Welcome to another week.
The government has just launched a consultation to seek out a new definition for Child Sexual Exploitation, with a view to streamlining existing definitions into one so that all professionals are working to the same principles.
The government’s proposed definition is:
‘Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for, amongst other things, money, drugs/alcohol, gifts, affection or status. Consent is irrelevant, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.’
The government proposes to bring the revised definition into effect on 1 April 2016 and will include it within the statutory guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’.
The consultation is looking to seek views on 2 proposals:
- Revising the current statutory definition of child sexual exploitation
- Including the revised definition in the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)
The consultation is for:
- local authority chief executives
- directors of children’s services
- chief constables
- local safeguarding childrens board chairs and partners
- senior managers within organisations who commission and provide services for children and families, including social workers and professionals from health services, adult services, the police, academy trusts, education, youth justice services and the voluntary and community sector who have contact with children and families
Our question to you then, is just this: do you think the government’s proposed definition is good enough and if not, what would your definition be?