Suspecting or learning that your child has been exploited into County Lines is a shocking and concerning revelation for any parent. Sadly, many parents are totally unaware of this widely spreading phenomenon entrapping thousands of young children; unsurprising as it is so far removed from the normal world of families that noting changes in their child's behaviour and movements is as far as many parents register a problem.
If you think your child is affected, you are not alone.
This is happening to children from all walks of life; all backgrounds and classes. There are increasing numbers of parents coming forward, using anonymity where necessary to protect their child and minimise risks to their families, and letting their voices and experiences contribute to raising much-needed awareness of this type of grooming and exploitation, the devastating impact on affected families, and the desperate need for a better, professional and nationally-coordinated response.
If you child is/may be involved in County Lines, please email SPACE for free guidance on:
* Indicators to look out for;
* Relevance of missing episodes;
* Allegations of parental abuse by your child (a common theme within County Lines);
* Placements under Section 20 or Section 25 of the Children's Act 1989, and the concerns and risks these pose for children and young people involved in County Lines, as well as the role of OFSTED within Social Care;
* Which professionals should be involved, the specific steps they should be taking to safeguard your child as well as meeting obligations as first-responders under the NRM process;
* Next steps if you are experiencing issues with inadequate professional responses.
Please also see 'Tackling Child Exploitation - Parents as Partners under 'What We Do' tab.