Child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation and communities

Community education

It's better to prevent children from being harmed then having to help children recover from the trauma of being sexually exploited. The council and Southwark police are carrying out widespread community education to ensure everyone knows what to do to prevent harm to children. We're sure that you also have a big role to play.

If you're reading this website then you're most likely, like us, very concerned about child protection. Because we have so many concerned and active citizens in Southwark, we've recently started up a Keeping Children Safe volunteer’s team. So far the team has successfully run a stall at a school’s open day to listen to the ideas of young people, and workshops in local areas for parents and their families. We want volunteers to do more and we'll support them to do so. If you're interested in volunteering, email Kevin Dykes or phone him on 02075255601. Even in this time of the coronavirus emergency, we'll continue to support you and your communities in the task of keeping children safe.

Southwark Safeguarding Children’s Board

Southwark Council, local police, health services, local schools, community and faith groups and the voluntary sector all come together to keep children safe at the Southwark Safeguarding Children’s Board.

The safeguarding board wants to reach parents, children and young people, and all local organisations with information about stopping child sexual exploitation. There are 9 different “types” of child sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation often happens alongside other forms of child exploitation, such as forcing children to break the law by carrying drugs or weapons, and using it to blackmail a child. It's easy to understand the danger to children when their “best friend” is a criminal. There's a role for everyone to play to put a stop to this and we'll support you in playing your role.

What's next

We're offering support to communities

If you're part of a community group, a church, mosque or temple, a tenants group or any other sort of local community group, we'd like to come and talk to you about what role you can play. We'll help by making everyone in your group or community aware of the signs of children being sexually exploited, and how to report concerns.

Before the coronavirus emergency we were holding meetings, discussions, coffee mornings, walkabouts, workshops, training and local community events everyone could attend. Now we need to communicate online until we can meet again in person. Luckily there are opportunities for you to do free online training and to discuss ideas about keeping children safe with council workers, police officers, voluntary sector organisations such as Barnardo's and The Children’s Society, and with other concerned local people in Southwark.

Online opportunities for communities

Barnardo's is delivering Night watch

This free training and guidance programme is available to anyone that works across the night time economy. The training will help you recognise and know how to respond to children and young people affected by Child Exploitation. It's open to all staff who work across the evening and night, including but not exclusive to, parking wardens, park staff, cleaning staff, housing staff who licence and inspect private rented accommodation and all night time economy staff teams (including licensing, food standards team, the noise nuisance team, anti-social behaviour team, and community group leaders and volunteers concerned about safeguarding children).

Email Charlotte Jamieson or phone 07732 800 589 to confirm your suitability for the training prior to booking. Once trained, you'll become a ‘Night watch Advocate’ and you'll receive an award and a toolkit to teach colleagues and those around you how to become part of a Night watch community.

The Children’s Society

The Children's Society is here to help in Southwark, bringing their Disrupting Exploitation programme to work with local communities. The programme emphasises on empowering children and young people and disrupting the dynamics of a situation that puts children at risk of becoming victims of exploitation. If you want to find out what this means for you, contact the Service Manager for Disrupting Exploitation in London, email Donya Lamrhari or phone her on 020 8221 8214.

Online training

If you meet families or parents or children in the day to day course of your work or volunteering, we have one hour long child sexual awareness workshops for you and your teams. If you want to talk about this, email us or call Kevin Dykes on 07944754977.

Once we resume life after the virus, we'll invite you to take part in:

  • volunteer run workshops for parents and their families
  • parents’ awareness workshops
  • discussion groups (eg talking together as parents at the start of the school day at the child’s school)

If you'd like to discuss any of this with the council, email us.

Page last updated: 23 January 2024


Privacy settings