Child sexual exploitation

Keeping children safe and keeping families strong

We'll continue keeping residents up to date about opportunities to learn more about children's safety and keeping families strong.

Since March, we haven’t had many opportunities to discuss things in person and we’ve moved our training and seminars online. However, as not everyone benefits from online learning we'll look for opportunities to meet with you again in person soon. We’ll update this page as soon as we know more.

Key contacts

The Children’s Society

The Children’s Society have a programme called Disrupting Exploitation, which is paid for by the National Lottery until March 2021. We're hoping the programme will continue beyond this date. The Disrupting Exploitation team includes specialist counsellors and policy experts. They have two invitations to people to contact them. The first is an invitation to individuals worried about a child or young person. The second is an invitation to organisations who feel they'll benefit from some systems change help.

Contact The Children’s Society if you think a child or young person is at risk of being harmed by people making them do things they don’t want to do (eg having sex or carrying drugs). You can ask The Children’s Society to help. This is called making a referral. You can find an example of how they can help on page 7 of this report. This case study shows how a 15 year old was arrested and initially treated as a criminal. The Children’s Society made sure he was seen as a victim of his drug dealing exploiter. In 1-1 sessions with a trained counsellor, they helped this young person get back into education, eventually find a job and taught him how to stay away from people who will harm him. The police were also involved in keeping the young person safe.

The Children’s Society also want to help organisations improve. Sometimes organisations fall into bad habits and need an outsider to point this out. You can learn more on page 9 of the same report, which explains the judgemental language used on a peer group map when describing a group of young people for a pre-court report. Such reports used in court do not portray young people well. At the bottom of the page, you'll learn more about peer group maps. We're sure you'll agree that the language used in such reports and peer group maps must change. This example shows how seemingly easy to make changes help enormously. This is what systems change work can do. 

Contact The Children’s Society to receive help with your work life:

Southwark Parenting Service

The work involved in helping individuals become better parents must be based on directly asking parents what they need. Workshops with parents were held last year and you can see the results in the infographic - Keeping Families Strong.

Parents are worried about the following:

  • fear for their children’s safety
  • not caring for one another
  • violence in the community
  • lack of communication

Parents believe the following helps keep families strong:

  • safe places to go
  • trust, love and commitment
  • being open with each other
  • listening time

Some things that help more of these good things happen include:

  • parenting courses in youth clubs and children’s centres
  • volunteering in the local community
  • co-operation with each other
  • time share - meet once a month

If you're a parent that needs help, call the Family Early Help team for advice on 020 7525 1932. If you have questions or would like to discuss your family, you can also email the Family Early Help.

If you work for an organisation and know parents who need support, you can refer those parents (with their agreement). You'll probably be sent a short form to fill in to tell the team about you and your awareness of what's needed.

Keeping families strong
Keeping Families Strong


Page last updated: 23 January 2024


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