Our dedicated team consisting of CSE, Therapeutic and Outreach practitioners has provided a range of specialist services to young people who are affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Norfolk since 2007.

For young people who have been harmed by child sexual exploitation we provide intensive support through our Rose Project. In addition to this our preventative and early intervention services include drop ins and group work to raise awareness about issues that affect and harm young people. This can include grooming online and offline, sexting, sexual exploitation, healthy/unhealthy relationships, sexual health and consent.

 

A Trauma-informed approach

We recognise that the young people we work with have suffered trauma as a result of experiencing sexual violence and exploitation.

We are mindful that some young people have experienced complex trauma of a prolonged and repeated nature.

Being young person led, we work at their pace to prevent re-traumatising the individual; supporting them to understand their experiences by supporting them to develop coping strategies and self-awareness.

When and if they are ready, we can support them to seek appropriate therapeutic interventions.

As a team we are committed to ensuring:

  • Support is timely, flexible and responsive
  • Young people can set the pace of the work
  • Young people do not have to change workers as far as is possible
  • That we operate in an open and transparent way
  • There is no waiting list and support is not time-limited
  • Workers have small caseloads to allow frequent work at flexible times.
  • Persistent and creative in engaging and staying with young people
  • Liaise with case accountable workers to agree exit plans
  • Be experts in trauma and sexual violence in order to offer guidance to professionals

Please be aware of the impact of your language.

 

Young people who have been exploited have been abused and they are not responsible for their abuse, for ‘risky decisions’ or not getting themselves out of abusive situations.

Abusers gain and maintain control slowly and often subtly.

They are often practiced in terms of grooming and tricking young people into staying with them, and even defending them to concerned people around the young person.

It will often take time for a young person to understand that they were exploited, as they may feel as though they gave their consent to sexual activity.

The blame and responsibility should be with the abuser for the situation, and plans should not focus on what the young person can do to change their situation, remove themselves from harm, rather on disrupting the abuser’s tactics of control and exploitation.

Please challenge yourself every time you speak to a young person who has been harmed, that you do not encourage in your language any feelings or blame for their abuse.

CSE can happen to any young person.

 

Please challenge yourself in situations by reversing the gender of the young person, for instance would you be more concerned if it was a girl rather than a boy?

There is still a tendency for boys to be picked up and supported around child criminal exploitation (CCE) and indicators of child sexual exploitation are missed.

Equally we see that where CCE is identified well and reported where boys are affected, girls being sexually exploited in these spaces can be missed.

We need to keep our eyes open for all risks and needs of young people.

Want to know more?…….

Once every three months we hold sessions for professionals from other agencies. These sessions are hosted by a member of the team, they usually last about an hour and are a great opportunity to share our work, experiences and new developments. Please call the office on 01603610256 for more information and/or to book a place.

 

What to do if you are worried about a young person

If you are a professional with concerns for a young person around CSE then in the first instance you will need to contact Child & Adolescent Duty Service (CADS) directly, on 0344 800 8021.  This is where are CSE concerns are assessed.

If you are a member of the public you can contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – on  0344 800 8020 – with your concerns.

If you consider the incident to be an emergency then call 999.