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28 March 2014, 12:14 | Updated: 28 March 2014, 12:16
The Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board (GCSB) has launched two new e-learning courses to help professionals and parents.
The first is an interactive training course aimed at all professionals working with children and families, including teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses and many others working in the community. It will help them identify children who may be at risk of CSE and to understand the devastating impact it has on the lives of children and their families. It will also help support professionals in knowing what help is available and what they can do next.
Alongside this, the GCSB is also hosting an e-learning programme for parents and carers. This new resource has been produced by PACE (Parents Against Child sexual Exploitation) and is available nationally for parents and carers concerned about their children. It helps them to recognise the signs of CSE through a mix of exercises, video clips and practical information.
Roger Clayton, independent chair of the GCSB, said: "Everyone wants to protect their child from harm. They carry out that task on a daily basis. Knowing the signs of exploitation can be invaluable for parents and carers to establish whether a young person is at risk of such abuse. It has to be said that although such incidents are relatively uncommon, they do happen here in Gloucestershire so must be taken seriously.
"Child Sexual Exploitation is a priority for Gloucestershire's Safeguarding Children Board. We have supported teachers and other professionals in responding to these concerns for the last couple of years, now we are able to offer similar advice to our parents and carers. The launch of these e-learning resources is yet another practical tool which we in Gloucestershire can offer our professionals and our parents."
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Protecting children from harm has to be our number one priority. Sadly, exploitation of children comes from many quarters and the way people target children is changing and developing all the time. We have trained and continued to train professionals, offering an extra resource for parents means we are better equipped to protect children in the county from exploitation."
Detective Sergeant Nigel Hatten, from the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "As part of the Safeguarding Children's Board we fully support the launch of these e-learning packages.
"Our officers regularly go in to schools to speak to children at primary and secondary schools in the county regarding keeping safe.
"Since the launch of the Police Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Unit staff, together with partner agencies such as GDVSAP and the GSCB, have undertaken CSE awareness training for professionals who work with children including the signposting of resources that can be used within schools.
"We fully recognise how important it is that professionals and parents pick up on the indicators as early as possible so that interventions can be made and children protected."
Both courses are available via the GCSB website now.