The Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children In Scotland (CELCIS) have published a report on the sexual exploitation of looked after children in Scotland.
The report, commissioned by the Care Inspectorate, is to be used to strengthen their inspection activity, and undertake, along with scrutiny partners, a wider study on risks, resilience and the mental health needs of young people aged 13-25 years in Scotland.
Although a brief study, it helps by bringing together what is already known and provides new insights into how looked after children are affected by the issue. In this way, the study is a starting point for further work within this extremely complex area.
The study identifies many issues, for example:
- The sexual exploitation of looked after children and young people in Scotland is a concern; more research and better information are needed to understand the problem.
- Child sexual exploitation is extremely complex; those caring for looked after children do not always understand these complexities or have the confidence to address concerns.
- Children and young people from all backgrounds are affected by child sexual exploitation but some of the risk factors are particularly relevant to looked after children.
- Research participants suggest that the early experiences of many looked after children and young people and their need to develop loving relationships can make them a target for perpetrators.
- Effective partnership working is essential to fully address the complexities around prevention, support and data monitoring.
- The research found evidence of areas of good and developing practice to support looked after children in Scotland and a clear will to improve services further.
CELCIS are using learning from the study in applications for further research funding, as it is clear there are many gaps that remain in understanding of the issue.
Read the Sexual Exploitation of Looked After Children in Scotland report here: http://www.celcis.org/news/entry/sexual_exploitation_of_looked_after_children_in_scotland_report_publis#sthash.owsmEPOM.dpuf