Spotlight on child sexual exploitation

Last updated: 25 Mar 2019 Topics: News Type: News

What works to support children and young people affected by sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) can have devastating effects on a child or young person and it can be challenging for professionals to know how best to support children and young people affected by it.

We're committed to building the evidence base about what works to help children who have experienced abuse. Our most recent evaluation looks at our Protect and Respect service which supports children and young people who are vulnerable to exploitation or have been sexually exploited.

> Read our evaluation report 


What our evaluation found

We found the need to take a broader, more flexible approach to engaging and supporting children and young people affected by CSE based on their needs. Often they are facing many difficulties with which they need support.

“She’s going through such massive periods of transition in her life. Doing her GCSE’s and moving onto college, that’s a natural transition for any young person, that’s what they do. But when you add that in with being kicked out of home…"

NSPCC practitioner delivering one-to-one work

We also found that directly engaging children and young people in a discussion about sexual exploitation may not always be the best approach to addressing concerns, especially when the young person has experienced a range of adversities, abuse and neglect.

It helps to work with a young person to understand what factors in their life may lead to an increased risk of CSE and work with them to identify and put in place the long-term support they need.