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Gloucestershire learns from young people and survivors on how to tackle CSE

Published
02.10.2017

A survivor of child sexual exploitation (CSE) shares her story so we can learn how to better work together and tackle CSE and missing children in Gloucestershire.

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The Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB) is hosting an event at Gloucester Guildhall later this week on how we can work together to address CSE and missing children in our county.

At the event, a survivor will share her story and the county’s professionals will discuss best practice as well as other real life examples from across the county and nationally.

In order to give the event a real perspective and truly highlight the issues being faced, the board has worked with local secondary schools and is bringing a young person’s perspective to the day. Teenagers have been asked to produce ‘scribble boards’ that reflect how they see exploitation. It’s important that we see these issues from a young person’s perspective, as it will help people identify vulnerable traits and spot early signs of abuse.

The purpose of the conference is not only to raise the profile of these issues, but also create more understanding of the signs of exploitation and the reasons why children go missing, in a bid for them to be spotted sooner and hopefully prevented.

It’s important to remember that exploitation can affect any child, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, religion or sex. It is up to all of us in Gloucestershire to speak out if we see something that isn’t right.

Child sexual exploitation covers a wide range of behaviours and activities. Not all are criminal but they do pose physical, emotional and psychological harm to children experiencing them.

Speakers from across the country will be presenting on the day as well as county council local teams. Attendees include west midlands police and the national working group for CSE, as well as our very own DS Nigel Hatton and Jane Price, CSE coordinator.

Dave McCallum, independent chair of Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board said: “We try to hold a conference every year and it’s always a very successful event that brings learning and reflection.

CSE is not just something that happens elsewhere, it’s under our noses and we need to be able to spot the signs to keep children safe.”

If you have a concern about a child please contact Children and Families Helpdesk on childrenshelpdesk@gloucestershire.gov.uk  or 01452 426565 (during office hours), but if you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child please contact the Police on 101 at any time.

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