Child sexual exploitation: a guide for health practitioners

Guidelines for health practitioners on identifying and responding to a child or young person who may be at risk of or affected by sexual exploitation.

8. Responding

Child sexual exploitation is child abuse and concerns should be raised and responded to in line with local NHS Board Child Protection training and Procedures.

If you believe a child or young person is in immediate danger, you should contact the police.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Be aware and alert to possible indicators of child sexual exploitation.
  • Ask questions when you have concerns.
  • Consider accessing further information from health record systems or by calling another health professional who may know the young person.
  • Use the screening/risk assessment tools available to record concerns and guide your decisions.
  • If in doubt, seek advice from a more experienced colleague, e.g. Child Protection Paediatrician or Child Protection Advisor.
  • If you have a concern, make a referral in line with local Child Protection Procedures.

Further examples of tools and resources available to help identify child sexual exploitation and communicate with young people are listed at Appendix 1.


Email: Katrina McDonald

Phone: 0300 244 4000 - Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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