Child Exploitation

Child exploitation occurs where an individual or group take advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual or criminal activity in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.

The victim may have been exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual.

If you are worried that a child is in immediate danger dial 999.

Children as young as 10 years old and sometimes even younger may be exploited and at risk of harm from an adult or older peer. This could be online as well as/or face to face.

For a list of support services relating to child exploitation to help address the impact it can have on children and families, visit here.

Our Missing and Exploitation team is part of our Together for Families Service.

Children who have been reported missing

When a child is reported missing this can sometimes be an indicator of, or a sign of vulnerability to, child exploitation.

If a child or young person’s whereabouts are unknown and no-one can get hold of them, it is important that parents/carers/family members or trusted adult report them missing. This can be done by calling the police on 101. 

Once the child/young person has returned, the police will undertake a safe and well check, and then an independent return interview will be offered.

The return interview provides the child/young person with the opportunity to discuss, in confidence, anything of concern that is going on in their life either at home/care or out in the community.

Please note, when a parent/carer/family member or trusted adult is aware of where the child or young person is but is concerned it is not a safe environment, it is still appropriate to report them as missing. 

Join us to unite against child exploitation

Child exploitation can take a range of different forms, from physical abuse, emotional, or sexual abuse and involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18.

This can sometimes be in exchange for things such as money, gifts, accommodation, affection or status.

You can help to stop this. If you see something, say something.

Do you know how to spot the signs?

Download our postcardDownload our poster

Report concerns about a child

Telephone: 0118 937 3641 (Option 1. Office hours only)

01344 786543 (Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team)

How to report concerns about a child