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Child Exploitation

Shropshire Safeguarding Community Partnership (SSCP) have agreed the following overarching definition of exploitation:

Exploitation is a form of abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child, young person or adult (including those with care and support needs) into: into any activity that results in financial or other advantage for the perpetrator or facilitator. Activity includes arranging or facilitating the involvement or travel (trafficking) of a child, young person or adult (including those with care and support needs)

Specific types of exploitation include:
Modern Slavery (including human trafficking)
Sexual Exploitation
Criminal Exploitation
Financial Exploitation
Any other Exploitation that enables services or benefits of any kind, including:Forced marriage, Illegal adoption, Removal of organs.

The victim may still be exploited even if the activities that they are engaging in appear consensual.

Multiple types of exploitation can occur alongside or as part of other forms of abuse.
Children and young people who are exploited are the victims of child abuse, and their needs require careful assessment. SSCP has developed child exploitation guidance for practitioners and an initial assessment tool that will help you assess the level of risk to a child and make a referral, if appropriate.


Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on certain “specified authorities” which includes local authorities, schools, universities, health services, police, prisons and probation to prevent and stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.  

Terrorism involves committing violent acts for political, religious or ideological reasons.  The acts can be committed as part of an organised group or alone, however it is usually categorised as a group phenomenon.  In the build up to committing these violent acts, people are usually radicalised. Radicalisation is the action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues.

Vulnerable people, including children, young people and adults with care and support needs, can be exploited by people who seek to involve them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism.

There is a multi-agency approach, called ‘Channel’, which looks at referrals of people at risk of being drawn into terrorism and decides whether, or not, action needs to be taken to support them to reduce the risk of radicalisation and violent extremism. The Channel process is designed to develop an appropriate support package to safeguard those at risk of being drawn into terrorism, based on an assessment of their vulnerability.

This approach works alongside the existing safeguarding processes to protect people at risk from radicalisation. If the person at risk of being drawn into terrorism is an adult with care and support needs, this should be considered as a safeguarding concern.

If you are a professional or volunteer working with a person who is at risk of being drawn into terrorism and want to know how to refer to the Channel Process, please discuss with your Designated Safeguarding Lead.

The Prevent National Referral Form should be completed if you have concerns a young person is being exploited for radicalisation.

If a person who is at risk of being drawn into terrorism has children, is a child or an adult with care and support needs, it is also important to follow the multi-agency child and/or adult safeguarding procedures.

The Home Office Prevent (Counter-Terrorism) E-learning module can be accessed here