This ground-breaking YouGov study (of two quantitative surveys and two online focus groups) for the charity Pace (Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation) and the Virtual College’s Safeguarding Children e-Academy encompassed professionals and parents exploring parental and professional understandings of CSE, with a particular focus on the role of parents in preventing the crime and the impact it has on the wider family unit.
This study found that parents are clearly grappling with how best to monitor their children’s use of technology. Parents’ responses indicate that children are mostly likely to have access to a mobile phone by the age of 11, yet over half of the parents surveyed think it is ‘most intrusive’ to check text messages sent and received by children aged 9 – 14.
A synopsis of the other key findings are:
- Half (51%) of safeguarding professionals believe parents do not have the right information they need to keep their children safe from CSE.
- Half (53%) of safeguarding professionals think that parents do not even understand what CSE entails.
- Almost nine out of ten parents (87%) said that there had been no education about child sexual exploitation at their child’s school.
- One in ten parents admit that they do not know very much about child sexual exploitation, with four out of ten reporting they were not confident they would recognise the difference between normal adolescent behaviour and key indicators that a child is being sexually exploited.
Several MPs have voiced their support of the report and its recommendations for bringing parents into the heart safeguarding children from sexual exploitation:
See the infographic below, or click on the image to enlarge: