Evaluating a new model of tackling child sexual exploitation across England


Scoping Review

Last updated: Wed 06, 2017

The first piece of work within the participation strand of the project has been a scoping review of research and wider literature related to the involvement of children and young people in CSE services. 

The review aims to develop understanding of the concept of participation and the nature of effective participatory practice and took place between September 2015 and April 2016.
It focused on the following questions:

  1. How is ‘participation’ of young people in CSE services conceptualised in the research, policy and professional literature?
  2. How explicit is the policy requirement for children and young people’s participation in the processes associated with assessment, planning and review and what evidence exists regarding the implementation and/or effectiveness of these processes?
  3. What evidence exists regarding the nature of the experience of participation, and its impact, from the perspectives of young people, parents and carers, and professionals?
  4. What evidence exists regarding the conditions that need to be in place to make participative working possible and effective for different groups of CSE affected young people?
  5. What evidence exists regarding the replicability of participative models?

A number of themes and findings emerged from the review.

  • Participative practice in CSE services is distinct because professionals need to have both a strong knowledge base regarding the routes into and experience of CSE, and a reflective and critical approach to practice.
  • Young people affected by CSE often have considerable knowledge and skill in navigating between services, and are able to identify what is effective. S it is important that this expertise is used to influence practice and policy beyond jsut CSE services.
  • Young people have presented evidence in public inquiries and court cases that they have often been ignored or blamed by professionals when trying to report abuse – a reality that sadly is strongly reinforced by the research evidence.
  • However the review found that they value the way that CSE services recognise them as individuals, listen and take their views seriously, and provide a flexible and friendly approach

You can read the full report and a summary with reflective questions for practitioners. You can also watch this recording of a presentation by Dr Isabelle Brodie outlining the key findings of the review.

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