Worcestershire County Councillors commit to safeguarding young people against criminal exploitation.
At Council today (Thursday 7th November) a motion was passed calling on all county councillors to commit to safeguarding young people against criminal exploitation, by championing the ‘GET SAFE’ initiative in their divisions.
Launched in June, ‘GET SAFE’ is a multi-agency initiative that aims to help keep children safe from all forms of criminal exploitation.
The initiative is supported by a number of organisations including Worcestershire Children First, Worcestershire County Council, West Mercia Police, Public Health and Worcestershire NHS Health and Care Trust.
There are certain common changes to look out for in children that could signify they are being exploited:
- Displaying risky or suspicious behaviour such as going missing from home or school or regularly going to areas where exploitation, substance use or criminality are common. This also includes having unexplained sums of money or multiple phones or changing numbers.
- The child has entered a relationship with a controlling or significantly older adult. This could lead to them being isolated from their friends and engage in new and harmful behaviours.
- A change in their physical or mental health such as evidence of physical or sexual assault, drastic weight loss, changes to personal hygiene or self-harm.
- New challenges engaging the young person as well as a significant decline in school performance and violence.
Catherine Driscoll, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Children First, said: “The team has been doing wonderful work already in raising awareness of criminal exploitation and helping to keep children safe by promoting the signs and indicators adults need to look out for in the children in their care.
“It is great this has been backed by county councillors and will continue to help raise awareness of criminal exploitation to keep the children and young people of Worcestershire safe”.
For more information on GET SAFE visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/GetSafe.