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Spotting the Signs Tool

Our FREE Spotting the Signs Tool is designed to strengthen safeguarding practice and enable professionals who work with young people to better recognise and respond to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) 

The Spotting the Signs Tool (2023) is designed to guide professionals to ask children and young people the key questions that can help identify abuse and/or exploitation. Rather than acting as a checklist of questions, the Tool is designed to facilitate a conversation with the child or young person to help understand their situation better.

Paying attention to and observing children and young peoples’ behaviour is key to keeping them safe. That’s why every interaction with a young person should be approached as an opportunity to gain better understanding of a child or young person’s unique circumstances. Using the guidance and key questions in the Tool, you can gain confidence in harnessing your professional curiosity to make sure young people are safeguarded.

BASHH logo: British Association for Sexual Health an dHIV

The Tool has been designed by Brook and BASHH and in collaboration with professionals and young people.


CSE and CCE are both complex forms of abuse which can be difficult for children, young people and professionals to identify. They often involve coercion, manipulation and threats to engage in sexual activity and/or to carry out criminal acts for the benefit of others. Children and young people are groomed into CSE and CCE which can make it hard for the victim to be aware that what is happening is abuse and/or exploitation. Where they are aware, fear, shame and guilt can be barriers to seeking help.

More about CSE

The Tool is designed to be used as guidance when interacting with young people. It provides key questions to ask all children and young people to highlight any areas that may need further exploration.

If further exploration is needed, the Tool includes a series of questions for each area of the young person or child’s life. This offers them an opportunity to speak out but also helps us identify potential or actual abuse and/or exploitation, particularly where the young person or child may not be aware of it.

The Tool is useful to a wide range of people and professions as it’s relevant for anyone that works with or interacts with young people. For example: 

  • Social Workers  
  • Family Officers 
  • Police Officers 
  • Teachers 
  • Youth Workers 
  • Mental Health Service Nurses, Doctors
  • GPs 
  • Paramedics 
  • Counsellors
  • Nurses
  • Welfare Officers

Our training options

Group training

20+ staff | from £665 | Half day

Train staff with this skill-based, practical session that provides updates on current exploitation trends, interactive risk assessment activities, introduction to the tools and guidance, and practice using the tool to explore risk within realistic exploitation scenarios.

Professionals who take part in this training will develop the confidence to apply the new Spotting the Signs tool sensitively and effectively.

Get in touch to book a session

Train the Trainer

With this extended training, our Brook experts train a group within your organisation not just on the content but on how to effectively deliver the session to other staff members. This method allows you to train more people in less time and at a lower cost.  

We recommend our ‘train the trainer’ model licence for organisations looking to train up to 1,000 members of staff, such schools, social services, MATs, foster care and children’s homes.

Contact us to find out more

Download the Spotting the Signs Tool

You’ll immediately be given free access to the Tool after entering your details. We will only use your email to contact you when there are updates to the Tool so you can always have the most updated version.

Interested? Get in touch

Want to find out how we can support you? Complete the form below and we’ll get in touch to discuss your needs.

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