Support for parents/carers of children with special educational needs and disability who have experienced child sexual exploitation.

  • Franklin, Anita (PI)
  • Sims-Schouten, Wendy (CoI)

Project Details


Disabled children and those with special educational needs (SEND) are significantly more at risk of experiencing sexual and criminal exploitation than their non-disabled peers – their particular vulnerability has been repeatedly highlighted by Government. Although there is limited prevalence data, it is estimated that disabled children are 3 -4 times more likely to experience all forms of abuse than their peers. It is known that many families do not receive any statutory support for exploitation and wider support for families is difficult to obtain. This group are often invisible to services, and services are often not well equipped or trained to meet their needs. Until now, the views and experiences of these parents and families have remained largely unheard.

Working in partnership with two highly respected expert national voluntary organisations (PACE and ACT), and utilising in-depth interviews, this study will explore the experiences of up to 20 parents/carers of children and young people with SEND (from across England and Wales) who have experienced child sexual exploitation. The aim of the study will be to highlight the specific needs of this group to inform policy and practice development.

The findings will provide important new learning on the need to develop practice to better protect disabled children and young people, and understand what kinds of responses meet their needs, and help children and families to recover.
Short titleHW Theme Funded
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/12/20


  • HW Theme Funded
  • Disability
  • Children and young people
  • Abuse
  • Exploitation
  • Support
  • Social Work
  • Police
  • Education
  • Policy


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