Ofsted, HMCI and HMIC Concerns Over LA Response to CSE

Commenting on the joint release by Ofsted, HMCI and HMIC, Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“ADCS share the concerns voiced by Ofsted and the police service which state that more must to be done to protect vulnerable children who are at risk of being sexually exploited. These targeted inspections have highlighted important issues which we are committed and determined to address in all areas. However, it is also important to recognise the power of a multi-agency approach when addressing the highly complex nature of CSE so that we can better protect the children and young people in our care. Local authorities cannot tackle the issue in isolation and the support of the police service and the full commitment of all statutory agencies, the voluntary sector, schools and the wider community is critical. CSE is not limited to a particular geography and there is no single model of perpetration and so it must be recognised as a national problem.

“In recent years we have learnt a lot around the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children and young people but it’s clear that there’s still much more to do. Firstly, information sharing is key to successful multi-agency working. By sharing the right information at the right time we can better identify and prevent cases of CSE happening in the first place. Secondly, good quality return interviews are a key and powerful tool in helping agencies identify children who are at risk and move towards prosecuting the criminal gangs that commit such heinous crimes. And finally whilst targeted inspection of areas which are known to be facing challenges will point towards improvement which can be adopted elsewhere it is even more important that we capture best practice from places who do this difficult and complex work well. We ask the government for more support and innovation as a way of spreading the very best practice.”


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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