Child protection workforce


  • A skilled, specialist statutory workforce that is trained, coordinated and available to provide support to CSEA victims.
  • The social service workforce is trained to support children during a law enforcement investigation and to assess their needs and any risk to them over and above the investigation.
  • Formal working procedures for CSEA investigations exist between all relevant stakeholders such as law enforcement, social services/children’s services and health services, and there is a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities.
  • Social workers work closely with, and provide safeguarding advice to, a range of organisations where the abuse of children may be identified or where children may disclose abuse – for example schools, hospitals, and youth centres.

Why is it needed? 

  • Specialist training for social workers ensures that CSEA victims are given appropriate and timely support to minimise harm, support them through any law enforcement investigation and legal proceedings, and aid recovery.
  • Effective joint working between social services/children’s services and law enforcement means that the needs and rights of the victim are prioritised during any investigation which ultimately benefits their recovery. 
  • A workforce that is trained to a prescribed level of professional standards (international standards if no national standards exist) ensures the provision of a consistent and high-quality service to victims regardless of their location within a country.
  • An accountable and transparent statutory child protection workforce ensures the highest of standards are maintained and the public is aware of the level of service that should be delivered.

Good practice 

  • Embedding social workers within a law enforcement unit to work alongside officers working on CSEA investigations will ensure that a child protection strategy is built in to every investigation to prioritise the needs and rights of the victim.
  • The provision of specialist CSEA training for all social workers during their qualification training will ensure that the crime is understood by all social workers.
  • Social workers/children’s services should have primary responsibility for ensuring that the provision of support across different providers is coordinated.
  • Staff working with CSEA victims and on CSEA investigations are given access to support and welfare services to ensure their wellbeing.