Do you know where your child is?

With the summer school break looming and current hot weather, most children want to be outside enjoying the sunshine with their friends.

Not all places and spaces around Hampshire are as safe as we would want and there are unfortunately some adults and older teens who will take the opportunity to criminally exploit children.

Child exploitation is abuse and is illegal. The mechanisms for grooming can be complicated and subtle, with children feeling that they are being looked after and ‘special’ by the person exploiting them.

A child’s wellbeing is best served in a home environment where they are loved and cared for by carers who know they are safe and can be contacted. Sometimes children go missing from where they should be, and this can add additional risk to them being exploited.

Hampshire County Council has produced two downloadable posters, Missing and Are you sure?, for practitioners to display. These posters provide helpful advice to parents and carers to think about the risks of children being missing and the signs of exploitation, as well as the steps that can be taken to help protect them from harm.