1. Introduction • The ‘Keeping Safe?’ project, is a three year study funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, conducted by a team of researchers in School of Social Sciences, led by Dr Sophie Hallett. • The aim of this study is to conduct an original investigation into the outcomes for children and young people assessed as being ‘at risk’ of sexual exploitation.
2. Research • The research analysed the casefiles of 205 children aged between 9 and 18 years old who were involved with a children’s services department in a local authority in Wales in 2006. They all had their cases reviewed in 2006 as part of an exercise for developing the Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Framework (SERAF) in Wales
3. Research • The research tracked what happened to these young people over the next ten years, what actions were taken, what interventions were mobilised, if there were missed opportunities for intervention, and what worked (and, conversely, what didn’t) to reduce risk and create positive outcomes.
4. Findings • While the original research aims focussed on the outcomes for those who experienced (or were at significant risk of experiencing) CSE, the quantitative analysis presents a troubling picture about the life circumstances and experiences for the entire cohort of young people regardless of whether they experienced CSE or not.
5. Findings • Poor family relations, abuse experiences and disruption were common for all the young people in the sample. Half of the young people also had primarily negative (or no) relationships with peers, were running away or were offending. • All these experiences were more likely to feature in the lives of those young people who experienced or were at high risk of experiencing sexual exploitation.
7. Findings • Placement moves are associated with experiencing CSE and with negative outcomes for young people regardless of experience of CSE. The higher number of moves, the increased risk of experiencing CSE. • Too many relationships for young people are centred primarily around their risk and their harm, and not around their happiness, and attention is not given to them and their interests and needs.
7.Recomendations • A number of recommendations were made including: • There is a need to move away from a focus on risk in social care practice with young people, and to open up the possibility for wellbeing to be the driver for practice. • To access the full report, please click on the link below http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/cascade/keeping-safe-an-analysis-of-the-outcomes-of-work-with-sexually-exploited-young-people-in-wales/