January 2017-August 2017

Dr Jane Dodsworth and Dr Penny Sorensen

Funder Norfolk Constabulary

 

Context

There is growing concern in the UK, in government, safeguarding agencies and the wider public about the extent and risks of child sexual exploitation across the country.  An historic lack of understanding of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has been identified in recent Serious Case Reviews. The sense of differing levels of understanding and intervention in different areas is apparent from recent reports. What is also becoming increasingly apparent is that CSE via social media is becoming a growing risk impacting on a wider group of children and young people than those identified by safeguarding agencies as vulnerable groups. It is clear therefore that safeguarding agencies must remain vigilant to this aspect of child sexual exploitation and develop more effective ways of raising awareness of the risks and the resources available to support all children and young people who may become vulnerable.

 

Aims

The aim of the evaluation is to provide a deeper analysis of if, and how, targeted child sexual exploitation awareness raising in a district in Norfolk via digital media raises children and young people’s awareness of sexual exploitation and avenues for help and support. Furthermore, it will explore how it relates to information as usual for children in a similar district who are not targeted digitally. Additional aims of the study include an exploration of the views of parents who encounter the campaign and an examination of the experiences of members of the MASE team and the ROSE project during the campaign. The evaluation will be carried out with the support of Council Advertising Network (CAN) who will run the campaign and provide statistical data.

 

Methods

1.This is a mixed methods study which will include the qualitative analysis of data from focus groups held with children & young people (9-18) from a variety of schools and colleges in the designated area prior and post the campaign. Telephone interviews with the MASE team & Rose Project members will be undertaken to explore views and any changes. Additionally CAN will set up a Facebook group for parents to post comments and feedback about the campaign abd this data will aslo be analysed

 

2.Do referral numbers to MASE go up during an intense CSE awareness campaign?

Anonymised data relating to referrals to MASE in the period three months prior to the campaign, will be collected by Norfolk Constabulary from both districts and made available to the researchers. In addition number will be collected during the three month campaign and three months after the campaign.

Anonymised data relating to referrals to MASE in the period three months prior to the campaign, will be collected by Norfolk Constabulary from both districts and made available to the researchers. In addition numbers will be collected during the three month campaign and three months after the campaign.

Quantitative data will be entered into SPSS 22 and analysis will give an indication of any changes over the time-course of the campaign. Qualitative data from interviews, Facebook and focus groups will be analysed using thematic analysis aided by NVivo 11 software.

 

Findings

It is too early to report on findings emerging from the analysis as we are still at the data collection stage. However what is already evident is that children and young people have a greater awareness of CSE than they think they have.

 

Impact

It is anticipated that this evaluation will inform consideration of a national roll out of the digital awareness campaign.

 

Publications

A report on the evaluation will be produced in August 2018.

Journal articles are also planned