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5a Child sexual exploitation and sexual abuse sub group

Purpose of the group

The Child Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse sub group focuses on issues of child sexual exploitation, including child trafficking; sexually harmful behaviour; female genital mutilation; peer on peer abuse; and adults who serially present sexual safety risks to different families.  The group works to improve safeguarding practice in relation to these issues across South Gloucestershire.

Functions

The Child Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse sub group reports to the Executive of the Board about its work, what the priorities are and how its action plan is progressing.

Membership

The group has members from South Gloucestershire Council (Children’s Social Care, Safeguarding Policy and Practice, Youth Offending Team, Preventative Services), Police, Health (Designated Doctor, Named Nurse and Clinical Commissioning Group), Survive, Barnardo’s and Secondary Schools.

Frequency

The sub group meets four times a year. It is chaired by a voluntary sector representative on the Board.

Performance and effectiveness/impact of work undertaken

The group has had a focus on improving the response to child sexual exploitation (CSE) and has agreed actions that have led to some good work to tackle CSE.  In South Gloucestershire we offer training on CSE and a monthly meeting to identify young people at high risk of CSE, plan how to support them and tackle the perpetrators. This is working well.  Specialist support is also available to victims of CSE.  Towards the end of the year we have written the strategy to tackle CSE.  We have also recently developed a strategy to tackle Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage.

In relation to assessing the effectiveness of Board partners’ responses to CSE and how they have used their data to promote service improvements around CSE, the sub group has assisted in the development of the following:

  • Quality assurance of First Point’s response to CSE highlighted low understanding of CSE and so specific training was provided to the team
  • Children’s social care changed their commissioning of BASE support (specialist support to victims of CSE) to a Service Level Agreement in response to increased identification of young people facing CSE
  • The Youth Offending Service is moving to purchase specialist CSE support in response to an assessment of the prevalence of CSE in their caseloads

Areas for improvement and future development

As the CSE Strategy outlines:

  • We need to ensure all South Gloucestershire schools offer good input to pupils on how to keep safe in personal relationships
  • We need to get better at identifying young people who are at risk of CSE and improve our response and the support offered to them
  • We need to educate people working in the night time economy so they can spot CSE and know what to do
  • We need to train more of the children’s workforce, especially those working with groups of young people who might be at risk of CSE
  • We need to develop an action plan to implement the Strategy to tackle Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage
  • We also need to consider and agree what issues in relation to peer on peer sexual abuse we should prioritise

Duncan Stanway, Assistant Director Barnardo’s, Chair of the sub group