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How LAs and Health Services are Working Together to Tackle CSE

Responding to an enquiry from CYPNOW about how local authorities and health services are working together to tackle CSE, Jenny Coles, Chair of the ADCS Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee, said:

“National awareness of CSE is rising thanks to campaigns pooling the resources and efforts of various public agencies. Helping the public and professionals spot the warning signs of this dreadful form of child abuse. But simply spotting the signs is not enough. It is clear that we need to think differently about how the combination of local partnership arrangements can better suit our local child protection systems which vary across different areas. And we must remember that the health contribution to tackling CSE is a fundamental element of successful strategies.

“There are many strong examples of this type of partnership working across the country. In Greater Manchester, Rochdale Borough Council and health partners have developed the Sunrise Health Pathway. The Pathway delivers lessons from serious case reviews to all staff and learning is monitored so that staff better understand past failings to inform and improve future practice. Another example from the region is Project Phoenix launched in 2012. This involves all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester and NHS England along with Greater Manchester Police and various voluntary organisations. Much of the work taking place looks at the interface between frontline health practitioners and is particularly focusing on training, screening, assessment, referral and intervention. A practical example of this is that specialist nurses are co-located with some of the multi-agency Phoenix teams to enable better information sharing and assist in planning interventions with young people identified as victims or high risk of CSE.

“We need to work together as public agencies in order to disrupt attempts to abuse children and young people and to ensure that information sharing is more robust so that all health professionals are more astute in identifying earlier signs of CSE. Only by continuing to develop close links at a local level can we get to grips with this growing and damaging abuse of the most vulnerable in our society.”

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The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.


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