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A move in the right direction for child exploitation?

25 February 2015

A report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), has found that 92% of Local Safeguarding Children Boards have implemented strategies to protect children from sexual exploitation. Concerns, however, remain about the implementation of safeguarding at the ‘frontline’ of practice.

The inquiry report sought to identify the failings in practice and “was the most comprehensive assessment” of child sexual exploitation to date. Whilst the report found some improvements, ineffective information-sharing between agencies and design methods that ignored children’s input were also identified. With 2,409 child victims of sexual exploitation identified between August 2010 to October 2011, the OCC adopts a proactive approach to safeguarding and calls for PSHE to become a mandatory subject on the curriculum, promoting topics such as relationships and sex.

For local authorities and private care providers, the report provides “foundations for good practice” and the benefits of pre-emptive action. An interim report on the OCC’s latest statutory inquiry, identifying the prevalence of child sexual abuse in interfamilial settings, is to follow.

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