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Child Exploitation


This section provides information to those working or volunteering with children and families across Essex, who may be affected by child exploitation. Children who are exploited usually do not recognise the coercive nature of the relationship or see themselves as a victim. Find out more about each type of exploitation below. Exploitation of children by other children can be referred to as peer on peer abuse. Sexual exploitation by peers is also discussed under harmful sexual behaviour.


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the fight against exploitation and exploitation methods changed/become more hidden:


Parents/carers of children who are exploited can be secondary victims of exploitation as they may be unable to safeguard their children from exploitation but feel scrutinised by professionals. Exploitation can become a barrier in the relationship they have with their children.  This can be referred to as extra-familial abuse.


The SET Child Exploitation Screening Framework provides local pathway guidance for professionals to identify key child exploitation risk factors present for the child and what further support services are available.  This includes when and how to make a Request for Support via the Children and Families Hub (this function is due to be launched in September 2020). Information on suspected child exploitation activity should also be shared with the Police Operations Centre Triage Team using this form (n.b this doesn't replace normal referral/reporting system and is mainly for the dissemination of intelligence rather than crime reporting).