Children’s services hosts first joint multi-agency workshop

The Northern Trust and the Police Service of Northern Ireland have held a multi-agency workshop on 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.

The aim of the workshop which brought together over 140 representatives from social services, police, health, education and voluntary sectors, was to ensure that professionals respond sensitively and effectively to the needs of children/ young people who are victims or at risk of CSE and to improve interagency working.

John Fenton, Assistant Director for Safeguarding and Family Support Services and Chair of the NHSCT Multi-disciplinary CSE Group said:
“Professionals working with children and young people and society in general, are increasingly aware of the prevalence and impact of the sexual exploitation of children. The workshop was an important opportunity for social workers, police officers and other key professionals in the NHSCT area to share examples of good practice in this work and to strengthen working relationships into the future in order to better work with young people themselves and their families.”

The CSE protection work undertaken by the Northern Health & Social Care Trust is co-ordinated by a multi-disciplinary cross-Directorate group, supported by the Trust CSE Senior Social Work Practitioner.

11th March 2016

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