October 5, 2022 Learning and Reflections, Programme Blogs

Practice Principles for responding to child exploitation and extra-familial harm

Publication
Drawing of the 8 Emerging Practice Principles.

In March 2022, the TCE Programme was commissioned by the DfE to produce a set of national  ‘Practice Principles’ intended to support local partnerships in responding to child exploitation and extra-familial harm. See this initial blog about the work.  

Since then, the Programme team has been busy consulting with professionals, children, young people and families, and undertaking a rapid scoping review of the relevant research, to inform the development of the draft Practice Principles. The team is delighted to be able to share these with you now, together with some thoughts on the learning to date. 

Few would deny the need to improve the response to child exploitation and extra-familial harm, and many would identify enhanced workforce knowledge and skills being part of the solution. However, the complexity of the work means it is neither possible nor helpful to produce weighty tomes of prescriptive guidance. This complexity arises from several factors, including:  

  • the range of partners and agencies involved in ensuring an effective response, locally and nationally  
  • the evolving and complex nature of child exploitation and extra-familial harm itself 
     
  • the emergent nature of the evidence base, with gaps and new knowledge equally challenging to manage 
     
  • the ever-evolving and subjective notion of ‘best practice’ 
     
  • the different needs of different professionals 
     
  • the diverse variety of local contexts
  • the divergence of priorities between agencies and policy makers.

This complexity, together with learning from knowledge gathering and the first three years of the TCE Programme, strongly suggests the Practice Principles need to avoid a detailed ‘tick box approach’ and rather aim to enable coherence and a shared sense of direction within and between partnerships. As such, the Principles focus on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’. 

Whilst evidence-informed1 by design, the Practice Principles do not recommend specific interventions or models of practice, as the aim is for them to be applicable in different contexts and circumstances. They are intended to be ‘a compass, not a map’, meaning, they remind us which way to face, where our ‘North Star’ is, rather than directing the route or specific steps. 

Attending to the importance of relationships, the Principles are deliberately behavioural in their focus. They offer a steer for professionals working directly with children, young people and families, and also attend to the management and leadership behaviours and partnership approaches that can support practice.  

Recognising the significant impact of resource constraints, which professionals described during the initial consultation phase, the Principles intentionally focus on what can be done with what we currently have. This is not to say that wider system change, and greater investment, are not required. The Principles seek to be forward-facing in this regard, i.e., applicable in changing and challenging circumstances. 

The Practice Principles are not designed to replace existing guidance and toolkits. Instead, they are intended to complement both that which already exists and that which may emerge in the wake of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care. They are also complementary to the ongoing evidence being generated by organisations such as the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care, the Early Intervention Foundation and the Youth Endowment Fund

What are the Practice Principles likely to say?

At this stage, eight core, interrelated Practice Principles have emerged. They reflect the behaviours that professionals, children and young people and parents and care-givers identified as important in the initial consultation, and align with the key themes identified by our rapid evidence review.  

The draft Principles emphasise that the response to child exploitation and extra-familial harm must: 

  1. put children and young people first 
  1. respect the voice, experience and expertise of children and young people 
  1. be strengths-based and relationship-based 
  1. recognise and respond to trauma 
  1. be curious, evidence-informed and knowledgeable 
  1. treat parents and care-givers as partners, where it is safe to do so 
  1. create safer spaces and places for children and young people 
  1. recognise and challenge inequalities, exclusion and discrimination. 

These draft Principles are being tested and explored through a second round of consultation with professionals (from a range of agencies including those working directly with children, young people parents and care-givers through to strategic leaders), young people and families. Once finalised, a number of supporting resources will be developed to help local areas apply them.  
 
These include: 

  • a reflective self-assessment tool for local partnerships, based on the eight Principles 
     
  • an animation to explain the evidence, ideas and interdependencies that underpin the Principles   
  • a succinct evidence summary considering  evidence limitations, key findings and implications  
     
  • an individual professional development tool supporting practitioners to reflect on the Principles, and their application to their own practice  
     
  • a resource to help local agencies and partnerships incorporate children and young people’s views at a strategic level  
     
  • a resource to support local agencies and partnerships to engage parents and carers as partners at a strategic level. 

The TCE Programme team is grateful to everyone who has contributed to the development of the draft Principles so far, and encourages professionals across the sector to contribute to the next phase of sense-checking.

Topics Covered

Practice Principles

Download the Practice Principles document to explore what this means for professionals, and how to develop your approach to tackling child exploitation.

Download
Please note this is a legacy site and is not being updated. The TCE Programme closed on 31st March 2023.
The Practice Principles and all supporting resources will be available on the TCE microsite until March 31st 2026. Hosting arrangements beyond 2026 will be reviewed by the Department for Education.
© 2024 Tacking Child Exploitation
Registered Office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, TQ9 6EL
Company Number: 1485560
Charity Number: 279756
VAT Number: 402196875
Website built by Vu Online

Accept Our Terms And Conditions

By clicking the ‘Accept’ button you, the user, confirm you have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use of this open source website as part of the Tackling Childhood Exploitation Support Programme.

Terms and Conditions of Use

Please read these Terms and Conditions of Use carefully before you start to use the site. By using our site, you indicate that you accept these Terms and Conditions of Use and that you agree to abide by them. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions of Use, please refrain from using our site.

Accessing our site

Access to our site is open and public, and we reserve the right to withdraw or amend the service we provide on our site without notice (see below). We will not be liable if, for any reason, our site is unavailable at any time or for any period.

When using our site, you must comply with the provisions of our Acceptable Use Policy (below). You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our site. You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access our site through your internet connection are aware of these Terms and Conditions of Use, and that they comply with them.

Intellectual property rights

The materials of this website have been gifted in kind or commissioned for the purpose of being open and free to access.

As a user, you may print off multiple copies and may download multiple documents.  These documents must only be used to support your work.  You must not pass on any part of the materials on our site to third parties and you must not use any part of the materials on our site for commercial purposes without obtaining a licence to do so from us or our licensors.

As a user of our site, you must not modify the paper or digital copies of any materials you have printed off or downloaded in any way, and you must not use any illustrations, photographs, video or audio sequences or any graphics separately from any accompanying text.   The status of any identified contributors as the authors of material on our site must always be acknowledged.

The identified contributors are the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in our site, and in the material published on it. Those works are protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. All such rights are reserved.

All trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos, domain names, and any other features of branding are the sole property of the respective contributors.

Our site changes

We aim to update our site regularly, and may change the content at any time. If the need arises, we may suspend access to our site, or close it indefinitely. Any of the material on our site may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material.

Our liability

The material displayed on our site is provided without any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to its accuracy. To the extent permitted by law, we, other members of our group of companies and third parties connected to us hereby expressly exclude:

  • All conditions, warranties and other Terms and Conditions of Use which might otherwise be implied by statute, common law or the law of equity.
  • Any liability for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage incurred by any user in connection with our site or in connection with the use, inability to use, or results of the use of our site, any websites linked to it and any materials posted on it, including:
  • loss of income or revenue;
  • loss of business;
  • loss of profits or contracts;
  • loss of anticipated savings;
  • loss of data;
  • loss of goodwill;
  • wasted management or office time; and whether caused by tort (including negligence), breach of contract or otherwise, even if foreseeable, provided that this condition shall not prevent claims for loss of or damage to your tangible property or any other claims for direct financial loss that are not excluded by any of the categories set out above.

This does not affect our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence, nor our liability for fraudulent misrepresentation or misrepresentation as to a fundamental matter, nor any other liability which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.

Information about you and your visits to our site

We process information about you in accordance with our Privacy Policy. By using our site, you consent to such processing and you warrant that all data provided by you is accurate.

Viruses, hacking and other offences

You must not misuse our site by knowingly introducing viruses, trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to our site, the server on which our site is stored or any server, computer or database connected to our site. You must not attack our site via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack.

By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use our site will cease immediately.

We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack, viruses or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data or other proprietary material due to your use of our site or to your downloading of any material posted on it, or on any website linked to it.

Linking to our site

You may link to our home page, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.

You must not establish a link from any website that is not owned by you.

Our site must not be framed on any other site, nor may you create a link to any part of our site other than the home page. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice. The website from which you are linking must comply in all respects with the content standards set out in our Acceptable Use Policy (below).

If you wish to make any use of material on our site other than that set out above, please address your request to TCEadmin@researchinpractice.org.uk.

Links from our site

Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.

Jurisdiction and applicable law

The English courts will have non-exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising from, or related to, a visit to our site although we retain the right to bring proceedings against you for breach of these conditions in your country of residence or any other relevant country.

These Terms and Conditions of Use of use and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them or their subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

International partners

Research in Practice is only able to provide technical support for our web services in English.

In the event of any legal dispute or claim, the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

Storage, retention and access to data will be treated in accordance with our obligations under United Kingdom data protection legislation.


Acceptable Use Policy

Prohibited uses:

You may use our site only for lawful purposes. You may not use our site:

  • In any way that breaches any applicable local, national or international law or regulation.
  • In any way that is unlawful or fraudulent, or has any unlawful or fraudulent purpose or effect.
  • For the purpose of harming or attempting to harm minors in any way.
  • To send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any material which does not comply with our content standards (below).
  • To transmit, or procure the sending of, any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising or promotional material or any other form of similar solicitation (spam).
  • To knowingly transmit any data, send or upload any material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time-bombs, keystroke loggers, spyware, adware or any other harmful programs or similar computer code designed to adversely affect the operation of any computer software or hardware.

You also agree:

  • Not to reproduce, duplicate, copy or re-sell any part of our site in contravention of the provisions of our Terms and Conditions of Use (above).
  • Not to access without authority, interfere with, damage or disrupt:
    • any part of our site;
    • any equipment or network on which our site is stored;
    • any software used in the provision of our site; or
    • any equipment or network or software owned or used by any third party.

Breach of Acceptable Use Policy:

We will determine, in our discretion, whether there has been a breach of this Acceptable Use Policy through your use of our site. When a breach of this policy has occurred, we may take such action as we deem appropriate.

Failure to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy constitutes a material breach of the Terms and Conditions of Use upon which you are permitted to use our site, and may result in our taking all or any of the following actions:

  • Issue of a warning to you.
  • Legal proceedings against you for reimbursement of all costs on an indemnity basis (including, but not limited to, reasonable administrative and legal costs) resulting from the breach.
  • Further legal action against you.
  • Disclosure of such information to law enforcement authorities as we reasonably feel is necessary.

We exclude liability for actions taken in response to breaches of this Acceptable Use Policy. The responses described in this policy are not limited, and we may take any other action we reasonably deem appropriate.

Changes to the Acceptable Use Policy

We may revise this Acceptable Use Policy at any time by amending this page. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we make, as they are legally binding on you. Some of the provisions contained in this Acceptable Use Policy may also be superseded by provisions or notices published elsewhere on our site.

Your concerns

If you have any concerns about material which appears on our site, please contact TCEadmin@researchinpractice.org.uk.

Thank you for visiting our site.