Child sexual exploitation: learning from case reviews

Summary of risk factors and learning for improved practice around child sexual exploitation

Case reviews highlight that child sexual exploitation (CSE) can be particularly hard for professionals to recognise and respond to. Confusion around young people’s rights and their capacity to consent to sexual activity means both young people and professionals often wrongly view exploitative relationships as consensual. This means that sexual exploitation often goes unidentified, and young people can be reluctant to engage with services.

The learning from these reviews highlights that professionals need to be aware of the warning signs of potential sexual exploitation and consider the child protection implications of underage sexual activity. Practitioners need to persevere to engage with young people and make sure the services provided are on-going and child-centred. The focus should be on ensuring young people’s safety, protection and wellbeing, rather than managing their challenging or risk taking behaviour.

Published: November 2013

Download Child sexual exploitation: learning from case reviews
Download the briefing (PDF)

Looking for case reviews? Search the National case review repository and find serious case reviews by subject, year or area.

View our full list of thematic briefings. Our briefings focus on topics ranging from types of abuse, learning for specific sectors, children and families at risk and more.

After regular updates? Sign up to our Case Review Update newsletter and receive a monthly update alerting you to the case reviews added to the National case review repository. 

Contact us

Our team of information specialists are on hand to find the answers to your questions.