Islanders reminded of the importance of child safeguarding as awareness day approaches

Safeguarding children remains everyone’s business – that’s our message as the tenth Anniversary of National Child Exploitation Awareness Day approaches next week.

The dedicated day, on Monday, 18 March, aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation and encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to child exploitation, as we continue our work to educate professionals on the subject. The message is that exploitation can happen to any child, anywhere.

The Board exists to support organisations in Jersey to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, abuse and neglect.

To support the day and continue to support the ongoing awareness of work around child exploitation, our learning and development team are delivering a number of sessions to a range of audiences in order to raise awareness of Child Exploitation. The sessions include:

  • an online Research in Practice workshop for up to 20 professionals focussing on the practice principles for tackling child-exploitation, using realistic case studies to aid learning
  • a bespoke session for Education Designated Safeguarding Leads to which looks at the signs and indicators of exploitation, what to look for and how to respond
  • a joint Safeguarding Partnership Board (SPB) and Police workshop at Jersey Youth Service curriculum launch day focussing on the local experience of exploitation
  • a multi-agency session on Child Exploitation which is now being delivered as part of the SPB programme of training which brings together professionals from the public, private and third sector

Cathy Davison, Board Manager for the Safeguarding Partnership Board said: “We know that safeguarding if everyone’s business, so we need to continue to raise awareness of what Child Exploitation is, get everyone talking about it and have some vital conversations. The SPB and the many agencies it works with in Jersey is dedicated to this work.

“Sadly, child exploitation is an ongoing issue, but it’s one which is essential to be aware of. We know it may be difficult for parents, carers and frontline professionals to differentiate between ordinary teenage behaviour and the risk of/abuse by exploitation. Still, some signs may signify that children or young people are being groomed for exploitation or being exploited.”

Speaking about the importance of the Strategy and the ongoing work of the SPB, Cathy said: “The impact of child sexual abuse, child exploitation on children and young people is significant. It causes great distress and can affect a child’s health, educational, psychological and physical wellbeing, as well as their interactions with their family and friends, and their success in adulthood. That’s why Safeguarding education is essential and ongoing; we continue our drive to educate professionals and we’re very grateful to all the organisations we work with who see this as essential and engage with it.”

In 2022, we published a three-year Child Abuse and Exploitation Strategy, with a vision that all children and young people in Jersey to live free from sexual abuse and exploitation. It is the third Strategy published by the Safeguarding Partnership Board since 2013.

The Strategy states that “By 2027, we want all children and young people in Jersey to report feeling confident that action is being taken to prevent and protect them from sexual abuse and exploitation; they must also feel supported and listened to when engaging with professionals and Islanders.”

The Strategy focuses on:

  • preventing and identifying child sexual exploitation and abuse
  • to ensure investigation of child sexual exploitation and abuse is child-friendly
  • to enable recovery from child sexual exploitation and abuse

In Jersey, anyone with Safeguarding concerns about a child should contact;

  • The Children and Families Hub on 519000 or email: [email protected]
  • The Police on 612612, or 999 in an emergency
  • The Safeguarding Lead in their organisation