This paper presents interview findings from parents with lived experience of parenting a criminally exploited child.
Findings were taken from a larger Health and Care Research Wales funded research project aimed at enhancing service and community responses to child criminal exploitation related to drug dealing activities.
Early warning signs, such as behaviour changes, disengagement from school and child disappearances were often rationalised in response to family circumstances or normal teenage development.
Not knowing the child’s whereabouts, increased missing episodes and disengagement from the family prompted parents to seek help.
Findings highlighted the need for parent involvement in the development of suitable responses at the individual, local and national levels.
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