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Welcome to the West Midlands Regional Adult Safeguarding Leads Exploitation Toolkit. The purpose of this toolkit is to support and inform the work of

  • practitioners in a range of settings, develop and build on good practice when considering and/or understanding the impact of exploitation on adults with needs for care and support, and safeguarding!
  • support and inform the work of Safeguarding Adults Board Managers or Safeguarding Leads wanting to develop work in their locality with a focus on exploitation and adult with needs for care and support.

This toolkit will have two sections that will contain material that is relevant and helpful for both frontline practitioners and Safeguarding Adults Board Managers or Safeguarding Leads.

This toolkit is new and still in development, so we would welcome any feedback and topics for inclusion.

All content will be moderated through the West Midlands Editorial Group – Contact Link: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The West Midlands regional definition of exploitation is:

An individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, control, manipulate or deceive a child, young person or adult and exploits them:

  1. through violence or the threat of violence, and/or
  2. for financial or other advantage of the perpetrator or facilitator and/or
  3. in exchange for something the victim needs or wants.

The victim may have been exploited even if the activity appears consensual due to his /her specific situation. Exploitation does not always involve physical contact, it can also occur through the use of technology, e.g. as the result of a grooming process which takes place during conversations in chat rooms, or through the use of social media.

We recognise that exploitation is deliberate maltreatment and manipulation irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, background, disability or sexuality and comes in many forms, including, but not exclusively:

  • modern slavery
  • human trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • criminal exploitation

Exploitation can also be a strong feature of the following, and may resemble exploitative relationships please give consideration to existing systems that may support practice when considering the below:

  • radicalisation and extremism
  • domestic violence and abuse (forced marriages, honour-based violence and FGM)
  • rogue trader, bogus callers and scammers
  • abuse of positions of trust
  • hate crime

It is acknowledged that victims may lack the capacity to consent or may be being threatened or coerced. Use of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) to protect and support people is key- this applies to people aged 16+. Grooming, coercion and control have been known to all have an impact on mental capacity, particularly where sexual or criminal exploitation is a factor.


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