A national knowledge and practice hub preventing risk of child sexual exploitation and sexually harmful behaviours.

In collaboration with Barnardos, the aim of this project is to reduce the risk of vulnerable children and young people experiencing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) or demonstrating Sexually Harmful Behaviour (SHB), through the development of a prevention model for use in Social Care, in order to improve the wellbeing of children and young people and respond to the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (2014) requirements.Barnardo’s will develop and pilot an innovative prevention and early intervention approach within social care to more accurately identify potential future CSE or SHB within children and young people. This solution needs to include early identification through known risk factors and prevention techniques for practitioners to put in place as early in a child’s life as possible. Current provision is only equipped to respond to high needs when victims of CSE have already been identified or children and young people have already developed SHB.

CASCADE’s role will include:

  • Undertaking a scoping review of international evidence on the relationship between childhood trauma and the risks associated with CSE and SHB.
  • Interrogating data held by Barnardos Taith and Seraf services.
  • Mapping the current services and workforce capacity across Wales, in relation to identification and responses to children who have experienced trauma and adolescents exhibiting risky behaviour.
  • Conducting a systematic mapping of interventions with children who have experienced trauma and adolescents displaying risky behaviours.
  • Supporting the early identification of risk of CSE and SHB, through establishing risk indicators and required responses according to the appropriate level of need.
  • Working with Barnardo’s to develop a toolkit with evidenced-based interventions and good practice solution-based approaches for responding to victims of childhood trauma.

In year two of the project CASCADE will evaluate the pilot phase of the toolkit and provide recommendations for further development and future rollout across Wales.

In year three of the project CACSADE will evaluate the project using an action research approach to ensure that any changes in the project that are needed to secure outcomes are put into effect as soon as they are identified.

For further information about this project please contact Dr Sophie Hallett

For further information about CASCADE please contact

April 2016 – March 2019. A collaborative project with Barnardo’s funded by Welsh Government under the sustainable social services grant.