Advice for school nurses on tackling child sexual exploitation

Department of Health guidance highlights warning signs and groups most at risk.


Absence from school, unexplained gifts or money, involvement in gangs and self-harming are among the warning signs that a child is being sexually exploited, according to new government guidance for school nurses. 

The Department of Health document, which sets out ways school nurses can help tackle child sexual exploitation, also highlights that certain groups of children are more vulnerable. 

Those who have learning disabilities, as well as asylum seekers and homosexual and bisexual young people, are among those at greater risk. The average age of sexually exploited children is 15. 

The guidance urges nurses to question the relationships that young people are involved in because often they do not realise they are being exploited. 

It says school nurses should raise awareness of child sexual exploitation within the school community, ensure there are clear referral processes in place, particularly to the child sexual exploitation team, and support recovery. 

To read the guidance, click here

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