Exploitation is a form of abuse, is often characterised by an imbalance of power, exchange and (the restriction or absence of) consent.
Exploitation occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child (under the age of 18 years):
(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 be exploited for criminal or sexual purposes and can include forced labour, organ harvesting, domestic servitude, and forced marriage.
DSPP, in partnership with the Dudley Exploitation Hub, have produced a Child Exploitation Strategy, this is available to view below:
To make a referral around any form of exploitation please complete an online Multi Agency Referral Form (MARF) via the Dudley Children's Portal site
A Child Exploitation Screening Tool should also be completed and emailed to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub at MASH_Referrals@dudley.gov.uk
Any child or young person in Dudley who is known or suspected to be exploited, or at risk of exploitation, can be referred to statutory services for consideration of support or intervention. Likewise, potential perpetrators of exploitation, or places where exploitation is suspected to take place, can be referred for consideration of intervention, prevention, or disruption activity.
Below is information regarding the Multi-Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) and Child Exploitation Operational Group (CEOG) meetings alongside a process flowchart for child exploitation:
A number of exploitation training courses will be launched to complement the strategy. The Introduction to Exploitation course will launch during September 2021, this will be a level 2 multi-agency course that will need to be completed before completing additional modules on specific areas of exploitation.
For more information please visit the Learning Zone section of our website
My Safety Plan
The My Safety Plan is a framework developed to support those young people who are vulnerable or experiencing harm outside of the home within extra familial contexts, for example online, in schools, neighbourhoods etc. If a child is vulnerable or suffering / likely to suffer significant harm, however the context of risk sits outside of the family home, and parents/carers are doing everything they can to care for their child, then a My Safety Plan may be a more effective approach than a Child in Need Plan / Child Protection Plan.
The My Safety Plan Framework ultimately follows similar processes as those within Child in Need / Child Protection intervention, for example initial meetings, plans, visits, and reviews, but it recognises the context of the risk for the young person.
The My Safety Plan Framework is being adopted in Dudley and will be overseen by the Dudley Exploitation Hub. In terms of the process, following referral, a Child and Young Person’s Assessment should be completed alongside a Contextual Safeguarding Screening Tool. If a My Safety Plan is recommended, then an Initial My Safety Plan Meeting should take place, followed by My Safety Plan Progress Checks and My Safety Plan Reviews.
For more information on the My Safety Plan process contact the Dudley Exploitation Hub via email on CS.Hub@dudley.gov.uk