Barnardo’s, together with the Local Government Association (LGA) has published a report advising parents and professionals spot the warnings of child abuse. The report highlights: (a) raising awareness; (b) increasing understanding of what is happening; (c) developing strategic responses; (d) supporting victims of exploitation; and (e) improving policing and prosecution. Children have to be made aware of the threat, know what to do if they are threatened and where to turn to for support. And parents, carers and professionals have to know what to look for and what to do if they suspect that a child is being sexually exploited.
Barnardo’s reports an 8.4% increase in referrals during 2011 and believes that something needs to be done to protect children from harm.