Safeguarding children

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) is a form of sexual abuse that can affect any child, anytime, anywhere - regardless of their social or ethnic background.

It relates to situations where a young person is manipulated or forced into taking part in some form of sexual activity in return for something the young person needs or desires, for example; attention, a sense of belonging, affection, money, drugs, alcohol or accommodation. Fear of what might happen if they do not comply may also be a significant influencing factor.

Please click on the links below for more information.

Child sexual exploitation and the law
Child sexual exploitation - Information for foster carers
Child sexual exploitation - Information for parents

How do I know child sexual exploitation is happening?

There is a number of different forms in which CSE can present itself; these can range from internet sexual exploitation, sexual exploitation at house parties and the movement of young people for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

There is no typical victim of child sexual exploitation, however there are warning signs which may indicate something is wrong – and if you know what you're looking for, you can take steps to help them.

Ask yourself is the young person...

  • Regularly missing from home or school or staying out all night
  • Receiving lots of texts or phone calls prior to leaving
  • Changing in physical appearance or personal hygiene
  • Experiencing low self-esteem or self-harming

For more information, please visit: www.safertoknow.info

Useful Websites

I am looking for guidance on online safety and privacy settings.


I want more information on the social networking sites like Snapchat, MeowChat and Instagram.


How do I look out for the signs of child sexual exploitation?


I don't know how to bring up the discussion around online safety with my children/the children I care for:

I am looking for resources to show children to explain online safety.

What do I do if I am worried about my child sending explicit photos?

Contact the Gateway Team 9am – 5pm, Mon – Fri on 0300 1234 333 or the Regional Emergency Social Work Service outside of these hours on 028 9504 9999 to discuss your concerns and to seek advice and support. Additional points of references include:


Useful Documents

Page last updated:01 February 2017