Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the young person or another person  receives ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of the young person performing sexual activities or having sexual activities performed on them by another.


  • The child or young person may form a close relationship with an older person
  • Children involved in sexual exploitation face great risks to their physical, emotional, and psychological health
  • Exploitative adults are very sophisticated and well practised in how they approach children
  • Children are sometimes abused by people they know
  • Often children will not talk about incidents of sexual exploitation
  • Be sensitive to changes in your child’s behaviour. It is up to attentive adults to recognise the signs of sexual exploitation
  • A child may become very secretive
  • They may come home with gifts which cannot be explained; such as money, mobile phones, clothes etc.
  • It is important that your child feels that you believe what they are telling you. Help and support your child, no matter what

Child exploitation takes many forms, including sexual activity with a child by one or many adults, child pornography and pornography on the Internet. The vast majority of children do not get involved voluntarily; they are coerced, enticed, threatened or are
utterly desperate.



  • Are they staying out overnight?
  • Have they been missing from home?
  • Have they started to truant from school?
  • Have they been coming home with money, clothes, jewellery and mobile phones they can’t account for?
  • Have they begun a relationship with an older partner or adult that you are concerned about?
  • Have you had concerns that they could be using drugs and / or alcohol?
  • Has there been a change in their mood and behaviour?
  • Are they losing contact with family and friends of their own age, and associating with an older age group?
  • Do they lack self-esteem?
  • Are they secretive about where they have been and whom with?


If your child confides in you, believe them, support them and tell Social Services or the Police. If you think your child has been physically injured, seek medical help. Talk to your child about what is happening.


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It is important that your child feels that you believe what she or he is telling you. Make it clear that telling what happened was the right thing to do and that you will protect him or her from further harm.


Know where your child is; be familiar with their friends and daily activities. Teach your child to trust their own feelings and assure them that they have a right to say NO to what they sense is wrong. Listen carefully to your child’s fears and be supportive.


  • Staffordshire First Response is a service for children in Staffordshire from pre-birth to 18 years who don't currently have a dedicated Social Worker.  Call them free on 0800 1313 126 from 8am - 8pm Monday-Friday or email:
  • Stoke-on-Trent Children and Young People Services: 01782235100
  • Social Services Children’s Advice: 01274 437500
  • Staffordshire Police: 101,
    Emergency: 999
  • Childnet International
  • NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
  • Childline: 0800 11 11
  • Barnardos: 0121 550 5271


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Cannock Chase Council, PO Box 28, Beecroft Road, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 1BG.
Telephone: 01543 462621

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