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Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership Procedures Manual

Children at Risk of Exploitation (CRE)

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Protection from abuse is a fundamental right for all children and exploitation is a form of child abuse.

This chapter outlines the procedures for responding to any concern that a child, living or residing in Derby and Derbyshire is at risk of exploitation, including child sexual exploitation (CSE) and child criminal exploitation (CCE).

The Derby and Derbyshire CRE Strategy should be read in conjunction with this procedure.

RELATED CHAPTERS

Providing Early Help Procedure

Making a Referral to Social Care Procedure

Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries Procedure

Children who Present a Risk of Harm to Others Procedure

Online Safety and Internet Abuse Procedure

Derby and Derbyshire Runaway or Missing from Home or Care Protocol

Safeguarding Children at Risk of Abuse Through Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Procedure

Forced Marriage Procedure

Honour Based Abuse and Violence Procedure

Investigating Complex (Organised or Multiple) Abuse Procedure

Managing Individuals who Pose a Risk of Harm to Children Procedure

Safeguarding Children and Young people against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism Procedure

Safeguarding Children Who May be Victims of Modern Slavery (have been Trafficked) Procedure

RELATED LOCAL GUIDANCE

Derby and Derbyshire CRE Strategy (Documents Library, Local Strategies Section)

Child at Risk of Exploitation (CRE) Toolkit for Professionals (Documents Library, Report Forms and Templates Section)

Derby Protocol for the transfer of young adults from Children’s Social Care to Adult Safeguarding Services where Sexual Exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and Criminal Exploitation is an identified on-going risk (Documents Library, Protocols Section)

Derby and Derbyshire Information Sharing Guidance for Practitioners (Documents Library, Guidance Documents Section)

NATIONAL GUIDANCE & FURTHER INFORMATION

Child Sexual Exploitation Definition and a Guide for Practitioners, Local Leaders and Decision Makers Working to Protect Children from Child Sexual Exploitation (DfE, 2017)

Child sexual exploitation: Practice Tool (2017) (Research in Practice open access) – provides background information about child sexual exploitation and additional commentary around some of the complexities inherent in practically responding to the issue.

Child Exploitation Disruption Toolkit; disruption tactics (2019, Home Office)

Criminal Exploitation of Children and Vulnerable Adults: County Lines (Home Office) - This guidance outlines what county lines (and associated criminal exploitation) is, signs to look for in potential victims, and what to do about it

Children’s Society Disruption Checklist for County Lines (2018)

Serious Violence Strategy (HM Government, 2018)

Contextual Safeguarding

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Hub (part of National Crime Agency)

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act 2015

The National Protocol on reducing the unnecessary criminalisation of Looked After children and care leavers, November 2018

AMENDMENT

In May 2019 this procedure (formerly known as Children Abused Through Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)) was fully reviewed and broadened and updated to incorporate the different forms of exploitation to which children may be subject. The procedure identifies the similarities between the different forms of exploitation and the overlap between sexual exploitation (CSE) and criminal exploitation (CEE). It incorporates the numerous models in which exploitation may be identified including CSE, CEE including exploitation by criminal gangs also known as ‘countylines’, modern slavery, extremism and radicalisation, internet based exploitation and children who go missing.

A new Child at Risk of Exploitation (CRE) Risk Assessment Toolkit (Documents Library, Assessment Tools Section) has also been published to identify and plan to protect children at risk of being exploited at the earliest opportunity. This replaces the Child at Risk of Sexual Exploitation Toolkit.

Contents

  1. Introduction to Children at Risk of Exploitation (CRE)
  2. Recognition of Child Exploitation
  3. Response to Concerns about CRE
  4. Co-ordination of Other Processes

1. Introduction to Children at Risk of Exploitation (CRE)

This procedure focuses on safeguarding and protecting children at risk of exploitation (CRE) and outlines the actions to be taken if a child is identified as being at risk of being exploited or has already been exploited.

Child exploitation relates to forms of child abuse including (but not exclusively) the sexual and criminal exploitation of children under 18 years of age and possibly up to age 25 for children who have Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND); or have previously been in the care of the Local Authority.

Any child who is at risk of or suffering any form of exploitation should be treated as a victim of abuse, regardless of the circumstances of the case.

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology

Child Criminal exploitation (CCE) is common in county lines and occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into committing criminal activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been criminally exploited even if the activity appears consensual. Child criminal exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.

County lines, is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line”. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons. The criminal exploitation of children is, however, broader than just county lines. It also includes, for example, children forced to work on cannabis farms or to commit theft.

There are similarities between these different forms of exploitation and the criminal and sexual exploitation of children may overlap. Victims of child exploitation may, at any one time, be subject to both criminal and sexual exploitation and they are identified in a number of models such as;

  • Child sexual exploitation;
  • Criminal exploitation, including county lines;
  • Modern slavery;
  • Extremism and radicalisation;
  • Internet based exploitation - contact and non-contact offences, including Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (Sexting);
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM);
  • Honour based abuse and violence;
  • Forced marriage;
  • Serious violence, including gang violence;
  • Financial exploitation;
  • Exploitation of an individual’s home and life due to taking advantage of mental health issues or disabilities (Cuckooing); and
  • Children missing from home, care or education.

There are three main cross cutting themes of exploitation, these are; modern slavery and human trafficking of children from one place to another, grooming of child/family/community and the lack of true consent. The Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Act (2015), provides updated legislation and government guidance on this issue.

See also Safeguarding Children Who May be Victims of Modern Slavery (have been Trafficked) Procedure.

Children who go missing from home or care are at particular risk of risk of exploitation, and the link between children being sexually exploited and going missing from education, home or care is strong and should be explored. Consideration should be given to the completion of the Risk Assessment Toolkit (Documents Library, Assessment Tools Section) when children go missing.

Children who are sexually or criminally exploited, or at risk of it, are victims of child abuse. As such they must be referred to Children’s Social Care and the Police to implement safeguarding processes.

See Making a Referral to Social Care Procedure.

The Derby and Derbyshire CRE Strategy (Documents Library, Local Strategies Section) should be read in conjunction with this procedure.

2. Recognition of Child Exploitation

Any child (of any gender) under the age of 18 years can be affected, this includes 16 and 17 year olds who can legally consent to sexual relationships and make informed decisions. CRE can take many forms ranging from what appears outwardly to be a child 'consenting' to an activity, to grooming through coercion, peer pressure, fear, violence, financial need and naivety. Practitioners should be aware that exploitation may also involve constrained choices for children such as the joining of escort agencies or selling of indecent images, and the child must be considered a victim of exploitation

Child Sexual exploitation is often hidden and can take a number of forms including contact and non-contact activity and can take place in person or via technology, or a combination of both. Exploitation may also occur without the child’s immediate knowledge through others copying videos or images they have created and posting on social media.

Child criminal exploitation can involve force and/or enticement-based methods of compliance and may or may not be accompanied by violence or threats of violence, including threats to family members. Children can become indebted to the individual/gang/groups and then exploited in order to pay off debts. Vulnerable adults may also be targeted e.g. their home may be taken over to distribute Class A drugs in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’.

The criminal exploitation of children is not confined to ‘county lines’ but can also include other forms of criminal activity such as acquisitive crime, burglary, shop lifting, begging and knife crimes and other forms of criminality. There is a distinction between organised crime groups and street gangs based on the level of criminality, organisation, planning and control. However, there are significant links between different levels of gangs, for example street gangs can be involved in drug dealing on behalf of organised criminal groups. Children may be at risk of sexual exploitation in these groups.

Children may be involved in more than one 'gang', with some cross-border movement, and may not stay in a 'gang' for significant periods of time. The gang or organised group label brings with it all related risks of involvement in gangs or association with gangs or peer groups that aspire to be gangs; retribution, initiation, punishment, weapons etc.

See Serious Violence Strategy (HM Government, 2018) for further information.

CRE can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, of any gender, background, ethnicity or culture, and by children or adults. The abuse can be a one-off occurrence or a series of incidents over time, and range from opportunistic to complex organised abuse.

Offenders of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and child criminal exploitation (CCE) can share patterns of behaviour in respect of grooming processes, manipulation, coercion, violence and intimidation. CRE is often typified by some form of power imbalance in favour of those committing the abuse. Whilst age may be the most obvious, this power imbalance can also be due to a range of other factors including gender, sexual identity, cognitive ability, physical strength, status, and access to economic or other resources.

Practitioners should be mindful that parents/carers may be complicit in the exploitation of their children, or fail to prevent/protect from it. In addition children rarely identify as a victim of CRE and disclosure may take time and evident risks may only emerge during on-going assessment, support and interventions with the child and/or their family.

The CRE risk assessment toolkit (Documents Library, Assessment Tools Section) is a helpful resource providing risk assessment examples, risk indicators and guidance related to vulnerability factors. Intervention and disruption strategies are also highlighted within the toolkit.

Duty of Practitioners

It is the duty of practitioners to be alert to the indicators and vulnerabilities that signify children are being drawn into exploitative situations. Practitioners must know how to report their concerns to prevent CRE, protect likely victims and assist the prosecution of offenders. This will require the provision of consistent, non-judgemental support to the child and their family and effective multi agency work.

Children are often moved around within cities and across city borders for the purposes of sexual and/or criminal exploitation. They may be found in hotels or be arrested for drugs or other offences a long way from home in an area where they have no local connections and no obvious means of getting home. This should trigger questions about their welfare and they should potentially be considered as victims of child exploitation and trafficking rather than as an offender.

All cases (locally and out of area) should be reviewed for elements of trafficking and appropriate referrals made as required i.e. National Referral Mechanism. See Safeguarding Children Who May be Victims of Modern Slavery (have been Trafficked) Procedure. Where licensed premises or persons are identified, a referral should also be made to the Derby Licensing teams and Derbyshire Licensing teams.

Exploitation is often linked to other issues in the life of a child, or in the wider community context. Practitioners should be alert to the fact that child exploitation is complex and rarely presents in isolation of other needs and risks of harm (although this may not always be the case).

See also Derby and Derbyshire Runaway or Missing from Home or Care Protocol, and the following Procedures; Domestic Abuse Procedure, Forced Marriage Procedure, Honour Based Abuse and Violence Procedure, Safeguarding Children and Young people against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism Procedure and Safeguarding Children at Risk of Abuse Through Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Procedure.

The key factor that distinguishes cases of child exploitation from other forms of child abuse is the presence of some form of exchange, for the victim and/or offender or facilitator. If someone takes advantage of an imbalance of power to get a child to engage in sexual and/or criminal activity, it is child exploitation if:

  1. The child receives, or believes they will receive, something they need or want (tangible or intangible gain or the avoidance of harm) in exchange for the sexual and/or criminal activity;

    and/or
  2. The offender/facilitator gains financial advantage or enhanced status from the abuse.

When responding to concerns and risks about CRE it is important that the following issues are considered:

  • Any child can be exploited;
  • Children in Care / Looked After by the Local Authority, children with a learning and/or physical disability, Special Education Needs and behaviour or conduct disorders are particularly vulnerable, as are children in transition from Children's to Adult services and independent living;
  • The history and background of the child and family;
  • Grooming is based on the concept of exchange, excitement and fear, and offenders will adjust their approach depending on the vulnerabilities, resilience and desires of the child;
  • The contextual information related to the risk of sexual exploitation and impact on other areas of the child’s life must be considered in all cases; Information on the alleged offender(s), individual, family, community, professionals and organisational context; to consider other support and disruption/prosecution options;
  • Capacity and ability to give true consent;
  • Any level of coercion or aggravated behaviours; and
  • Relevant Legislation for example Sexual Offences Act (2003) / Serious Crime Act (2015).

3. Response to Concerns About Children at Risk of Exploitation (CRE)

The earlier the intervention, the better the chances of success and it is likely to be far more effective than intervention at a later stage, when the impact on the child’s health and emotional development is likely to have escalated or constrained choices become entrenched.

The Child at Risk of Exploitation (CRE) Risk Assessment Toolkit (Documents Library, Assessment Tools Section) should be used by all practitioners and agencies when there are concerns that a child is experiencing or is at risk of being exploited to help identify the level, nature and extent of these concerns. The practitioner identifying the concerns should work together with other involved agencies to ensure that there is multi-agency information sharing and a joined up approach in response. Practitioners must give a narrative to explain any indicator identified and provide an analysis of risk, based on all relevant information.

On completion of the CRE Risk Assessment, practitioners should consider the level of risk identified; low, medium or high and if there are any other needs or concerns including information in any current assessments. This alongside the Derby City and Derbyshire Threshold Document (Documents Library, Guidance Documents Section) will support decisions regarding further action.

Practitioners should seek advice from an appropriate person in their agency, their designated safeguarding lead or from a CRE Champion/Point of Contact, if available. Advice can also be sought from a Social Work Manager via the Derby Children's Services Professional Consultation Line or in Derbyshire Starting Point Consultation and Advice Line service for Professionals (see Local Contacts).

Practitioners must keep a record of all case discussions, decision making and interventions.

The level of intervention required will depend upon the presenting information.

Any practitioner or agency identifying medium or high level concerns should make a referral to Children’s Social Care as an assessment will be required under Section 17 Child In Need or Section 47 Child Protection. All immediate risks will require an immediate telephone referral to both Social Care and the Police.

All new referrals not already open to Social Care should be made via First Contact Team or Starting Point and a copy of the CRE Risk Assessment should be submitted to Social Care to support the referral. See Making a referral to Social Care Procedure.

Where a child is already open to Social Care, in Derby then contact should be made to the Social Worker and Team Manager who would then refer for a threshold discussion with a Child Protection Manager if they agree the threshold is met for the Exploitation Strategy.

In Derbyshire, all open cases that are considered high risk should be referred to the Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children (CPM VC). The CPM VC should be contacted immediately to agree the level of risk and will convene and chair a High Risk Strategy Meeting. In the absence of the CPM VC, the Locality CPM will undertake this work. Please follow the Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

The CRE Risk Assessment should be sent to Social Care as soon as it is completed and at a minimum within 24 hours of completion. See Medium Level of Risk and High Level of Risk sections below.

Be aware: disclosure of information by the child may take time and evident risks may only emerge during on-going assessment, support and interventions with the child and/or their family. Full disclosure is rare in CRE cases, therefore it is imperative that staff act on instinct and analysis of evidence and risks.

Children with Additional Needs

No child under 13 years or with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) issues can be immediately assessed as Low Risk if behaviours indicate they are being abused or at risk of CRE. As a minimum, the child should be recorded as Medium Risk. However, after thorough assessment if protective factors suggest they are low risk then they can be recorded as such following discussion with a team manager or CRE Champion (in the City) or in Derbyshire following discussion with the CP VC if required.

Children with additional needs or those who have previously been in the care of the Local Authority require special consideration up to the age of 25 years. Note: The Police Child Exploitation Team only works with children under 18, children over 18 years would be dealt with as adult victims.

CRE where the child is both a victim and offender

If this is identified then the Police Exploitation Team will work with high risk victims and divisional officers will work with the same victim as an offender, reviewing their offence. This is to make sure there is separation of the issues and also to ensure the victim of the offence has justice. However, if we can show a child has been exploited, manipulated or forced to offend then there are specific defences available to them to prevent prosecution see Section 45 Modern Slavery Act 2015.

See also National Protocol on reducing unnecessary criminalisation on children in care and care leavers.

All Levels of Risk

In all cases in order to facilitate the systematic collation of information in respect of a child considered to be at risk of exploitation, practitioners should also complete the Operation Liberty CRE Report Form if they have identified individuals or places that pose a risk to children. The form is located in the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit (Documents Library, Assessment Tools Section) and should be forwarded to the Police Referral Unit. This should also be shared with involved practitioners by the author.

Identified alleged offenders should be Police and Social Care checked and, where appropriate, action taken in accordance with the following procedures:

The CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit should be referred to when considering intervention and disruption strategies.

In suspected cases of radicalisation, female genital mutilation (FGM), and modern slavery and human trafficking there are mandatory reporting requirements.

However, local processes must be used as outline above.

See also the following procedures, Safeguarding Children at Risk of Abuse Through Female Genital Mutilation FGM)Procedure, Safeguarding Children Who May be Victims of Modern Slavery (have been Trafficked) Procedure or Safeguarding Children and Young people against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism Procedure.

Low Level of Risk

In most cases if the level of risk is identified as low, the child is likely to require support via an Early Help Assessment alongside regular reviews of the CRE Risk Assessment to ensure that there is a holistic understanding of the child’s needs. See Providing Early Help Procedure.

In most cases the Early Help Assessment (EHA) should be undertaken by the identifying agency and, where needed, they should call a Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting involving the parents / carers, the child and other agencies. See Providing Early Help Procedure.

The plan developed should address any concerns associated with CRE, taking into consideration issues identified in the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit.

The plan should be outcome focused and SMART, determining the appropriate interventions or referrals to specialist agencies offered.

See Derby CSE Service Offer or Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

When there is low level of risk, the threshold for Police or Social Care involvement is unlikely to be met. The CRE Risk Assessment should be regularly reviewed and should concerns increase a referral should be made to Social Care (see medium and high risk below).

If the child is already open to Children's Social Care or a Multi-Agency Team (MAT), and low level concerns are identified, these should be addressed within the existing plan for the child.

Medium Level of Risk

If the professional judgement, on completion of the CRE Risk Assessment, identifies the risk level as medium, the practitioner should make a referral to Social Care (see Making a Referral to Social Care Procedure) and consideration must be given to the need for a Social Care Single Assessment, taking account of the context and seriousness of any other concerns for the child. This also applies where a child is open to a Multi-Agency Team (MAT).

In Derby a Professional's Meeting may be held, to share emerging concerns and inform the risk assessment; this would be chaired by a team manager or practitioner in Locality. See Derby CSE Service Offer.

In addition, in Derby, the manager will hold a threshold discussion with a Child Protection Manager and together they will confirm the need for a CRE meeting. If required the Child Protection Manager will convene a CRE meeting within 15 working days of the request for those children considered to be at medium risk. This will include all involved and relevant agencies, including the Police and specialist CRE service, and to which the child and their parents / carers will be supported to attend. The lead practitioner will submit the CRE risk assessment, the single assessment or CRE report and a proposed CRE plan at least 2 days before an initial meeting.

In Derbyshire where concerns are identified that a child is at medium risk of harm, a Children’s Services Team Manager will convene a Strategy Discussion. (Please refer to CRE Operational Work Flow). The Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children (CPM VC) will provide advice and support if required.

The purpose of the Derby CRE meeting or Derbyshire Strategy Discussion is to:

  • Focus on issues relating to exploitation;
  • Consider the risk and vulnerability factors as well as protective factors to judge the level and detail of the risk to the child;
  • Plan the detail of the interventions, including direct work with the child and their family, from a multi agency and community service perspective in conjunction with family resources. Consider information in relation to alleged offender;
  • Consider the feasibility and progression of prosecution against the offender; and
  • Plan disruption strategies that can be employed see Disruption Strategies within the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit.

The Derby CRE meeting or Derbyshire Strategy Discussion should ensure that children and their parents are supported to participate wherever possible and the Chair of the meeting should meet with the child beforehand if they are in attendance.

Specific actions arising from CRE meeting (Derby) or Strategy Discussion (Derbyshire) must be recorded and an outline plan made available at the end of the meeting and the confirmed minutes and CRE plan to be circulated thereafter.

All participants of the CRE meeting (Derby) or Strategy Discussion (Derbyshire) who have direct involvement with the child and their family will be expected to consider the CRE Risk Assessment from their perspective to assist preparing their contribution to the meeting. The CRE Risk Assessment is not a tool for use directly with children or families as it is a professional analysis tool. Whilst the tool should be completed fully, the final analysis will be the focus of the meeting.

The plan developed should address any concerns associated with CRE, taking into consideration the indicators within the toolkit. The plan should be outcome focused and SMART, determining the appropriate interventions or referrals to specialist agencies offered. See Derby CSE Service Offer or Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

In Derby cases should be reviewed within 4 to 6 weeks minimum. If there has been a significant incident the CRE risk assessment and Single Assessment should be updated. Consideration should be given to Child in Need or Child Protection Review Conference being brought forward to address the risk with the multi-agency team and family. The level of risk will be reviewed via Child in Need or Child Protection processes. The lead practitioner will complete an updated CRE Risk assessment with the agencies involved and a Child In Need OR Child Protection Report, as will other agencies on multi agency report formats as with all other conferences. These must be submitted to Kedleston Road administration teams three days before the review meeting.

In Derbyshire the CRE Operational Work Flow should be followed.

The review meetings will consider the progress of the plan, the current level of risk, and the further action required to reduce the risk.

All review meetings should be supported by an updated CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit.

If the child is already open to Children's Social Care or a Multi-Agency Team (MAT), and medium level concerns are identified, these should be addressed within the existing plan for the child. See Section 4, Coordination of Other Processes.

Where there is a medium risk of harm the CRE Risk Assessment toolkit should be regularly reviewed as per the Derby CSE Service Offer or Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow, and should concerns increase to High risk – the response to High Risk procedure should be followed.

In Derbyshire the Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children (CPM VC) must be immediately consulted in all cases where there are escalating concerns.

In Derby and Derbyshire the plan will also cease when a child turns 18, in which case transition services should be identified at the last review and in place, and when a child (other than a Looked After Child) leaves the City, in which case a referral should be made to the new Local Authority.

High Level of Risk

If the professional judgement identifies the risk level as high it is likely that there will be serious or complex needs or child protection concerns and an immediate referral to Children's Social Care should be made; see Making a Referral to Social Care Procedure.

Where there are concerns that a child is suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm Children's Social Care will hold a Strategy Discussion / Meeting involving the Police, health and any relevant involved agency. See Child Protection Section 47 Enquiries Procedure, Strategy Discussions / Meetings.

In Derby where appropriate, a Strategy Meeting should be chaired by the Child Protection Manager.

In Derbyshire the Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children (CPM VC) should be contacted immediately to agree the level of risk and will convene and chair a Strategy Meeting. In the absence of the CPM VC, the Locality CPM will undertake this work.

Please follow the Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

The Strategy Discussion / Meeting should give particular consideration to ensuring the safety of the child / other potential victims and the investigation and coordination of any criminal investigation.

The purpose of the Derby CRE meeting or Derbyshire Strategy Discussion is to:

  • Focus on issues relating to exploitation;
  • Consider the risk and vulnerability factors as well as protective factors to judge the level and detail of the risk to the child;
  • Plan the detail of the interventions, including direct work with the child and their family, using the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit guidance;
  • Consider information in relation to alleged offender;
  • Consider the feasibility and progression of prosecution against the offender; and
  • Plan disruption strategies that can be employed see Disruption Strategies within the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit.

The Derby CRE meeting or Derbyshire Strategy Discussion should ensure that children and their parents are supported to participate wherever possible and the Chair of the meeting should meet with the child if they are in attendance.

Specific actions arising from CRE meeting (Derby) or Strategy Discussion (Derbyshire) must be recorded and an outline plan made available at the end of the meeting and the confirmed minutes and CRE plan to be circulated thereafter.

All participants of the CRE meeting (Derby) or Strategy Discussion (Derbyshire) who have direct involvement with the child and their family will be expected to consider the CRE Risk Assessment from their perspective to assist preparing their contribution to the meeting.

The plan developed should address any concerns associated with CRE, taking into consideration the CRE risk assessment. The plan should be outcome focused and SMART, determining the appropriate interventions or referrals to specialist agencies offered. See Derby CSE Service Offer or Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

In Derby cases should be reviewed within 3 months and then at a minimum of 6 monthly intervals by a Child Protection Manager. The lead practitioner will complete an updated CRE Risk assessment and CRE Report with the agencies involved and submit this three days before the review meeting. In Derbyshire the CRE Operational Work Flow should be followed.

The review meetings will consider the progress of the plan, the current level of risk, and the further action required to reduce the risk.

All review meetings should be supported by an updated CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit.

Where the Section 47 enquiry indicates there are a number of other concerns alongside the sexual exploitation, in particular neglectful or collusive parenting or where the CRE risks are very high, a Child Protection Conference should be requested by the Social Care Team Manager via a discussion with a Child Protection Manager. In exceptional circumstances consideration may need to be given for urgent protective steps to immediately safeguard the child. The resultant Child Protection Plan must very clearly indicate the CRE risks and action to address them, alongside side any other safeguarding issues. Once a child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, the core group meetings and review processes will take place as detailed in the Implementation of Child Protection Plans Procedure.

In Derby there should be a strategy discussion however most children with high level risk are likely to have serious or complex needs and will be assessed as a Child in Need. The Child Protection Manager will call a CRE meeting within 15 days and all other processes are as for medium risk above.

In Derbyshire all children identified as being at High risk of exploitation will require a Child Protection investigation under Section 47. For information in respect of regularity of review meetings please follow the Derbyshire CRE Operational Work Flow.

4. Co-ordination of Other Processes

In Derby children subject to CRE meetings will be Children in Need, subject to Child Protection Plans or Looked After.

All cases which are progressed as Child in Need will have CRE meetings arranged and coordinated through the Child Protection Manager to consider the issues in relation to level and management of on-going risk and to identify the plan for intervention. These will replace Child in Need review meetings; however dates of CRE meetings and plans must be doubly recorded on Children's Services IT systems (LCS) as Child in Need (CiN) reviews and plans to avoid an apparent gap. Meetings of the multi-agency network should take place every 4 - 6 weeks, with reviews at 3 months and then 6-monthly. The lead practitioner may be a Social Worker or Children's Practitioner in a Social Care or Multi-Agency Team.

Where the child is already subject to a Child Protection Plan for different reasons, and concerns in relation to potential sexual exploitation emerge, the Social Worker should complete the Risk Assessment Toolkit as above and liaise with the existing Child Protection Manager. Where the level of risk identified would have led to a CRE meeting, a specific CRE meeting should be held OR the conference brought forward, chaired by the Child Protection Manager. Any plans arising from the CRE meeting will be incorporated into the existing Child Protection Plan and reviewed by the Child Protection Manager within child protection processes. This also applies if a child becomes subject to a Child Protection Plan as a result of serious CRE concerns or where parents are failing to protect from CRE. These children should also be identified as subject to the CRE pathway in LCS but there should be no duplication of meetings. We endeavour to reduce the number of meetings families come to so if there are siblings within a family on Child Protection and Child in Need plans they will be reviewed in one meeting – usually in the meeting where the child has the greatest level of need.

If the child is Looked After by the Local Authority, the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) must also be informed of any emerging concerns. CRE meetings will be additional to Looked After Reviews but the timing should be co-ordinated according to the needs of the child, and secondarily for the convenience of professionals. The Child Protection Manager will consult with the IRO and the worker to determine the best approach. The IRO should be invited to any separate CRE meeting and minutes shared with them.

There will be a separate CRE plan but this will be referenced in the child's Looked After Care Plan.

In Derby these children should also be identified as subject to the CRE pathway in LCS. Where a child in the care of another Local Authority, is placed in Derby and assessed as at risk of CRE, Derby procedures will be followed as above in consultation with the child's Social Worker, and CRE meetings will take place locally.

In Derbyshire children who are at risk of exploitation will be supported either through Early Help provision, Child in Need (CIN) provision, Child Protection Plan or will be Children in Care. Derbyshire’s CRE Operational Work Flow will complement the process and procedures already in place for these cohort groups of children.

Where the child is already subject to a Child Protection Plan for reasons unrelated to CRE, and concerns in relation to actual or potential exploitation emerge, the Social Worker should complete the CRE Risk Assessment Toolkit as above and liaise with the Locality Child Protection Manager.

The Locality Child Protection Manager must at this stage discuss the exploitation concerns with the Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children (CPM VC). Where the level of risk identified would lead to a Strategy Meeting, a specific CRE Strategy Meeting should be held OR consideration to a joint Strategy Meeting and Child Protection conference should be given, the CPM VC should if practicably possible be in attendance at the conference.

Plans arising from the CRE Strategy meeting will be incorporated into the existing Child Protection Plan and reviewed by the Locality Child Protection Manager within child protection processes. The Child Protection Manager for Vulnerable Children will also continue to review and monitor progress. This also applies if a child becomes subject to a Child Protection Plan as a result of serious CRE concerns or where parents are failing to protect from CRE. MOSAIC should also be updated accordingly.

Where the child is already subject to a Child Protection Plan for different reasons, and concerns in relation to potential sexual exploitation emerge, the Social Worker should complete the Risk Assessment Toolkit as above and liaise with the Child Protection Manager. Where the level of risk identified would have led to a Strategy Meeting, a specific Strategy Meeting should be held OR the conference brought forward, chaired by the Child Protection Manager. Any plans arising from the Strategy meeting will be incorporated into the existing Child Protection Plan and reviewed by the Child Protection Manager within child protection processes. This also applies if a child becomes subject to a Child Protection Plan as a result of serious exploitation concerns or where parents are failing to protect.

If the child is Looked After by the Local Authority, the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) must also be informed of any emerging concerns. Strategy Meetings will be additional to Looked After Reviews but the timing should be co-ordinated according to the needs of the child. The social worker must consult with the IRO to ensure that they have full oversight of the arrangements in place to help protect the child. The IRO should be invited to any separate meetings and minutes shared with them. If a child has an Education Health Care plan (EHCP), the SEND officer should be informed of any emerging concerns in respect of exploitation and the EHCP should reference the CRE concerns.

Where a child in the care of another Local Authority, is placed in Derbyshire and assessed as at risk of exploitation, Derbyshire procedures will be followed as above in consultation with the Child's Social Worker.