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Child exploitation

Five ways that parents can protect their children

Close-up of a young woman, taken from waist-height, as she looks at her phone. Her face is not visible. Overlaid is text that says: "Spot the Signs Poster Hub".

Awareness of Child Exploitation (CE) has risen dramatically in recent years as the scale of the problem was unearthed in areas across the country. The issue has since been covered extensively on the news, in documentaries and TV dramas; but our teams find the early signs of exploitation are often still missed by the adults around a young victim.

For this reason, we have produced a series of posters that shine a light on this issue, and the ways to help a young person. The materials are most relevant for professionals who work with children, but are useful for anybody who wants to know more about Child Exploitation and Missing From Home.

This poster covers five ways that parents can protect their children from the risk of child exploitation.

  1. Running away can be a sign: If your child goes missing, you should report this to the police. Doing this won’t get your child in trouble but will mean that appropriate action can be taken to locate them and a return home interview can be completed to offer support and help reduce the risk of your child going missing again.
  2. Look out for unexpected gifts, changes in behaviour, or mood: Some gifts can be in the form of noticeable items such as clothes, phones or cash, but they can also be much more subtle things such as food, drinks or online gaming.
  3. Understand the apps young people are using online and make sure that their privacy settings are set high: Where you are unsure or an app you can visit reputable website such as www.thinkuknow.co.uk to access guides and advice. Looking through these guides with your child can be a good way to agree which apps can be used and how.
  4. Be aware that boys can also be victims of online grooming or CSE: Any child could be affected by exploitation, regardless of gender, religion, or sexuality.
  5. Alert a professional if you have any concerns: Talk to a person who you can trust such as your child’s teacher. They can provide guidance and can point you in the direction of local support services.