CE Awareness Day 18th March 2023


Please visit the National Working Group’s official awareness day website, the Children’s Society Look Closer campaign webpage, and out local WSCP Look Closer webpage.

The National Child Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight  the issues surrounding CE; encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children, or children exploiting and abusing their peers.

The National Child Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; for 2023 the NWG are focusing on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to adults developing inappropriate relationships with children or children exploiting and abusing their peers.

The WSCP supports National Child Exploitation Awareness Day and this year also has a focus on the Children’s Society #Look Closer campaign (27th Feb-3rd March), and using CE day to raise awareness of our local Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

On the 18th March there will be a call for all to unite against child exploitation. Show your support by using the hashtags #CEADay23 and #LookCloser to help raise awareness.

On this page you will find details and useful resources and links to the NWG Child Exploitation Awareness Day, a link to our dedicated #LookCloser campaign webpage, a link to our local Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy, and links to other resources and training.

What is Child Exploitation?

Child Exploitation, or CE is a term which encompasses all the ways by which children and young people can be exploited. It includes Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and also criminal exploitation. The criminal exploitation of children is an issue which is gaining more of a national focus and is closely related to County Lines, and other ways children and young people are drawn into drugs related criminal activity.

It is NOT OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to do sexually. Listen to your instinct; if it doesn’t feel right #SaySomething:

STOP CE – STOP CSE I Raise Awareness of CSE – Join the fight against CSE (stop-cse.org)

NWG Child Exploitation Awareness Day

How you can Help

On March 18, we want the world to unite against child exploitation

There are various ways you can show your support:

1. Write a personal pledge on your hands to show support for our Helping Hands campaign. Post your photo on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands and #CEADay23 to help us raise awareness of CE. Your pledge can be anything. From speaking out, to educating others. It is your promise to the victims of child exploitation (CSE).

2. Display and use campaign posters and banners. The NWG have made copies of their posters and resources available for download:

Children’s Society #Look Closer Campaign

Running from the 27th Feb to the 3rd March the #Look Closer campaign aims to highlight the signs of child exploitation and how to report it.

To support the campaign the WSCP have put together a dedicated webpage with resources and more information about how you can support the campaign. The page can be found here. The Children’s Society page can also be found here.

Eyes Open Campaign

CE Awareness Day is a good opportunity to highlight the Eyes Open campaign about County Lines and criminal exploitation.

What is County Lines?

County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in dealing illegal drugs, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ The gang activity is associated with drug dealing, vulnerable people, exploitation and violence.

County Lines has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.

Gangs will use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money, by criminally exploiting them. They will also seek to establish a base in target locations, typically taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion – this is referred to as ‘cuckooing’.

People exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network’s drug dealing business.

Eyes Open resource pack for schools

The following video illustrates the aim of the Eyes Open campaign.

Further information and resources can be found here: https://eyes-open.co.uk/

Violence Against Women and Girls

In December 2022 the WSCP launched its Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy. The strategy aims to reduce the number of violence and sexually motivated crimes committed against women and girls, and to also reduce name calling, bullying, harassment and misogynistic comments and attitudes.

The strategy has four priority areas:

  • Prioritising Prevention and Education
  • Supporting Victims
  • Reducing Harm
  • Building Safer Communities

Throughout 2023 the WSCP will deliver the strategy and will seek to include as many organisations and possible in delivering our message of no tolerance of VAWG. The strategy can be accessed below, and further information is available on our dedicated webpage: https://www.wirralsafeguarding.co.uk/vawg-strategy/


Catch22 are the commissioned service who lead the CE and Missing from home service in Wirral. To support CE awareness Catch22 have published a series of resources which can be downloaded below:

CE and County Lines Support and Rescue Service

What makes a good relationship?
– looking at the factors that form a healthy relationship, whether between peers or adult and child. A useful tool for using directly with young people.

Spotting a runaway child: Children may run away from home because they are unhappy or because they are being coerced and exploited. This poster shows you how to spot signs a child may be a runaway, and how to help them.

Keeping children safe during school holidays- a guide for parents and care giversAny extended period of unstructured time can cause friction between children and young people and those who care for them. Our CE teams share a few basic tips on how to work with children to agree strategies and keep them as safe as possible.

Child Criminal Exploitation- How do gangs recruit and coerce young people–  Catch22 believe that children involved in criminality are victims first. Groomers exploit young people and force them to commit crimes. This poster outlines the pattern of exploitation we have seen in our Child Exploitation services.







Push and Pull Factors: what causes a child to go missing looking at the many causes of a missing from home incident, includes tips for parents and carers on what to do when a child returns.

Different Dangers, Same Signs – a poster, taken from our latest report The Changing Needs of Victims, that looks at the signs of both CSE and CCE.

Positive relationships break the CSE cycle – a poster for professionals to understand the signs of CE/CSE and how to intervene at every point.

Spot the Signs– a poster for parents to help them if they think their child might be being exploited, or may be about to go missing.

Think Boys– a poster for any professional to highlight that boys can be victims of CE too.

Staying Safe Online– a list of tips for adults and young people that we’ve produced for Safer Internet Day

Further resources can be found on Catch22’s poster hub:
Spot the Signs: Child Exploitation and Missing Awareness Poster Hub – Catch22 (catch-22.org.uk)

Appropriate Language Guides

Educate, speak out and encourage others to join us in the fight against Child Exploitation

Parents and carers can be made aware of the indicators of Child Sexual Exploitation to help spot early warning signs, they can maintain an open dialogue with their children about their online and offline activities. They can know who to contact if they have concerns.

PACE (Parents Against Child Exploitation) are delivering a series of parent/carer webinars about County Lines and Criminal Exploitation. The webinars include:

  • Learn what county lines is
  • Understand what is happening in your local area
  • Understand the signs that your child might be at risk
  • Learn how offenders groom and exploit children

The webinars will be hosted live over zoom. Registration is requires and further information is available on the PACE website here: https://paceuk.info/for-parents/parentwebinars/

Practitioners can help empower children and parents/carers by educating them about Child Exploitation, the grooming process, the risk factors and indicators and the contact details of local and national organisations that can offer support. Practitioners can ensure that their own knowledge of Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking is up to date.

Links to WSCP training for professionals can be found at the bottom of the page.

The leisure industry – Hotels, Taxi Companies, Take-Aways, B&B’s and Retailers all have a role to play in safeguarding children and ensuring that their staff are trained to recognise the signs of Child  Exploitation and what to do if they suspect Child Exploitation by using the Community Awareness training toolkit Say Something if you See Something http://www.stop-cse.org/ssss/

Decision makers and politicians need to provide a culture in which all of the above can function and thrive and continue to play a key role in ensuring our children are safe from Child Exploitation. As a Decision maker or politician you need to ensure Your community is engaged in protecting children from Exploitation. The

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a resource pack for Elected Members and Community Leaders:

Tackling child exploitation: resources pack | Local Government Association

Reporting Concerns

People should report any concerns to the police on 101. If on a train text British Transport Police on 61016. Otherwise contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Alternatively you can contact the Wirral Integrated Front Door on 0151 6062008 or the NSPCC for advice on 0808 800 5000

Always dial 999 if there is an immediate risk to a child.

Resources and Links

Wirral Safeguarding Children Partnership Awareness and Learning Posters

click on the pictures to download







Children’s Society Look Closer Campaign

WSCP Look Closer Campaign webpage

The NWG – CE Day and wider exploitation information and resources

Catch22 – Details about the Wirral Missing and Exploitation Service

The following are CE related pages on the WSCP website:
(all open in new tabs)

CE webpage for professionals

WSCP Contextual Safeguarding Page

CE webpage for parents/carers

Online Safety webpage for parents/carers

CE webpage for children and young people

Online Safety webpage for children and young people

Sexting information webpage for children and young people

WSCP Exploitation Training for Professionals

WSCP Contextual Exploitation Training for Professionals