We have commissioned an evidence review to establish a framework for understanding parents’ needs where their child has been sexually exploited. The research draws on evidence from the very limited research around parenting and child sexual exploitation, supplementing this with evidence from family support and parenting research more broadly.
When their child is sexually exploited, what parents want are respectful, honest relationships with professionals who have some appreciation of what they are experiencing. They want to increase their understanding and confidence in safeguarding their child, rather than to be blamed or stigmatised, and they value support that enables them to reflect on their own experiences and share these with other parents.
Evidence review by Sara Scott and Di McNeish, DMSS Research
Intended for practitioners working in specialist services, child protection and universal services, this report provides clear and practical advice on what is helpful in enabling parents to maintain or rebuild positive, supportive relationships when their child has been sexually exploited. It is also relevant to situations where serious concerns exist about exploitation.
The report highlights the importance of supporting positive relationships which benefit the child, and outlines challenges for supporting parents and mechanisms for being more inclusive. Overall, it gives a sense of parents as a key piece of the puzzle for addressing CSE more holistically.
Infographic: Supporting parents of sexually exploited young people
An at-a-glance summary of the key areas in which parents need support.