Having the conversation 

By visiting this site, you’ve already taken the first step to helping your child.  Before speaking to them, it’s important to remember that they may be frightened or intimidated and so it will be crucial to approach the conversation sensitively and with an open mind.  Be prepared to listen to your child before reaching a conclusion or making accusations.  Remember that suspecting that your child is being exploited isn’t proof that they are.

It’s also worth considering that even if your child is being exploited, they may not see themselves as a victim or recognise that someone else is manipulating them.  They may feel that the person who is exploiting them is looking out for them or cares about them – that’s part of the grooming process that the exploiter’s use.  It’s also common for exploiters to try and isolate young people from their families and so it will be important to reinforce to your child that you love and care about them.

By understanding what criminal exploitation is and what the risks are for your child, you’re well placed to begin having the conversation with your child and challenging their perceptions.

Try and remain open minded and avoid making judgements about your child.  Remember that your child is experiencing their childhood in different times to your own and are likely to be facing many challenges that perhaps weren’t present when you were their age.

Remind your child of the positive things about them including any sports or hobbies that they are good at.  Encourage them to see the positives that these activities can bring them and encourage them to put their efforts into these.  If your child isn’t involved in any sports, groups or activities, you could encourage them to check out what’s available for them in Derby.

Remember, the first conversation may not always go as planned and you are likely to need to revisit the discussion again in the future.  There’s lots of helpful information for young people on this site so you could try reviewing it together or giving them the website address so that they can look at it in their own time for you to discuss again at a later date.

If you are concerned that your child may be being criminally exploited, that in itself is a crime and you should contact the police on 101 to report this.  If you are concerned that your child is in immediate danger at any time, you should contact them on 999.

You can get further information on sources of help and support for your child here.

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