The Amber Project: Sheffield Child Exploitation Service
The Sheffield Child Exploitation Service is called The Amber Project, a co-located, multi-agency partnership involving:
- Children, Young People & Families Service – Social Workers and Intervention Workers
- South Yorkshire Police – Child Sexual Exploitation Team and Missing Persons Officers
- Sheffield Futures – Specialist Youth Workers, Management and Administration
Child exploitation is about children and young people being used for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit which results in harm of the child or young person. This incorporates both sexual and criminal exploitation.
These activities involve manipulation, misuse, abuse, victimisation and ill-treatment, all of which are detrimental to the child or young person's physical and mental health and well-being, their education, and their social-emotional development.
The Child Exploitation Screening Tool:
The Sheffield Child Exploitation Screening Tool does not replace existing multi-agency safeguarding arrangements that are in place in Sheffield. If you have safeguarding and child protection concerns about a child’s welfare then you should contact the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub to discuss.
The screening tool is designed to be used by all professionals working with children and their parents or carers. A child is defined as a person who is under 18 years of age.
This tool will help you to make an initial judgement regarding the risk of child exploitation; it is neither a specialist assessment or referral form. The tool will help practitioners to focus on the specific child exploitation (CE) evidence, indicators, existing safety and vulnerabilities, and determine whether further investigations are needed by Children’s Social Care or referral to another prevention and early intervention service.
When you are considering a referral to the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub (Children's Social Care) or sharing your concerns with the child’s allocated social worker, this screening tool should form the basis of those discussions and your professional analysis.
Practitioners need to exercise their professional judgement when using this tool because factors such as the child’s age, additional vulnerabilities, their history, may mean that the child is more vulnerable to CE. Professional judgement also includes concerns that you can evidence as well as concerns based ‘gut feeling’. It is important that you differentiate between the two and provide explanation and rationale. It is important to include the child’s strengths and existing safety so that this can be considered.
Your observations of behaviours and any significant changes are important as children will often deny or be unaware that they are being exploited.
Sheffield Futures have produced a training pathway for parents, carers, practitioners from all sectors, faith groups and workers in the night-time economy. They also offer Free Introduction to Child Sexual Exploitation training to any practitioner working in Sheffield.
Guidance and Fact Sheets
Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership (SCSP) Policy and Protocols:
A3 Posters that you can print and display in offices;