Foster care and National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2

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Foster care and National Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2

Foster carers and Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2

Foster parents and Child Exploitation Awareness Day 2

Foster care service providers, care professionals and anyone with a professional interest in the care and welfare of children will be aware of the recent – National Child Exploitation Day on the 18th March. This is a short series to follow up on this important day and contribute to building ongoing awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation. 

Child sexual exploitation and trafficking. 

Foster carers unlike most parents are likely to have a general knowledge of what trafficking involves. For anyone with limited knowledge of what it involves there are a few basic facts to be aware of. Traffickers are likely to have invested considerable time and expense in the process of recruiting or grooming their victims. Fostering service providers – along with foster parents – will have the understanding that when children are taken into care, they can still be vulnerable. Because a child represents an investment with the potential for future income, it is not unknown for traffickers to try and get them back. 

Not all forms of trafficking are related to sexual exploitation. There is an International Definition: according to the ILO – 

“child labour is the enslavement (i.e., sale, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, compulsory labour) of anyone under the age of 18. The definition includes the use of children in armed conflict, prostitution and illegal activities such as drug trafficking. Lastly, any work deemed to be harmful to the health, safety or morals of a child is considered to be child labour”. 

And to give a sense of scale, it is a fact more than a quarter of the world’s slaves are children. These children can be compelled to commit sex acts, forced into domestic servitude or employed in activities that pose a significant risk to their mental, physical, social or moral wellbeing. 

Whatever the particular form of trafficking there is one vulnerability that is a constant. This is the complete imbalance of power between the trafficker and the victim. In many situations, this leaves a child extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. When a child is taken into care this form of abuse should always be considered. The trafficking process has certain typical phases:1. Recruitment or grooming 2. Travel/transportation 3. Arrival 4. Exploitation 5. Rescue/Escape 6. Return/Rehabilitation 

At-risk behaviours and personal traits predisposing a young person to risk can include: 

  • Non-school attendance or excluded due to behaviour.
  • Staying out overnight or for prolonged periods with no explanation.
  • Breakdown of residential or foster placements due to behaviour.
  • Breakdown of residential or foster placements due to behaviour.
  • Unaccounted for money or items typically – including mobile phones, drugs and alcohol.
  • Multiple STI’s.
  • A pattern of self-harming.
  • Excessive alcohol and drug use.
  • Criminal offending.
  • Being moved around for sexual activity.
  • Multiple miscarriages or terminations.
  • Receiving rewards of money or goods for recruiting peers.
  • Disclosure of physical sexual assault and then refusing to make or withdrawing the complaint.
  • Frequenting ‘red light’ district.
  • Being taken to clubs and hotels by adults and engaging in sexual activity.
  • Overtly sexualised dress, sexualised risk-taking including on the Internet.
  • Getting into cars with unknown adults or associating with known CSE perpetrators.
  • Trafficker speaking for the child.
  • Having a much older boy/girlfriend.
  • No travel or identity documents.
  • Not speaking English.

Foster care service providers are very much aware – especially in the context of young people transitioning from care – that the risk from traffickers can still be present. And as this is a global problem it affects other countries: It’s a sobering statistic, but according to the National Foster Youth Institute, 60% of child trafficking victims in the United States were once in the foster care system. 

Fostering with Rainbow provides you with choice and career flexibility. 

The number of people enquiring about fostering during the pandemic has dropped by around a quarter. And this is just as the need to find new fostering households has risen. Children come into foster care for many different reasons but they all need the security of a stable and caring home. At Rainbow, we provide all the fostering training you need along with extensive support, training and guidance. And we pay generous allowances and fees so you’ll find fostering a rewarding career. Rainbow place children who have come into the care of local authorities in London, Birmingham, Manchester and parts of Hampshire. We can offer a variety of short and long-term placements for children and teenagers of all ethnicities aged between 0 and 18. If you decide to foster you can be confident you are making a huge and positive difference to a person’s life. 

Fostering can be challenging, but it can also be immensely rewarding. For those interested in developing their fostering careers further, we provide additional training so people can choose to foster teenagers, support parent and child placements, care for sibling groups or look after children with complex needs. More of our foster carers and applicants are choosing to train to provide therapeutic care which qualifies them for enhanced payment rates. 

At Rainbow, you are never alone – all our foster careers are part of the wider team at Rainbow with  the same shared mission: to rebuild the lives and prospects of vulnerable children and young people. 

Who can foster? 

Foster carers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things for vulnerable children. And they come from all walks of life. We welcome everyone with a commitment to fostering irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, gender identity, race or religion. Becoming an ‘Approved’ foster carer usually takes around 16 – 18 weeks. We have plenty of opportunities right now call us on 0330 311 2845 for more information. 

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As children and young people have returned to nurseries, schools and universities, it’s advisable to check the latest advice and guidance to stay safe and well. For the latest information 

visit – Contact details and for Rainbow Fostering Services can be found at

Rainbow putting the focus on fostering.

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