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Professional Involvement

The process of how police, social workers and other professionals deal with any disclosure or discovery of technology assisted may alter slightly in different areas. However, there is a general response that these agencies will take regardless of where you live in the UK. (Scotland has a slightly different response).

If it has been discovered or your child discloses that they have been sexually harmed online then this is should be reported to the police. If it a professional that has found this out, they should contact the people with Parental responsibility (which is usually the child’s parents). In the majority of cases the professional should notify Children’s Social Care. Depending on the level of concerns Children Social Care may convene a strategy meeting with the police, school, and other key agencies relevant to your child. The purpose of this meeting it to get an understanding of your child, the circumstance of the concerns and the family’s strengths. From this meeting a plan of actions will be agreed.


The police may already have seen your child before the meeting, and they would update the other professionals at the strategy meeting.  Not all cases will be at the threshold for a strategy meeting but in all cases a social worker will contact you (unless there are specific safeguarding concerns preventing this) to discuss the referral that has been shared with them to ensure you are aware of the concerns and to explore what support or levels and protection your child may need.

As part of the investigation the police may seize any devises that have sexual images of your child. This may include mobile phones, tables and laptops that belong to your child and if relevant other family members.

All professionals should treat your child as a victim-survivor and therefore should not use language that puts any blame on your child for what has happened. As a Parents you should be kept informed and be included in any plans or risk assessments that are made. 

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There are strict rules in place around professionals viewing indecent images of children. 

If a police officer has credible information that there are sexual images, they do not need to view these images. 

Social workers, teachers, therapists or other professional have no requirement to see any images and therefore would be breaking the law if they were to do so. 

Teaching staff have a wide range of powers to search, seize and confiscate prohibited items, and in some cases, this can occur with or without the pupils or parents/carers consent. The further information on the guidance linked to this visit the Department of Education website. 

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