Complex safeguarding

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Complex and Contextual Safeguarding

Keeping Children and Young People safe from exploitation is a key priority for Oldham. Bringing together the various strands of complex and contextual safeguarding include:

For Children, Young People and their Families where need and vulnerability and risk are complex, multiple and acute, an integrated, coordinated and collaborative response is essential.

Child Sexual Exploitation: captures young people aged under-18 who are sexually abused in the context of exploitative relationships, contexts and situations by a person of any age - including another young person.

Child Criminal Exploitation: There is also growing evidence relating to the issue of the exploitation of young people across geographical areas, commonly referred to as ‘county lines’ (although branded ‘Trapped’ in Greater Manchester initiatives)

The ‘Trapped’ campaign aims to raise awareness of all forms of criminal exploitation, in recognition that young people and vulnerable adults may feel ‘Trapped’ and need support to ‘find a way out’. Please download the attached poster and display this in your place of work, particularly if you work with children or vulnerable adults.

This short film was developed with local communities and actors to highlight how people can be exploited in these ways: Trapped short film


Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation (HM government)

Barnardo's 'Spot the Signs of CSE'

More information can be found on the Greater Manchester website: It's not okay

Youth Violence

Harmful Sexual Behaviour: refers to any young person, under the age of 18, who demonstrates behaviour outside of their normative parameters of development (this includes, but is not exclusive to abusive behaviours);

Brook Traffic Light Tool.pdf
Brook traffic light tool guidance.pdf

Serious Youth Crime / Violence: reference to offences (as opposed to relationships / contexts) and captures all those of the most serious in nature including murder, rape and GBH between young people under-18.

Missing from home or care

When a child goes missing or runs away, they are at risk and therefore this is a safeguarding issue.  When missing, children may experience physical and/or emotional abuse or sexual abuse, be exposed to risk of harm or exploitation by perpetrators.  They may feel fear and loneliness, take part in risk-taking or self-harming behaviour or be in dangerous situations using coping strategies such as sleeping rough or committing crime to survive.  Family and social relationships may suffer, education may be affected, and live chances may be at risk of being adversely affected.  Children who go missing are vulnerable to trafficking, violent crime, drug and alcohol misuse and exploitation.

Statutory Guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care

Flowchart_when_a_child_goes_missing_from_care (1).pdf

Positive Steps Oldham deliver the local Missing From Home Service which ensures that young people who go missing are independently interviewed within 72 hours of notification. 

Positive Steps Oldham Missing from Home service


Here are links to a range of resources for professionals that can help children and young people stay safe online.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre

The Lucy Faithful Foundation


E-Safety Week

E-Safety week happens every year in February. Resources are available from the end of January.  

  • Email to make sure you're on the distribution list!

Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities or reduced capacity, cannot) consent to the marriage as they are pressurised, or abuse is used, to force them to do so. It is recognised in the UK as a form of domestic or child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO)

An FMPO can be used to protect a person being forced into marriage or in a forced marriage. The order contains legally binding conditions and directions that change the behaviour of a person or persons trying to force someone into marriage.  The following people can apply for an FMPO:

  • The person who is to be protected by the order 
  • A relevant third party (e.g.Local Authority)
  • Any other person with the permission of the court

Project Choice is a Greater Manchester service that provides practical and emotional support to anyone at risk of, or experiencing so-called honour-based violence and abuse, including forced marriage.

Project_Choice_Leaflet 2018.pdf

Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there's no medical reason for this to be done. It's also known as female circumcision or cutting, and by other terms, such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. It's illegal in the UK and is child abuse.

In England and Wales, regulated health and social care professionals and teachers have a mandatory duty to make a report to the police if:

  • they are informed by a child under the age of 18 that they have undergone FGM
  • they observe physical signs that an act of FGM may have been carried out on a child under the age of 18 (Section 74 Serious Crime Act 2015).

NSPCC - Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation - procedural information 2015.pdf

Modern Slavery and Trafficking

It is defined as recruiting, moving, receiving and harbouring children for the purpose of exploitation. Child trafficking is a form of modern slavery (HM Government, 2014). Many children are trafficked into the UK from overseas, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

National Referral Mechanism

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support. From 1 November 2015, specified public authorities are required to notify the Home Office about any potential victims of modern slavery they encounter in England and Wales.

If the potential victim is under 18, or may be under 18, an NRM referral must be made – children cannot be referred in using a Duty to Notify (DtN) referral. Child victims do not have to consent to be referred into the NRM and must first be safeguarded and then referred into the NRM process.

Report Modern Slavery

NSPCC Modern slavery and trafficking

Home Office Modern Slavery Awareness 2017.pdf

Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy (ICTA)

Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) are specialist professionals who support children who have been identified as trafficked or potentially trafficked to navigate the complex systems of social care, immigration and criminal justice.

ICTA - Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy Service.pdf


The process for safeguarding individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism or extremism leading to terrorism is known as Channel. All Channel referrals in Oldham are currently sent directly to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

All Channel referrals relating to children and adults vulnerable to being drawn into radicalisation will need to be forwarded immediately by staff in the MASH to both:
• Dovetail Team at

• CounterTerrorismPolicingNorthWest(CTPNW)at


Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
T: 0161 770 7777

All content © 2023 Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership

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