One of School-Home Support’s specialist practitioners focuses on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) – supporting young people and families at risk of harm to find more positive ways of thinking about relationships and become safer in the community. Here, the practitioner explains the case of a teenage girl they supported over seven months.
“Chloe was 15 when she was first referred to me by her school. There were serious concerns that Chloe was part of a group of girls who could be vulnerable to CSE. Chloe would often go missing for days, this put a strain on her relationship with her parents, who had resorted to reporting her missing to the police.
On one particular occasion, Chloe returned home after a couple of days and later would make an allegation of rape against someone she had claimed she had gone to meet as friends. In addition to this Chloe had expressed other inappropriate peer relationships and was sexually active with limited knowledge and understanding around sexual health issues.
During my time with Chloe, we were able to explore the various issues that she was facing. We discussed how it might be better to approach relationships both with her parents and her peers. We used concentric circle diagrams to look at the differences in relationships and how Chloe can separate and understand that relationships with her peers and parents can be different.
Chloe now has a much better understanding of sexual safety and health. This included how she can be safer online and where she can report any concerns that she may have. We talked about consent and how its meaning can change under the influence of alcohol, drugs and possible peer pressure. Chloe has now shown she is willing and able to take part in regular sexual health checks and understands the use of contraception and potential symptoms of STI’s.
Chloe’s greater understanding around risks and her own personal safety means that she has stopped socialising with a particular peer group. This means her episodes of going missing have stopped, which in turn means her relationship with her parents has approved and her school attendance has improved to over 96 percent.
Chloe has a new boyfriend which has been a stabilising influence on her. Chloe is no longer sexually active but is now equipped with the tools and understanding to keep herself safe and make an informed decision when she feels ready to take the next step. It’s great to see Chloe in a much more positive place and she is much happier now that she knows where to get support in the future.”
We feature another young woman’s success story in the latest SHS Impact Report for 2017/18 – read it here on page 11.