3 Voluntary sector |
105. The role of the voluntary sector in the response
to child sexual exploitation ought not to be underplayed. It is
often their specialist services which victims are referred to
and it will be workers within those services who frequently gain
the trust of the victims leading to disclosure of the abuse. The
serious case review which followed Operation Retriever in Derby
described one such service, Safe and Sound Derby, as being "pivotal
in identifying the nature and scale of the abuse."
In Operation Mansfield in Torbay, the sexual exploitation
was identified as a result of a third sector worker who identified
missing children as regularly visiting the perpetrator's home.
In many cases, it has been voluntary sector services which have
provided support to victims throughout prosecutions and who have
identified issues with successfully prosecuting cases.
Detective Superintendent Critchley explained how the voluntary
sector acted as an independent supporter to the victims of child
sexual exploitation in Lancashire.
The Children's Society, CROP and Barnardo's,
for example, play that role from the moment we get the disclosure
through to court, and are able to play that role to support victims
through to court where there is not that relationship with a police
106. Voluntary sector organisations can also take
a role in prevention work such as training for frontline professionals
and awareness-raising in the community.
However, Alyas Karmani commented that voluntary organisations
can often reach people not necessarily engaged in the community
but that this work was being constrained by lack of available
resources. He said that there were areas within communities
where a lot of CSE takes places, where the traffickers
are, where the groomers are. Who is actually in that space? A
lot of third sector organisations, third sector youth engagement
outreach and detached projects like STREET operate in that particular
environment, and we have had a massive challenge. We have been
saying to a lot of Local Safeguarding Boards that we want to do
that work on streets with gangs and with young people at risk
but the resources have not been there to facilitate that and allow
us to do the work that we can do to create prevention and safeguarding.
Safe and Sound Derby run a support group for parents
whose children have been affected by child sexual exploitation
"to enable them to understand what is happening, to help
them protect their child and support the rest of their family,
and to deal with other agencies who are likely to be involved
with their case, such as the police and children's social care."
107. The voluntary sector plays a vital role in
identifying child sexual exploitation and supporting victims through
investigations, prosecutions and beyond. We recommend that the
Government ensure that where voluntary organisations are effectively
supporting official agencies in tackling child sexual exploitation,
there are resources made available to continue the partnership.
This is especially important in terms of funding for voluntary
sector organisations which work with young people at risk. We
earlier highlighted the importance of prevention and early intervention
and we take this opportunity to recommend that resources be allocated
to ensure that this vital work takes place.
230 Derby Safeguarding Children Board, Serious Case
Review BD09: Executive Summary, July 2010, page 3 Back
Correspondence from The Children's Society, 12 March 2013 Back
Q 192 Back
Q 484 Back
Ev w20 [Safe and Sound Derby] Back
Q 831 Back
Q 825 Back
Ev w22 Back