A national charity focussed on leading the fight against child sexual exploitation has launched new guidance to ensure local areas work closely together to protect their children.
NWG, based in Derby, has an army of over 14,000 members across the country and is a network of professionals who focus on tackling child sexual abuse through exploitation, trafficking and modern slavery.
It also hosts the National Response Unit for Child Sexual Exploitation, which helps practitioners access guidance, support and practical interventions in live cases of grooming or other forms of child sexual exploitation.
Chief executive Sheila Taylor said: “Our aim is to create a zero tolerance approach to child abuse through exploitation in our society and empower professionals to improve outcomes for our children, young people and their families.
“In just one year 2015/16, 54,000 of children under the age of 18 disclosed sexual offences against them to the police and in the year before that 2,760 children were made subject of child protection plans because of sexual abuse.
“We need authorities to work together alongside voluntary sector experts to co-design and commission services which end this horrific abuse.”
The guidance presents a united voice from children’s charities on recommendations for the commissioning of specialist statutory and voluntary sector CSE services, promoting responsible commissioning which is child and family-centred.
Josie Allan, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Missing People, said: “We are pleased to see the launch of new commissioning guidance which aims to help police, local authorities and health services work together to support children. The guidance has been developed by the NWG, in consultation with Missing People and other charities. Our role as a member of the NWG Network ensures we can support and contribute to developing vital guidance and the increasing professional knowledge of child sexual exploitation.”
It has been co-created by the UK’s leading authorities on child sexual exploitation including the NSPCC, Victim Support, Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, Catch 22 and University of Bedfordshire.
The charity also worked closely with West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group and Birmingham Children’s Services, The Commissioning Guide recommends that voluntary sector specialist services should be commissioned as part of local multiagency responses to CSE, and that services should be co-designed with voluntary sector agencies themselves. Recent research found that there is a potential saving of £12 for every £1 spent on providing a voluntary specialist child sexual exploitation intervention.