Agenda item

Leicestershire's Response to Child Sexual Exploitation.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Children and Family Services which outlined the progress of the County Council’s Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) team, the deployment of resources and the progress of related multi-agency developments. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 9’ is filed with these minutes.


The Director highlighted the increase in referrals in relation to children at risk of CSE during 2015-16 but noted that this mirrored the national trend.


The Committee was advised that a number of additional specialists, including nurses and a forensic psychologist, had been recruited to the team and that following a growth bid it was hoped that the team would be moving to a bigger base in October.


Arising from discussion the following points were raised:


      i.        Performance information had highlighted that whilst there had been an overall increase in referrals during 2015-16, there had been a fall in the number received in the previous quarter. It was noted that the team continued to operate under the CEASE banner with the Police and other partners and it was thought that this work had resulted in an improved quality of referrals being received by the team which may have contributed to the decreasing number of referrals in the last quarter;


    ii.        The report outlined possible risks associated with an integrated sub-regional arrangement involving Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland local authority staff and partners working within the single multi-agency CSE team. One such risk that concerned the Committee was that County Council resources would be diverted away from Leicestershire residents. It was reported that the County Council’s priority in terms of case allocation was and would always be children within Leicestershire and that Leicestershire staff did not respond to City cases and were not in a position to do so;


   iii.        A query was raised in relation to how the team remained sighted of potential issues in relation to referrals which at the time had not required any action. It was explained that development of a new information sharing tool which had been tested by the police would assist in the sharing and logging of soft intelligence. Further to this weekly meetings were held with the Police to share new intelligence and to consider any developments in open cases. A new system whereby a flag could be raised on a child or young person’s NHS record to signify that they had received a service in relation to CSE or were at risk of CSE was being developed. Working physically alongside colleagues from health and the police at the hub ensured that partners were able to share information quickly;


   iv.        The appointment of a community faith lead to the CSE Multi-Agency team to target harder to reach and underrepresented communities such as those from a BME background was being considered;


    v.        The Committee queried how effective programmes such as Chelsea’s Choice and Kayleigh’s Love Story had been in terms of referrals received and disclosures. Whilst feedback from education colleagues about the videos had been positive and some referrals and queries had been received, it was crucial to ensure that these were used alongside other learning materials about CSE and that the videos by themselves would not prove successful;


   vi.        A question was raised about whether there had been any learning from Rotherham and it was reported that the team regularly researched best practice nationally, and that the CSE hub itself was considered good practice;




a)    That the report on Leicestershire’s response to Child Sexual Exploitation be noted;


b)    That the Committee welcomed the recruitment of further specialists to the Multi-Agency Child Sexual Exploitation Hub.

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