These types of abuse are extremely complex and often hidden. They occur when children and young people misplace their trust in peers and/or adults who exercise coercion over them through grooming, intimidation, debt bondage and violence for their own gains. The indicators for exploitation can sometimes be mistaken for ‘normal adolescent behaviours’.
It requires professionals and the community to gain awareness, knowledge and exercise ‘curiosity’ to identify the abuse. Children and young people may not recognise the harm they are experiencing and may also be reluctant to talk. All agencies, professionals and the wider community need to be alert to the signs of exploitation and be able to effectively respond. More is now known about further forms of exploitation including the threat of young people being exploited by dangerous drugs networks also known as County Lines.
In South Yorkshire, there is growing evidence of the strong links between exploitation, children going missing, drugs, gangs and youth violence. Our approach to tackling the problem must be collaborative, inclusive and multiagency, supported by purposeful leadership across partnerships. We need to ensure that through collective efforts we work together to protect children.
Our CE Training programme, launched in September 2021, is delivered by Team EPIC at the Keepmoat Stadium on a monthly cycle from October 2021. The workshops are delivered in slots - morning and afternoon - and we have capacity for up to 25 participants. To book or enquire, please email CETraining@dcstrust.co.uk
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