Tackling child sexual exploitation

Powerful drama: a scene from the performance of Chelseas Choice at the Fenland Learning Base
Powerful drama: a scene from the performance of Chelseas Choice at the Fenland Learning Base
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Ten vulnerable individuals have been identified as being at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) or associated risk-taking behaviour as a direct result of a powerful drama performed in Fenland schools last year.

And one of the students has disclosed that she had potentially been a victim of online grooming.

Those are among the findings included in a report evaluating the effectiveness of the “Chelsea’s Choice” play and the workshops and focus groups that followed the performances.

The play explores many sensitive issues and was seen by more than 1,000 students at six Fenland schools and colleges on a tour organised by the Fenland Community Safety Partnership (FCSP) last autumn.

The production was followed by several hour-long workshops, surveys of its impact on the students and a series of focus groups.

The follow-up report by the Fenland Community Safety Partnership (FCSP) and the Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) said that the overall package had proved very effective in raising young people’s awareness of the issues. It had also helped enable them to identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship and risk-taking behaviours.

It also highlighted the need for better communication about CSE between adults and young people

FCSP chairman David Oliver said the report is proof that the programme was an excellent way to alert youngsters about the dangers.