GAIA: 1:1 work with young women aged 13 + at risk of sexual harm/ gender violence, and young men aged 16+;
  • Empower; Safer London. Provide a 6 month 1:1 direct intervention. Contact the Lambeth advocate worker/

    Email: JessicaCamino@saferlondon.org.uk;
  • Expect Respect: St Giles, work with young people at risk from gangs in groups and individual mentoring.

    Email: info@stgilestrust.org.uk;
  • St Michaels fellowship: work with young parents;
  • Children’s Society: London wide young men’s CSE service.

    Email: manpreet.patil@childrenssociety.org.uk;
  • WUSH: Wise up to Sexual health: Community based 1:1 sexual health support.

    Email: Deborah Clark Deborah.Clark@gstt.nhs.uk;
  • The Children’s Society has a US project for all young people with learning disabilities/additional needs. Please see the attached referral criteria and referral form. The lead for this area is Amy Edwards, Project Worker, The US Project (Understanding Sexual Exploitation), Greater London, The Children’s Society.

    Tel: 07739659404
    Email: amy.edwards@childrenssociety.org.uk;
  • METRO - sexual health and emotional support for LGBTQ young people in South London.

    Tel: 020 8305 5000
    Email: youth@metrocentreonline.org;
  • Brook Advisory: provides sexual health advice, safe sex relationship support and 1:1 work.

    Web: www.brook.org.uk;
  • The Well Centre, Streatham. Provides a holistic health service for young people including counselling, youth work and GP services.

    Web: www.thewellcentre.org;
  • Safe Choices - The Childrens’ Society. Safe Choices project delivers 1:1 and groupwork with young women aged 15-22 who are either leaving custody or leaving care, and have had experience with sexual exploitation, sexual violence, gang offending and violent offending.

    Tel: 020 8221 8229
    Email: Rhiannon.Sawyer@childrenssociety.org.uk;
  • South Central Youth: Youth club based group and 1:1 work to divert young people from gangs and crime. Will offer healthy relationship work.
On Line Resources

Face up to it

Say something

National Working group

CEOP: National Crime Agency. Has resources for children/ parents and professionals

Barnardos: Includes leaflets to download for Young People and for Parents, as well as for professionals, and other information

Appendix 6: Lambeth Children’s Social Care: Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Matrix Tool

Click here to view Appendix 6: CSE Risk Matrix Tool.

Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan

Click here to view Appendix 7: Example CSE Plan.

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