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Sexually Abused Children

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which projects are funded by primary care trusts to support children who have experienced sexual exploitation. (108005)

There is no central record of primary care trust (PCT) funding for projects to support children who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual exploitation. Given the restructuring of PCTs and strategic health authorities (SHAs) over the past year, it is unlikely that this information could be obtained directly from PCTs at the moment.

However, there will be PCTs that do contribute to the specific funding of projects such as the sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) which are funding jointly by the police and health service locally and involve voluntary sector partnerships.

The statutory health services for children will also have in contact with them children who have been sexually abused and exploited for example through CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services). In addition, the Department provides funding to the voluntary sector through its section 64 grant and the Department of Health has recently distributed £12 million capital funding for 2006-07 to PCTs.

The joint Department of Health and National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) victims of violence and abuse prevention programme (VVAP) is currently completing a programme of research which will be used to develop national service guidelines for child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation during 2007. These will be disseminated to PCTs and other health organisations.