Developing contextual responses to the abuse and exploitation of young people

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Contextual Safeguarding and ‘County Lines’

Last updated: 07 Jul 2020

Children and young people who are trafficked to sell drugs are being subjected to a form of extra-familial harm. Whilst there is no statutory definition of ‘child criminal exploitation’ (CCE), CCE and the trafficking of children to sell drugs on ‘county lines’ are named in Working Together 2018 (HM Government, 2018) as forms of child abuse and as such those affected are entitled to a child protection response. This briefing maps the emergence of ‘county lines’ as a child welfare issue, before introducing the four domains of Contextual Safeguarding and outline how a Contextual Safeguarding approach to assessment, planning, intervention and outcome measurement could offer an alternative response to young people who are affected by ‘county lines’.

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