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Thematic Learning from Case Reviews – Exploitation Awareness

Date: Monday, 23rd Oct 2023 | Category: Adults, Children

Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership are undertaking a monthly thematic learning dissemination, which provides an opportunity for staff and partner organisations in Dudley to be made aware of the key learning from our quality assurance activity and case reviews along with offering information in relation to this learning.

During October the focus has been on Exploitation Awareness as this has been a recurring theme in our children’s reviews.

How do we review multi agency practice and share learning?

DSPP seeks to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement across the organisations that work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults, identifying opportunities to draw on what works and promote good practice

Our thematic learning plan is one of the ways we share learning to improve practice.

Strategies, Pathways and Procedures

We would like to share with you relevant strategies, procedures and pathways relating to this theme:



Partnership Information Sharing (FIB) Form and guidance

National Referral Mechanism (NRM)

Prevent Duty

Appropriate Language Guidance

Safer7 Briefings

Seven minute briefings are based on a technique borrowed from the FBI. It is based on research, which suggests that seven minutes is an ideal time span to concentrate and learn. Learning for seven minutes is manageable in most services, and learning is more memorable as it is simple and not clouded by other issues and pressures. 

As part of the Thematic Learning from reviews we have promoted our Safer7 briefings which are directly linked to the findings of our reviews:

Anybody can be exploited regardless of age, gender or background. The victim may have been exploited even if the activity appears consensual due to his /her specific situation. Exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology, e.g. as the result of a grooming process which takes place during conversations in chat rooms, or through the use of social media.

View the Safer7 Briefing here

Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as harmful or life threatening. While unique to the individual, generally the experience of trauma can cause lasting adverse effects, limiting the ability to function and achieve mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.

Download the Trauma Informed Practice Safer7 here

A hate crime or hate incident is when somebody is targeted because of their:

  • Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation

Partners in Dudley are committed to tackling this behaviour and encourage all hate crimes and incidents to be reported.

Access the Safer7 here

Online risks and harms span across the majority of ‘traditional’ safeguarding and exploitation concerns; much of the abuse that plays out online will also be against the law. The internet and new technologies should be seen as a positive development, however, as with ‘offline’ life, there can be risks to those who use it.

View the Briefing here

Introduced by the Counterterrorism and Security Act 2015, It requires specified authorities “in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. Delivering the Duty includes: working in partnership; risk assessment; staff training; preventing misuse of public resources by extremists e.g. use of venues, protocols around use of IT.

Access the Prevent Safer7 at this link

Modern slavery is the exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Victims are trapped into situations which they were deceived or coerced into, and feel they cannot leave. Modern slavery is defined in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 as: ‘Holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after’ Human Trafficking involves recruitment, harbouring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation.

View the Safer7

The MCA 2005 applies to everyone over 16 years who may lack capacity to make specific decisions about their life. These decisions can range from simple, everyday things to more complex life changing matters such as where they live or receiving treatment. The MCA protects the rights of individuals by creating a framework for decision making where someone may lack the mental capacity to make the decision for themselves.

Access the briefing on MCA here

Executive function is an umbrella term used to describe a set of mental skills that are controlled by the frontal lobes of the brain. When executive function is impaired, it can inhibitappropriate decision-making and reduce a person’s problem-solving abilities.

Professionals assessing capacity in this patient group are faced with a number of obstacles that make determination of capacity more challenging. This can have significant implications because failing to carry out a sufficiently thorough capacity assessment in these situations can expose a vulnerable person to substantial risk.

View the Safer7 on MCA Executive Functioning here

Professional curiosity is having the capacity and communication skill to explore and understand what is happening with a child, adult with care and support needs or their family. It is about enquiring deeper and using proactive questioning and challenge. It is about understanding one’s own responsibility and knowing when to act, rather than making assumptions, or taking things at face value.

View more on Professional Curiosity here

Disguised compliance involves parents and carers appearing to co-operate with professionals to allay concerns and stop professional engagement (Reder et al, 1993). This can mean that social workers and other practitioners may be unaware of what is happening in a child’s or adult’s life and the risks they face may be unknown to authorities.

View the Safer7 on disguised compliance

Sharing information is crucial to safeguarding children and adults – poor information sharing is repeatedly highlighted as an issue in CSPRs and SARs. The most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to safeguard and protect the child or adult with care and support needs.

View more on Information Sharing here

Training and Resources

The below DSPP courses are directly linked to the findings of our reviews:

Exploitation Bitesize Session: Appropriate Use of Language

Victim-blaming language may reinforce messages from perpetrators around shame and guilt. This in turn may prevent the person from disclosing their abuse, through fear of being blamed by professionals. When victim-blaming language is used amongst professionals, there is a risk of normalising and minimising the person’s experience, resulting in a lack of appropriate response.

This short session covers the appropriate language to use when working with children and young people who are at risk of risk of exploitation

Exploitation – Harm Outside the Home

This is a one-day course that aims to develop practitioner skills, offers ideas to enhance practice and introduce practical ways of working with children and young people who are at risk of exploitation.

Book your place here

Exploitation - Serious Youth Violence

This course offers a more comprehensive overview to the subject of gangs and youth violence; helping the participants recognise the extent of the problem; what gangs are and what they do and understand what can be done to prevent and work with those involved. It will also more in-depth information around county lines, the use of the National Referral Mechanism and complex safeguarding. All of this through a trauma informed lens.

Find out more here

Adult Exploitation and Online Harms

Join the DSPP for a training session to learn more about the grooming of adults and online harms they may face as a result of exploitation and grooming. The session will cover

  • Grooming and how it links into the Care Act 2014
  • Catfishing/Romance Fraud
  • Forced/Predatory Marriage
  • Mate Crime
  • Radicalisation

Book a place here

Trauma Informed Practice

The training will equip practitioners:

  • To develop understanding of the theory and concepts behind the potential impact of ACEs and trauma across the life course
  • To understand what trauma-informed and trauma-responsive practice looks, sounds and feels like.
  • To gain a basic understanding into how an organisation can begin a journey towards a trauma-informed organisational culture. The session is structured to return to key ideas and reinforce core messages as take home learning.

Find out more here

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and when to refer to Adult Social Care

To raise awareness of the different types of abuse regarding adults with care and support needs can experience, who abuses, where abuse can take place and to offer support and guidance for making Safeguarding Adult Referrals, including providing a greater understanding of what is required in a Safeguarding Referral.

Book your place here

Professional Curiosity

This Multi-Agency training course will increase practitioner’s knowledge and confidence in practising ‘respectful uncertainty’ by thinking outside the box’, beyond their usual professional role, and considering individual’s and families’ circumstances holistically. It will also be an opportunity to explore how as professionals differences of opinion, concerns and issues that arise for practitioners at work and are resolved as effectively and swiftly as possible.


Child exploitation (CE) issues including Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and criminal exploitation such as County Lines (often known as CCE).

This eLearning gives participants an insight into the exploitation that children and young people may face, helping you as a practitioner to spot signs of grooming and understand how you can then help to protect and support children and young people in Dudley.

View the eLearning here

This level 1 package has been designed for multi-agency staff and volunteers who have contact with children and young people who July have safeguarding needs. It is important that everyone is able to recognise concerns around safeguarding and how to raise a concern so that appropriate actions can be taken.

Access the eLearning course here

To raise awareness of the different types of abuse adults with care and support needs can experience, who abuses, where abuse can take place and how to report concerns

Find out more here

This course is linked to the ‘DSPP Support Level Guidance and Framework’ which provides the model of integrated working and gives practical guidance on making decisions across service thresholds for practitioners working in Dudley.

Register here

This training has been designed to support your understanding of Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding.

The knowledge that you will get from this course will help you understand the how to help people who may lack mental capacity and the implications of Deprivation of Liberty. It will help you to ensure that you are safeguarding their rights.

Access the eLearning here

The government training courses are designed, and are appropriate for, staff working in sectors covered by the Prevent duty. These include education, health, local authorities, police, prisons, probation and youth justice. Other sectors that are not covered may also complete this training. You do not have to complete all the courses.  You should refer to your organisation’s training requirements to determine which courses are appropriate for you.

  1. Course 1 – Awareness course
  2. Course 2 – Referrals course
  3. Course 3 – Channel or Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) course

To access please visit the website