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New HIPS Child Exploitation Toolkit launched

Date: Tuesday, 10th Oct 2023 | Category: Toolkits

Although safeguarding risks are traditionally associated with the home environment and linked to parenting capacity, children can also face significant safeguarding risks outside the home (extra-familial harm), for example from drugs, gangs and youth violence and sexual and criminal exploitation.

Adolescents may be more vulnerable to these forms of extra-familial harm as they become more independent and enjoy more freedom, and as peer influence increases and family influence declines. This occurs against a backdrop of physical, emotional and cognitive changes present during adolescence that results in young people being more open to risky behaviours.

In recognition of this, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton (HIPS) Safeguarding Children Partnerships launched its new Child Exploitation Toolkit in October, based on the HIPS Child Exploitation and Extra-Familial Harm Strategy.

The toolkit has been produced to support a co-ordinated approach to preventing child exploitation, and improve the identification, protection, and support for victims, survivors, and their families. The toolkit provides information on signs and vulnerabilities as well as policy, procedures and practical tools that can be used to support professionals, working with children and families where there is a risk of child exploitation and extra-familial harm.

Almost 300 delegates across HIPS attended three identical virtual launch events held throughout the day on 10 October 2023. The event comprised of expert speakers demonstrating how the toolkit supports professional practice, learning from local case studies and opportunities for further training. Feedback from delegates who attended the launch was overwhelmingly positive.