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Partnership - Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil & Bridgend

Child Sexual Abuse

 National Action Plan - Preventing and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse 

In 2019, the Welsh Government published its Action Plan on Preventing and Responding to Child Sexual Abuse, including Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB).

Information and resources have been produced on various parts of the Action Plan. The resources for professionals are listed below in the 'Related Documents' section. To view the resources for parents/carers and children/young people, please select the links below:

Parents/carers
Children/young people  

‘Child Sexual Abuse prevention – It’s time we talked about it’

Included in this National Plan are actions for Regional Safeguarding Board partners who have a lead role in the implementation of this Plan.

One action is the promotion of Stop It Now! Wales and its campaign - ‘Child sexual abuse prevention – It’s time we talked about it’.

Please help to support this campaign by promoting it on the communications channels available to you. The materials can be accessed below.  

Child exploitation is child abuse

Any child from any background can be sexually exploited, regardless of their gender or sexuality or their social or ethnic background.

  • Age is also not an indicator of risk – the children you work with are not too young.
  • Offenders are highly manipulative: they can use violence and fear, blackmail or make the child feel guilty, worthless or that they’ve got no choice.
  • Offenders can be any adults or children, male or female, and from any background.
  • The offenders who do this are skilled at targeting and grooming young people.

If you have any concerns that a child or young person you know may be a victim of child sexual exploitation, help is available.

Any practitioner with concerns should speak to their Safeguarding Officer and follow their agency's safeguarding procedures.

View the Wales Safeguarding Procedures' Good Practice Guide on Child Sexual Exploitation. 

In March 2021, Welsh Government published statutory guidance to safeguard children from child sexual exploitation. This guidance can be viewed here. 

All Wales Practice Guides

The Wales Safeguarding Procedures detail the essential roles and responsibilities for practitioners to ensure that they safeguard children and adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect. Within the Procedures are Practice Guides, including: 

Supporting Practice in Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Film Series 

At least half a million children are estimated to experience some form of sexual abuse each year. Supporting professionals to have the knowledge, skills and confidence in identifying and responding to concerns of child sexual abuse is fundamental in addressing this.

The Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse has produced a film series thats distils key information from their recent resources quickly and accessibly for professionals in 12 short films. The resources are:

An introduction to these videos can be viewed below:

The Gwella Project

A Gwella Digital Conference took place in October 2020. The Gwella project and approach formed part of ‘Gwella’ – a four-year, Welsh Government funded, innovative research and practice project, operated in partnership between Barnardo’s Cymru and Cardiff University.

The overarching aim of ‘Gwella’ was to reduce the risk of vulnerable children and young people experiencing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) or demonstrating Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB), through the development of a prevention model for use in social care.

This event provided an opportunity to showcase the results of this work and also to explore the challenges and the benefits of trauma informed practice for practitioners, managers and senior leaders alike.

Presentations and workshops form the day are available below, along with additional resources. (Please note these will be available once you register at the site).

Presentations 
Workshops 
Resources

Resources for schools with information for children on safe ways to speak out about abuse

Safeguarding posters have been developed for schools to support children and young people to ‘speak out’. There are three posters:

One for primary school children 
One for secondary school children and young people 
One for school staff  

Online Safety

Welsh Government’s ‘Keeping Safe Online’ area has been designed and developed to support online safety in education across Wales. It provides an extensive suite of up-to-date bilingual resources, Welsh Government guidance and links to further sources of support on a range of online safety issues.

‘Thinkuknow’ resources available bilingually on Hwb

Lesson plans and activities for 4-7 year olds and 8-10 year olds to develop knowledge, skills and the confidence to stay safe online can be accessed here. 

Stay true to yourself online

We can all fall into the trap of comparing our lives to others. Don’t be fooled by the filter!

Visit the Welsh Government’s Hwb webpage for practitioners, families and young people about self-esteem and social media on ‘Keeping safe online’.

Online blackmail resource

Support young people aged 15-18 identify the key features of online blackmail, understand the impact it can have and access support. Access the presentation and resource pack on this, by selecting this link.

'Just a Joke?' toolkit

Resources to support practitioners tackle the issue of peer-on-peer online sexual harassment with 9-12 year olds in an appropriate and engaging way. The pack includes a film and leaflets aimed at parents and carers. Access the toolkit here.

Step Up, Speak Up

The ‘Step Up, Speak Up’ toolkit is also available bilingually to address the issue of online sexual harassment amongst young people 13-17 years old. 

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

The Home Office has produced information on the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme which includes information for parents and for practitioners on the scheme which lets those who care for young people find out if a person has a record for child sexual offences.

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