An updated MACSE tool and guidance to help professionals identify and tackle child sexual exploitation has been launched on 6 November 2017

Click here to read the government definition of and guide for practitioners working to protect children from CSE, which was published in February 2017.

Child sexual exploitation is never the victim’s fault, even if there is some form of exchange: all children and young people under the age of 18 have a right to be safe and should be protected from harm. 

The existing Missing And Child Sexual Exploitation forums (MACSEs) have been remodelled so that sexual exploitation concerns relating to any child, person of concern or location can be submitted for information sharing. There are three MACSE’s in Devon; North, South and Exeter & East. Any professional who has a CSE concern in relation to a child or young person that they do not think meets the Child Protection threshold should complete a CSE assessment and send it to the MACSE email box to identify if any other agency has relevant information to the case. We have listed quick links to useful resources and summarised the guidance on this page below.

PACE (Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation) have an online course about signs and impacts of CSE, which can be accessed here. 

MACSEs are not an emergency response mechanism and do not replace existing procedures for child protection concerns or individual case planning.


CSE Risk Assessment Tool

CSE Guidance Tool

CSE Person or Location of Concern Form

Missing and CSE poster

Trouble downloading the documents?

Do you know a child at risk of sexual exploitation?

If a child is at immediate risk, please consider the need to contact the Police on 999 and call the MASH on 0345 – 1551071 to ensure that significant risk of harm matters are not delayed. 

If you have concerns that a child is at risk of CSE and is open to Children’s Social Work you should liaise with the child’s social worker about your concerns so that they can complete the CSE risk assessment tool and ensure any information and concerns are collated within the CSE risk assessment tool.

If the child is not open to Children’s Social Work and you are not sure if your concerns relate to child sexual exploitation, or if you need help completing the assessment and knowing what action to take, you can call the MASH on 0345 155 1071 and request advice from the REACH team (Reducing Exploitation and Absence from Care and Home). Your call will be taken by a customer services advisor who will forward your details and enquiry to the REACH team so that they can respond.

The MACSE forum is committed to ensuring that young people who are at risk of CSE are given the Right Help and support at the Right Time.   Escalation to statutory Childrens Social Work will only occur when absolutely necessary, for example, when there is a recognised child protection concern. Professionals who contribute to MACSE forums will aim to offer support at an Early Help or Targeted Support Level when appropriate. If you have any uncertainty about the Early Help and Targeted Service offer in Devon please visit;

It is important to note, that in accordance with the above, Working Together (2015) and Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – Right to respect for private and family life; agreement Must be sought from the parent / carer (and where appropriate the young person)  prior to completing a MACSE submission, providing this will not place the child at an increased risk of harm.

If you have not sought consent for the MACSE submission, you will be contacted back to advise that this action needs to be progressed before any further action will be taken within MACSE.

Should a parent or guardian refuse to provide consent to a professional to complete a MACSE submission and threshold is not met for a statutory response, consideration should be given to other support services within the community.

PACE (Parents against Child Sexual Exploitation) have an online course about signs and impacts of CSE, which can be accessed here. 

Please visit for more information. Please watch this 15 minute video from the NHS on spotting the signs of CSE.

My New Friend – Grooming and Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Young Men

This film helps to raise awareness of the grooming and sexual exploitation of boys and young men. The more people share it, the more awareness is raised and hopefully more grooming and sexual exploitation is stopped before it’s too late.

 The Story of Jay – Grooming – Seeing the Signs

The NSPCC have published this video to help you spot the signs of grooming.  Grooming and sexual exploitation can happen to any young person. Sometimes relationships aren’t what they seem. Can you see the signs that something isn’t right in this relationship?

Kayleigh’s Love Story – Online Grooming Film

Leicestershire Police have published a video about the real case of 15-year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood who was groomed online in November 2015. The film has already been screened to a big number of children in controlled environments and has enabled practitioners to discuss issues regarding online safety with children and young people. You can watch the video below.


The full version of the film, along with a signed version, an audio-described version and versions of the film translated into five languages – Polish, Hindi, Guajarati, Urdu and Punjabi – will be available to the public on Leicestershire Police’s YouTube channel

If you haven’t already started using this film as part of your safeguarding package for children, please feel free to do so.  For further details about the case or Kayleigh’s Love Story visit:

BSL Video – Child Protection

Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education and Devon & Cornwall Police have put together a video delivered in BSL

Missing And Child Sexual Exploitation Forums (MACSE)- Devon’s Early Help Response To CSE


What are MACSE’s ?

MACSE. forums are Early Help multi-agency professional meetings, which share information about children and young people who are particularly vulnerable to being sexually exploited or being trafficked.  MACSE forums also discuss adults and young people of concern who may be at risk of committing child sexual exploitation.  The overarching aim of MACSE forums is the prevention, protection and disruption of CSE and to ensure that children and young people are safeguarded.


MACSE’s Forums Are Not….

  • An emergency response mechanism to CSE and missing young people
  • Do not replace existing procedures for child protection and safeguarding
  • Forums to case plan
  • Statutory meetings

However, MACSE’s are committed to ensuring that young people and their families are safeguarded and are given the right help at the right time. MACSE forums will escalate to statutory services when there are significant safeguarding concerns and when absolutely necessary.


Partnership Working Is Central….

MACSE are attended by professionals from a wide-range of sectors, who work together to form a hub of knowledge relating to missing young people and CSE. MACSE’s aim to safeguard young people, and achieve best outcomes by identifying and managing risk within that MACSE area.  The MACSE information sharing process supports professionals who are responsible for protecting children and pursuing offenders, by ensuring that all agencies pool their collective knowledge of individuals and situations when a concern first is first raised.


MACSE’s are beneficial and add value because….

  • They help identify wider networks of CSE risk that may not otherwise have been identified and ensure complex strategy meetings are initiated at an appropriate time with the information required to enable an effective meeting to take place.
  • Knowledge and information gathered from MACSE can be used to support Early Help Lead Professionals in identifying and implementing effective CSE risk reduction plans.
  • Promote and encourage good multi-agency working practices across Devon and beyond.
  • Encompass relevant research and briefings on regional and national CSE issues so that it can advise on a case by case basis.


Children at risk of sexual exploitation, people who may sexually exploit children and related locations of concern are discussed at MACSEs.

The target group for CSE submissions will be children and young people (under 18) below the threshold for Children’s Social Work. Childrens Social Work only needs to submit to the MACSE if they are seeking to share or gather additional information on networks or locations or persons of concern.

All children and young people, below the threshold for Children’s Social Work (unless the MACSE Chair agrees it should come to a MACSE), and those from other local authorities (placed in Devon) identified as missing that month will be shared with the MACSE members.

Children who are missing and open to Children’s Social Work should be discussed and managed within their own multi-agency meetings UNLESS they are seeking to share or gather additional information on networks or locations or persons of concern. This can be discussed with a MACSE chair.

If you have concerns about a specific child/children:

The Devon CSE Risk Assessment tool is the MACSE submission form for children at risk. The assessment needs to be started (with the information available) and sent to the MACSE email box ku.vo1548007792g.xsc1548007792g.nov1548007792ed@xo1548007792bliam1548007792-eruc1548007792esnoi1548007792tatio1548007792lpxel1548007792auxes1548007792dlihc1548007792gniss1548007792im1548007792. The CSE risk assessment tool is also available on Care First (form M7) for Devon County Council Social Care staff.

MACSE members will then be asked to research that child ready for a discussion at the next meeting.

This tool helps all professionals working with children identify those at risk of sexual exploitation. It provides a guide for what to look for and what actions should be taken depending on the risk identified. This assessment should be submitted as part of any MASH enquiry in relation to CSE or if you are submitting a case to the MACSE forum for information sharing.

Please note that normal Child Protection procedures apply and should not be delayed or stopped due to the MACSE process.



If you have concerns about a suspected perpetrator / location of concern:

The Person / Location of CSE Concern form has been developed so professionals can submit concerns about suspected CSE perpetrators and locations direct to the Police and to the MACSE forums for information sharing. The Police will assess the information provided and will decide whether additional police actions are required prior to discussion at the next MACSE forum.



Please note that normal Child Protection procedures apply and should not be delayed or stopped due to the MACSE process.


When a submission is received into the MACSE inbox, you will receive a reply which gives you information on the meeting the submission will be sent to (North, Exeter, East and Mid, or South). You will be asked to hold the time and date of the whole meeting. The deadline for submissions is 10 days before the meeting in order for the chairs to vet the submission and  the papers to be distributed to MACSE members.

Submissions will be vetted according to the level of information which is being sought/shared with the panel.  You will then be contacted to either:

–       give you a 15 minutes time slot to attend

–       be given information on why your submission was not accepted to the meeting, and further information on other forms of support you can request.


At the meeting there will be a confidential discussion about your submission. The MACSE will use its collective resources to seek to understand the nature of the CSE threat and those vulnerable to it in order to develop a picture of the wider network.


The MACSE will make recommendations for actions or task partners to research and collect additional information ready for decision making at the next MACSE.


After each meeting that the child is discussed at the submitter will received a copy of minutes of the discussion and any agreed actions. This will need to be saved in line with your agency’s own policies and procedures relating to confidential information with consideration of data protection.

The service will work with children and young people who have been sexually exploited.


The service is client led and all actions, targets and goals are set and agreed by the young people. Project workers will facilitate the process, act as informed guides, educating and advocates. Each care plan and intervention is unique to the individual and is co-designed to respond to their needs and wishes. This aspect of the work may involve extensive multi-agency collaboration in the form of joint care planned interventions and involve regular multi-agency meetings.


Our one to one work with young people will enable them to gain an understanding of sexual exploitation, grooming and abusive relationships and build on existing strengths to develop their own coping and keeping safe strategies.


Young people will gain knowledge on how to address distorted beliefs and attributions related to the abuse in a supportive environment and will be encouraged to talk about their traumatic experience.  We will help them to gain skills to enable them to become better prepared to cope with future trauma reminders.


We aim to support young people to develop personal safety skills and learn new ways to set healthy boundaries.


This one to one might include periods of increased levels of support and activity that may be deemed necessary in order to conduct assertive outreach, establish and maintain therapeutic relationships or respond to crisis.


While the work will be primarily be in the form of one to one case work we also provide structured counselling sessions which are provided by a qualified counsellors. These sessions would be tailored to individual needs using techniques that will be of value to the child or young person. Sessions will provide young people the space, confidentiality and an experienced non-judgemental counsellor. Typically treatment will take place over 12-18 sessions.


Both our case work and structured counselling will be informed by a combination of several established treatment approaches:

  • Cognitive approaches, which aim to change behaviour by addressing thoughts and perceptions and in particular challenging distorted views.
  • Behavioural approaches that focus on changing habitual responses such as anger or fear to identified situations or stimulus.
  • Family interventions that aim to improve interactions amongst family members.

For further information or questions please contact Natalie Ash at 01803 290 330 or email at *protected email*

Click here to download Checkpoint’s Service Leaflet and Enquiry Form

Membership and Responsibilities


MACSE membership is split in to two groups. Core members are expected to attend or be represented at every meeting. Invited members are on the circulation list and may attend a meeting if they feel it appropriate; however they are expected to attend if invited by the Chair for a particular discussion.

All MACSE members are expected to:

  • Be the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for their organisation (or part of organisation if appropriate) for the MACSE area,
  • Research the names and locations circulated to MACSE members prior to the meeting and share information prior to or at the meeting,
  • Ensure that relevant information from the MACSE is transferred onto their organisation’s IT and made available to relevant colleagues,
  • Accept and complete agreed actions within 10 working days of the meeting (or as agreed)

MACSE Core Membership

Reducing Exploitation and Absence from Care or Home (REACH) is a service which supports young people who either run away, or who are at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

Its primary purpose is to raise the profile and awareness of CSE and of children who go missing, with children and young people, their families and professionals who work with them. In order to achieve this, REACH promotes the Devon County Council Action Plan principals in respect of CSE and missing young people, by seeking to Prevent, Protect and Disrupt.

The REACH Team consists of CSE Practice Leads and Family Practitioners who work alongside other professionals providing support, education and guidance in relation to responding to CSE and missing.

REACH Family Practitioners undertake Return Home Interviews for children not open to social care. This will be following an incident of the child being reported missing to the police and the purpose of this interview is to provide the child with space to talk about their experiences and why they ran away. There will also be occasions where REACH offers support around Return Home Interviews for children who are open to social care if this is what the child requires.

In addition, REACH Family Practitioners work in a range of community settings to provide direct interventions with young people and families, which aim to reduce the risk of young people running away or becoming victims of CSE.

Under review due to the Data Protection regulations that come into force 25.5. 2018

The sharing of information is central to the effective operation of the MACSE. Members of the MACSE will be asked to share sensitive personal data that their organisations hold.  It is important that members are aware of their duties in relation to sharing information, when information can be shared and how it should be handled.

MACSE members will be required to acknowledge the following statement by signing the attendance record at each meeting:

“All participants are reminded that they are sharing very sensitive information regarding young people, which may impact on their safety. As a consequence, the content and minutes of this meeting are confidential and closed under the Freedom of Information Act. Details discussed during the meeting and recorded via the minutes should not be photocopied, or the contents shared with third parties outside the meeting without the consent of the chair.

Minutes should be kept in the ‘Official Sensitive (‘Restricted’ or ‘Confidential’) section of agency files.

It is the responsibility of agency representatives to alert the minute taker of any information disclosed during the meeting that they do not wish to be documented.

In terms of diversity can we ensure we are respectful, fair and equitable in our discussions and decisions?”

There are several powers enabling the sharing of information at MACSEs. These implied powers are contained in legislation including:

  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Education Act 2002
  • Local Government Act 1972 and 2000
  • Health and Social Care Act 2012
  • National Health Service Act 2006

And statutory guidance such as:

A detailed list of this legislation (and others) and applicable sections can be found below within the MASH Working Practice Agreement

This Item is Under Review

When can you share information – Flow

information sharing flowchart



The Barnardo’s website has a wealth of information and guidance on CSE.

The DSCB offers specialist training on CSE – visit our training pages for more information about these courses.