National action plan to tackle child sexual exploitation: progress report 2017-2018

The second annual progress report for the national action plan to prevent and tackle child sexual exploitation.

The National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation Progress Report 2017/18


We want Scotland to be a place where sexual exploitation of children and young people is eliminated – a Scotland where children and young people are protected from harm, in a society that is hostile place for perpetrators and facilitators of child sexual exploitation.

Actions that will help take us forward in realising this vision are set out in the Scottish Government's National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation Update. [1]

This is the second annual progress report produced by the National CSE Group and follows on from the publication of the first report published in March 2017 [2] .

Definition of CSE for Scotland

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse in which a person(s), of any age takes advantage of a power imbalance to force or entice a child into engaging in sexual activity in return for something received by the child and/or those perpetrating or facilitating the abuse. As with other forms of child sexual abuse, the presence of perceived consent does not undermine the abusive nature of the act. [3]


Child sexual exploitation is child abuse, and Scotland's commitment and response is set out in the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, published in 2014 and updated in 2016.

The action plan acknowledges that we all have a responsibility and contribution to make in helping to deliver an effective response to those who may be at risk of or victims of child sexual exploitation, and as such the actions span national and local government, statutory sector, third sector and voluntary agencies.

The role of the community itself cannot be underestimated in contributing to the overall response, in the identification and reporting that a child or young person may be at risk of or a victim of child sexual exploitation.

The revised definition of child sexual exploitation firmly sets this form of abuse within the wider context of child sexual abuse. As with the definition, the response to tackle child sexual exploitation should also be seen in a wider context, in terms of keeping children safe and allowing them to reach their full potential.

With this in mind, policies and action that contribute to the plan's outcomes (around prevention, awareness raising, early identification, service support and ensuring that perpetrators are stopped and brought to justice) cut across areas including child protection, health, justice and education.

It is important that the action plan is kept under review and takes account of developments, through national policy and action at a local level that can strengthen our overall response.

Some examples of developments at a national level include:

  • The establishment of a Child Protection Improvement Programme, to support effective protection for all children at risk from abuse and neglect. Action to tackle child sexual exploitation will be taken forward within the context of the programme.
  • Through the programme, improvements to data and evidence on child sexual abuse, at a national and local child protection committee level are currently being considered.
  • The Equally Safe delivery plan was published in November 2017, outlining action to be taken forward to prevent violence against women and girls.
  • The Scottish Government has established an Expert Group for Preventing Sexual Offending involving Children and Young People and
  • a Taskforce for improving services for adults and children who have experienced rape and sexual assault.

We must also look at action being delivered in other parts of the UK and beyond, and consider how outputs or learning could benefit Scotland's response to prevent and tackle child sexual exploitation.

The National Child Sexual Exploitation Group

Following the publication of the national action plan in 2016, The National Child Sexual Exploitation Group were asked by the then Minister for Childcare and Early Years to provide strategic leadership and direction to the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation. Through its work, the group has sought to ensure effective links are made between CSE and other relevant national priorities across Government and stakeholder organisations.


During 2017/18, there has been consistent progress in implementing the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (hereafter referred to as the national action plan).

Of the total 44 actions;

  • 17 are complete
  • 26 are in progress
  • 1 is to be commenced

The focus and delivery of Actions 10 and 14 has changed, as set out below:

Action 10, to develop guidance for practitioners and agencies to support the identification and assessment of child sexual exploitation. A recent evaluation highlighted a range of CSE guidance was in place across the country. Therefore, this action will now focus on the development of a framework to improve consistency for the identification and assessment of CSE

Action 14, to deliver training sessions to raise awareness of the links between CSE and radicalisation. Following the closure of ROSHNI, the National CSE Group will look at how this action can be progressed at a local level.

There have been challenges this year in relation to Action 1, to develop a set of indicators to measure progress towards achieving the outcomes in this plan. The national cse group have agreed the outcomes on which we will monitor progress over the short-term. Work is currently ongoing to map existing evidence against these outcomes from which we can develop monitoring indicators and identify gaps in the evidence base.

It is the intention that indicators for measuring the medium and long term outcomes of the national action plan will be developed and monitored as part of a Shared Dataset for Vulnerable Children and Young People which will include indicators of CSE.

In addition to the key achievements in the implementation of the national action plan, the National CSE Group has looked to strengthen links with those taking forward the national policy on child trafficking, missing persons and online safety of children and young people.

A Joint Learning & Information Session for the National CSE Group and the Child Trafficking Strategy Group took place on 24th January 2018 to consider links between national policy on CSE and online safety, missing persons, mental health and data and evidence. Opportunities for joint working to strengthen the national response were identified and will be taken forward throughout 2018/19.

Structure and Methodology

Similar to last year's report, progress of actions within the national action plan are based around the four intermediate outcomes:

  • The risk that children and young people are sexually exploited is reduced through a focus on prevention and early identification.
  • Children and young people at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation and their families receive appropriate and high quality support.
  • Perpetrators are stopped, brought to justice and are less likely to re-offend.
  • Cultural and social barriers to preventing and tackling child sexual exploitation are reduced.

The appendix provides an overview of all actions within the national action plan.

Progress since March 2017

1. The risk that children and young people are sexually exploited is reduced through a focus on prevention and early identification

A range of preventative activity has been undertaken in the past year across Scotland. This includes the development and delivery of prevention programmes, specific tools and opportunities to support local Child Protection Committees in learning and improvement activity and a strengthened national policy framework through development and publication of key strategies.

Key Achievements

1. Increased awareness and confidence among children and young people around identifying abusive and violent behaviours through the Mentors for Violence Programme [4] ( MVP)

Education Scotland has led on the provision of training to local authority staff in the following areas throughout 2017/18: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Orkney, Fife, South Lanarkshire, Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Highland and Dundee. In total, ongoing support was provided to 19 local authorities implementing MVP, including liaison with the area co-ordinator and attendance at steering groups.

A set of animations to accompany the session plans in the playbook have been produced, to further strengthen the resources available.

Trainers for four more local authorities have been identified and trained meaning that more authorities can deliver training to staff and sustain delivery over time.

As of March 2018, MVP is being delivered in 21 local authorities and at least 1500 mentors are trained annually. Young mentors develop the skills to identify abusive and violent behaviours and develop safe options to support and challenge their peers.

2. Expansion of the national sexual violence prevention programme in secondary schools across Scotland.

The national sexual violence prevention programme in secondary schools across Scotland has been expanded.

Since April 2017, Rape Crisis has delivered 372 workshops to 4594 pupils in 47 schools.

Prevention workers are working with local partners to support good practice in relation to sexual violence, and increase consistency across Scotland in dialogue with the prevention coordinator at Rape Crisis Scotland. Examples of activities include:

  • In Edinburgh the worker chairs the prevention subgroup of the Violence Against Women ( VAW) partnership and has led on the planning of a joint training programme for this autumn which will equip practitioners with knowledge and understanding on gender based violence ( GBV) including sexual violence, female genital mutilation ( FGM), forced marriage, sexting and pornography; and
  • In Shetland the worker took part in a local sexual health and education mapping exercise. A similar exercise took place in Dumfries and Galloway with NHS Health & Wellbeing worker to identify and address gaps in relation to sexual health and sexual violence.

An external evaluation measuring changes in knowledge and attitudes has indicated that the programme has been successful in improving young people's knowledge and attitudes in relation to consent and healthy sexual relationships.

3. Delivery of regional workshops to support Child Protection Committees to continuously improve their local responses to child sexual exploitation by learning from each other and from national developments.

Nine regional workshops took place between March and May 2017. An evaluation report [5] was presented to the National CSE Group in November 2017.

  • The workshops provided an opportunity for Child Protection Committees to share key learning in relation to local area approaches to the care and protection of young people experiencing sexual abuse /exploitation or at risk of sexual abuse /exploitation.

Evaluation of the workshops evidenced that the workshops were well received by participants, improving their general knowledge and understanding of CSE, which could help inform local CSE initiatives and responses. A second round of regional workshops will be delivered in 2018, building on learning from the first series and strengthening connections between linked areas of work such as child trafficking and missing persons.

4. Development of Core Components Checklist for Child Protection Committees.

The National CSE Group has developed a Core Components Checklist for Child Protection Committees, to support their response to child sexual exploitation.

Many Child Protection Committees have local CSE working groups with strategies and work plans that support implementation of the national action plan.

5. Publication of the National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People.

The National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People was published in April 2017.

South West Grid for Learning ( SWGfL), one of the three partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, has delivered multi-agency online briefing sessions in partnership with local authorities and Child Protection Committees across Scotland. Post briefing evaluations indicate that participants feel better informed and more confident in addressing online safety issues with children and young people.

Stop Time Online

NSPCC in partnership with Swansea University has created anti-grooming Stop Time Online materials to help teach children and young people to think before they speak to people online. The TIME acronym, developed in consultation with young people, uses terminology they can relate to and remember:

Trust. Groomers say things to develop "dodgy" trust and build a relationship with you.

Isolate. Groomers make you feel separate (both physically and mentally) from people in your life.

Measure. Groomers say things to test how strong their relationship is with you.

Enjoy. Groomers get off on talking about sexual and romantic things, and asking to swap nude selfies.

A Stop Time Online activity pack has been developed to raise awareness of how offenders groom children online and to prevent it from happening.

6. Publication of The National Missing Persons Framework

The National Missing Persons Framework was published in May 2017 [6] . The Framework, aims to prevent people going missing and limit the harm to those who have gone missing.

Prevention planning for vulnerable individuals is an important step in prevention. Pilot protocols building on care plans to include relevant information for vulnerable individuals have been run and are being evaluated – early indications show that the care plans have had positive results for those who have gone missing and those who may be at risk of going missing

The Framework emphasises the need for return discussions to take place for all those who return from missing and current mapping following the publication of the Framework is taking place.

Missing People Limited, Barnardo's Scotland and Shelter Scotland have developed training for roll-out in 2018 and part of the training will include the links between missing and child sexual exploitation. The training will aim to reach up to 400 frontline staff and include six awareness raising sessions as well as two train the trainer events, to ensure that training is cascaded across Scotland.

7. Publication of Scotland's first Human Trafficking & Exploitation Strategy.

Published in May 2017, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy [7] sets out how we can get better at identifying and supporting victims; at identifying perpetrators and disrupting their activity; and in raising awareness across the board.

Section 4 of the Strategy contains 18 child specific actions. Implementation of these actions is overseen by the Child Trafficking Strategy Group. The Strategy makes clear that support and protection for child victims of trafficking in Scotland should be provided within the context of Scotland's child protection system and the national Getting It Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) approach to improving outcomes for children and young people.


Innovative work by Rape Crisis Scotland, in partnership with local organisations, to address and tackle sexual violence, including CSE:

In Edinburgh, Rape Crisis is working with Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre and Young Saheliya on a project called My Big Beating Voice addressing young minority ethnic women's experiences of street harassment, with support from a local school to enable young women to engage during school hours.

Forth Valley Rape Crisis has supported the Equal Recognition campaign, by Scottish Trans, which has in turn increased accessibility of the centre to trans people.

Workers have also held stalls at colleges and universities for freshers' week (in Dundee, Fife, Orkney and Scottish Borders) and supported universities' strategic work in Dundee, Abertay, and Stirling.

Highland centre undertook an innovative project with Belladrum music festival organisers to produce prevention information which was disseminated by email, through the programme and through information on toilet doors on consent, and support available at the festival.


Young People's Participation In Prevention Initiatives includes:

A programme led by South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre in Dumfries & Galloway where the worker has trained and supported senior students in two schools to deliver workshops to S1 students, and is working with the students to adapt materials to best suit the school.

Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre young people's STAMP (Stamp Out Media Patriarchy) group co-presented a workshop with the prevention worker and Rape Crisis Scotland, at a Crown Office Education Summit organised to highlight issues of sexual offending in relation to young people.

Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre Perth & Kinross centre has been working with local GLOW group who are developing a film for BBC Social on LGBT issues and sexual violence, in consultation with the centre's Youth Ambassadors.


Impact of Mentors Against Violence

'It made me more aware of situations that are going on. I have the power to have an influence.' Mentor (Braes HS, Falkirk)

'Being a mentor has given me the confidence to challenge attitudes and behaviour and has made it more likely for me to spot what is going on' Mentor (Braes HS, Falkirk)

'It made me think about the consequences of actions and how they can affect other people. It has changed my behaviour 'cause I think more now, before I say something' Mentee (Dumfries HS)


Work by Glasgow Child Protection Committee in partnership with Barnardo's Scotland and partner organisations and industries engaged in the night time economy, to address and tackle child sexual exploitation

The Child Sexual Exploitation sub group of Glasgow's CPC has prioritised engagement with the night time economy as a key area of development of Glasgow's CSE Action Plan. Work to date has included:

  • Development of a short life working group (since August 2016) with a wide range of industries represented including local and national bodies.
  • Agreed key messages which has resulted in the development, design and distribution of materials across the industry including taxis, hotels, pubs/clubs, food outlets and door staff.
  • Facilitated industry specific awareness events to staff employed in pubs/clubs, retail, security, network rail and multi-age entertainment venues.
  • Drafted best practice guidance for individual industries.
  • Development of a CSE module to link in with Bystander training (currently rolled out by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, across Scotland).

2. Children and young people at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation and their families receive appropriate and high quality support

Over the past year large scale work has been undertaken in relation to the improvement of healthcare services and in developing a training framework to equip the workforce in effectively responding to trauma and supporting recovery. Similarly, the Stop to Listen pathfinder underway in four areas has contributed to more effective support at a local level, and Scottish Government funding to helplines and other support services has allowed opportunities for children and young people to receive support. However research by NSPCC in relation to available therapeutic support in the West of Scotland highlights the continuing gaps in provision which still require to be addressed.

Key Achievements

1. A Taskforce has been established to improve health services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

Announced in March 2017, the Scottish Government has established a Task Force for improving services for those who have experienced rape and sexual assault.

The remit of the task force, Chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland includes developing the clinical pathway for children who have experienced sexual assault. New Standards for healthcare and forensic medical services for children, young people and adults who experience rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse were published in December 2017 [8] .

2. Development of a National Trauma Skills and Knowledge Framework.

The Scottish Government commissioned NHS Education Scotland to lead the development of a comprehensive National Trauma Skills and Knowledge Framework and National Training Framework for those working with people across the lifespan (including children and young people) who are affected by trauma and abuse in Scotland.

The framework will equip practitioners working in the statutory and voluntary sectors with the knowledge and skills to be able to identify risk of abuse and be able to respond in a way which will enhance the safety of children and adults currently exposed to abuse and trauma.

In May 2017 The Scottish Government/ NES: 'Transforming Psychological Trauma: A Skills and Knowledge Framework for The Scottish Workforce' [9] was launched by the Minister for Mental Health.

This will be followed by a National Training and implementation Plan.

A programme to support implementation of the training strategy will be developed by March 2019.

3. Online practitioner survey to explore views and experiences of practitioner's use of screening/assessment tools in relation to CSE.

Barnardo's Scotland surveyed practitioners across Scotland to explore views and experiences of CSE screening tools in relation to assessing a child/young person's potential for involvement in CSE as well as those children who are currently experiencing CSE.

The survey identified a number of challenges with existing tools:

  • Toolkits have been developed without any robust research evidence base
  • Indicators of CSE conform to a narrow stereotype
  • Risk indicator toolkits are too prescriptive and bypass professional judgement of workers or parents who know a child best
  • The language used within risk indicator toolkits often mixes up risk and victimhood

The National CSE Group will consider how we respond to some of these challenges as part of next year's work plan.

4. More children and young people are safe through the Runaway and Say Something helpline services.

The Runaway and Say Something helpline services have been marketed directly to young people in Scotland to ensure that more children and young people are supported when they are thinking of going missing or need help to stay safe.

A number of children and young people have been reached: 75 contacts with Runaway helpline, helping some to reconnect; 138 textsafe messages sent to under 18s; 1 child involved in publicity campaign to reconnect; Child Rescue Alert sign-ups are slightly increasing; 1201 children have benefitted from the activities of Missing People through the funding.

5. More children and young people have access to counselling via Childline.

The Scottish Government is providing 3-year funding through Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund to a number of organisations who offer advice and support to children and young people who may be at risk of or experiencing child sexual abuse. These include Barnardo's Scotland, Childline in Scotland and the Moira Anderson Foundation.

Funding has enabled an increasing number of counselling sessions for children and young people who contact Childline and there are increased ways in which a child can contact Childline.

In March 2018, the Minister for Childcare and Early Years announced that organisations currently in receipt of funding through the fund will have their funding extended until 2019/20.

6. Research has been published on the provision of therapeutic support for children and young people.

In November 2017, the NSPCC published a report on the provision of therapeutic services for children and young people following sexual abuse, which focused specifically on provision in the West of Scotland [10] .

Findings highlight that the provision of specialist therapeutic services for children is patchy and insecure with particular groups poorly or very poorly served, including younger children and children with disabilities.

7. Stop to Listen pathfinder has moved from design to implementation phase

As reported in last year's annual progress report, four local authority areas (Glasgow, North Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross and Renfrewshire) are involved in a national pathfinder, led by Children 1 st. This multi-agency initiative is aimed at developing, and improving, prevention, early intervention and child-centred responses to children and young people who may be at risk or have experienced sexual abuse and exploitation.

Each area has developed and implemented a project plan focusing on an identified area for change in relation to local response to child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Highlights from across the pilots include:

  • multi-agency training on child sexual abuse and exploitation including specific training for all education staff from pre-school to secondary.
  • training for police and social work on initial referral discussions and interview processes that reflect the needs of the young person.
  • 'whole school' workshops to 130 staff in schools including janitorial and catering staff.
  • Stop to Listen badges created for all pathfinder staff encouraging children to approach staff if they needed to speak out about an issue.
  • leaflets developed for parents followed up with a parent's awareness session facilitated by the Women's Support Project.
  • securing resources to assist in making the local interview suite more child friendly and child focussed.
  • Young People's CSE Advisory Group established to represent perspective of young people and develop creative and innovative media resources around CSA / CSE.
  • CSE Survey in Secondary Schools (organised by the Young People's CSE Advisory Group themselves) – 574 young people responded and provided information on their knowledge levels of CSE; how and where they currently obtain and would like to obtain information on CSE and what they would do if they were affected by or worried about CSE.

All areas participated in additional training for police and social workers undertaking joint investigative interviews in reflecting on child sexual abuse and on a trauma informed approach at the point of interview.


Stop to listen

A cultural shift is taking place to ensure that child centred practice forms the basis of work within four local authority areas in sexual abuse and exploitation.

For example, the practitioner forums in North Ayrshire following their workshops have been successful in creating a legacy beyond the Stop to Listen Project in which staff are supported to manage challenges and develop creative approaches in dealing with child sexual abuse.

3. Perpetrators are stopped, brought to justice and are less likely to re-offend

Police Scotland has taken forward a number of critical developments this year which contribute to identifying and stopping CSE perpetrators. Legislative changes have also been introduced to improve protection and there is a wide ranging improvement programme underway in relation to obtaining evidence from children and vulnerable witnesses. Much of the activity undertaken this year lays a foundation to build upon over the coming year.

Key Achievements

1. Improved Police Scotland response to child sexual exploitation.

Police Scotland has implemented a new Standard Operating Procedure ( SOP) in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation. This builds on learning from a number of CSE operations and supports a consistent response to CSE from Scotland's national police service.

2. An Expert Group on Preventing Sexual Offending Involving Children and Young People has been established.

An Expert Group has been set up specifically to look at the prevention of sexual offending involving young people. Catherine Dyer, former Crown Agent and chief executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, chairs the group, which brings together a range of stakeholders from across the Justice, Health and Education sectors. The group will identify fresh actions to better prevent harmful sexual behaviours and sexual crime involving children and young people, and to better mitigate the effects it causes.

3. Implementing a programme of change to improve how evidence is taken from children and vulnerable witnesses.

The quality of Joint Investigative Interviews ( JIIs) will be improved through this programme of change and this will contribute towards increasing their use as evidence in chief and reducing the need for children to attend court.

A multiagency group is researching and developing a training programme for JIIs suitable for both police officers and social workers. Statutory guidance will be developed based on the new training programme beginning in summer 2018.

Police Scotland have recently invested approximately £300,000 on new IT and video recording equipment and are currently reviewing what additional investment is required to ensure the new equipment is fit for purpose. Child protection committees are also considering whether current interview venues are fit for purpose in accordance with the recommendations, and where immediate facility improvements may be required. The Scottish Government is also considering how elements of the Barnahus [11] concept or "Children's House" could be adapted for Scotland and will seek to incorporate facilities for JIIs into any identified sites.

4. Taking more steps towards our vision that children, wherever possible, should not have to give evidence in court during a criminal trial.

The Scottish Government published a public consultation on pre-recording evidence of child and other vulnerable witnesses. This consultation is one of the steps the Scottish Government is taking as part of an ambitious and progressive programme of work to expand the use of pre-recorded evidence for child witnesses. The consultation seeks views on further legislative changes that may be required to enable the much greater use of pre-recorded evidence for child and other vulnerable witnesses.

The consultations responses have been analysed and will help shape the Scottish Government's proposals for a Child and Vulnerable Witnesses Pre-recorded Evidence Bill.

5. Greater legislative options are available in order to improve protection.

Legislation in Scotland has been amended to improve our response to those who perpetrate offences against children.

To ensure child sexual offences committed in the rest of the UK, can be prosecuted in Scotland, there is a provision in the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (the 2016 Act), which came into effect on 24 April 2017.

Sections 10 to 40 of the 2016 Act will when commenced introduce new preventative orders in Scotland, namely Sexual Harm Prevention Orders ( SPOs) and Sexual Risk Orders ( SROs). SROs will replace Risk of Sexual Harm Orders ( RSHOs).

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice wrote to UK Ministers in July 2017 seeking their support to the making of changes to the law of England Wales and Northern Ireland in consequence of the 2016 Act provisions. The Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability replied on 27 February 2018 recognising the clear benefits of identifying suitable primary legislation at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that the sexual harm prevention measures in the 2016 Act operate effectively across the different UK jurisdictions.


CSE Advisor Pilots

Barnardo's RISE Service supports Police Scotland's operational response by improving support to children affected by CSE through the provision of specialist advice and consultation. It draws on the skills, knowledge and intelligence of key agencies and provides a coordinated response to CSE across Aberdeen and Dundee. The service essentially has an enabling / capacity building role but staff are also involved in initial consultation with young people and their families/carers, with a view to referral to other services where appropriate; ensuring that each child and parent/carer is given the opportunity to participate in decisions about assessment, planning and intervention. There are three key components to the service

  • Identification of CSE and support for young people and their families
  • Support for partners and local agencies
  • Intelligence gathering and information sharing.

The service has also designed cards for all police colleagues (which are in the process of being rolled out across the force) that are an aide memoir in relation to CSE.


Partners Intelligence Toolkit developed and launched by Police Scotland

The Partners Intelligence Toolkit is designed to better harness the intelligence held by colleagues across different agencies that can be used to build perpetrator profiles and assist Police Scotland in effectively deploying resources.

The toolkit was piloted in Glasgow and is now being rolled out to Dundee and Aberdeen where the CSE Advisor pilots are situated.

Police Scotland will be able to deploy resources and improve response to child sexual exploitation through having an effective tool to capture intelligence.

4. Cultural and social barriers to preventing and tackling child sexual exploitation are reduced

Action to address cultural and social barriers needs to be rooted in all practise development. There are a number of initiatives being taken forward through local CSE strategies and there are opportunities for shared learning.

1. Development and publication of: Equally Safe - A Delivery Plan for Scotland's Strategy to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls 2017-2021.

The Equally Safe Delivery Plan [12] , published in November 2017, will help to ensure that the ambitions of the Equally Safe Strategy are rooted in practical delivery that makes a tangible difference to the lives of women, girls, children and young people. Both the Strategy and the Delivery Plan continue to complement and contribute to a range of other Government initiatives, including the Action Plan for a Fairer Scotland, the Justice Strategy and the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy.

2. Whole School Approach to Gender Based Violence Prevention

Through Equally Safe, sexual violence protection work in schools will be expanded. Rape Crisis are funded through Equally Safe to pilot a Whole School Approach to Gender Based Violence ( GBV) prevention from 2017-2020. The Whole School Approach aims to bring about coherent multi-layered approach to preventing and responding to GBV through key activities: school assessment, staff-student action group, teacher training, curriculum enhancement, policy review and student-led action. The pilot is in early stages in first school.

3. Shifting Culture Reflected in Changing Nature of Learning Events.

Through funding from the Scottish Government Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund, Barnardo's Scotland have strengthened capacity to tackle child sexual exploitation in Scotland.

Funding has supported awareness raising of CSE in both schools and the community, direct support for children at risk of or who have experienced child sexual exploitation, as well as helping to progress a number of actions within the National Action Plan to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation.

Barnardo's Scotland have noticed changes in the nature of requests for training in that learning needs now are more sophisticated, indicating growth of awareness, understanding and competency in relation to effectively addressing child sexual exploitation.

This has led to increasing examples of more specialist training, including:

  • Bespoke training specifically for those working with children and young people with additional support needs such as those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sight impairment.
  • Bespoke training in relation to the specific needs of boys and young men.
  • Bespoke training linking attachment, child development and neuroscience theories with child sexual exploitation.


Whole Community Approach to Addressing and tackling child sexual exploitation

CSE Awareness raising sessions for retail staff/landlords/licenced premises were delivered by Barnardo's Scotland with the public protection unit and two community police officers. It was a positive example of a whole community approach to managing this issue. People were able to share their concerns with the police support present and links were made between establishments. The awareness session also highlighted the personal impact that CSE has on those who are taking part in the training. Individuals who were present were keen to talk to Barnardo's Scotland staff about concerns they have for their own teenage daughters and online dangers. Had they not been part of the awareness event they may not have known or had the confidence to come and talk to Barnardo's Scotland staff.


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