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Child sexual exploitation

Cases of possible Child Sexual Exploitation are discussed at the Local Safeguarding Children's Board, Missing, Slavery, Exploitation and Trafficked Sub Group (MSET) on an monthly basis.

Icon for word MSET exploitation framework [553KB] is for practitioners to complete when they're worried about a young person. There is now an initial Icon for word stage 1 screening tool [119KB] for practitioners to complete. The Icon for word stage 2 assessment [179KB] should be completed in a multi-agency group, this is also the MSET referral form.

Icon for pdf Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy [96.03KB] is in line with ACPO and Northumbria Police strategies. The strategy is driven by the local delivery plan, which is reviewed and updated regularly by our Strategic Exploitation Sub Group. It is shared with our neighbouring LSCBs.

Visit Inter-agency child protection procedures for Gateshead LSCB Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) procedures and risk assessment toolkit. We run a specific training course on safeguarding children and young people from CSE and also an e-learning session. More details can be found in our training directory.

Child Sexual Exploitation is child abuse. Any young person can become a victim of sexual exploitation. A lot of young people who are being exploited do not actually see themselves as a victim of abuse. 

It is important for everyone to be aware of possible indicators of exploitation. Some of the warning signs are:

  • missing from home or care and/or absent from school
  • involvement in offending
  • drug or alcohol misuse
  • repeat STIs, pregnancies and terminations
  • poor mental health, self harm and/or thoughts or attempts at suicide
  • receipt of gifts from unknown sources
  • changes in physical appearance and/or physical injuries
  • evidence of sexual bullying and/or vulnerability through the internet and/or social networking sites
  • estranged from their family
  • recruiting others into exploitative situations


Young people from any background may become victims of sexual exploitation. Typical vulnerability factors in young people prior to abuse are: 

  • living in a chaotic or dysfunctional household including for example parental substance abuse, domestic violence, criminality 
  • history of abuse
  • recent bereavement or loss
  • gang association (either through relatives, peers or intimate relationships)
  • learning disabilities
  • associating with other young people who are victims of CSE
  • uncertainty about their sexual orientation or identity and/or unable to disclose this to their families
  • living in residential care
  • lack of friends from the same age group
  • homeless or living in a hostel, BandB or a foyer
  • low self esteem or confidence


The LSCB has a sub group which deals with cases where practitioners are concerned that a young person is being explicated. If you would like to refer a young person to the LSCB Missing, Slavery, Exploited and Trafficked Group (MSET) for discussion use the Icon for word MSET Exploitation framework. [553KB]

If you have concerns about a specific young person that you're working with get advice from Children's Social Care. If a child is at immediate risk then you should call the police and/or Children's Social Care.

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