Legally, 16 and 17 year olds can consent to sex but may still be vulnerable to sexual exploitation; opportunities to identify vulnerability may be lost when transitioning into adult services.Methods
In the financial year 2015–16 there were 1975 attendances of 998 individuals <18 at a sexual & reproductive health service. A risk assessment proforma was used in 98.8% (n=505/511) of those 16 or under and 72.9% (n=355/487) of those aged 17. These were analysed using an electronic report.Results Discussion
Using a risk assessment proforma with 16 and 17 year olds enabled staff to recognise vulnerabilities related to child sexual exploitation, 53% of all concerns were among this age group. When transitioning to online and adult services care models should include assessment to identify vulnerabilities such as pre-existing involvement with social care, older partners & mental health difficulties. Staff should be competent in managing disclosures and have a working knowledge of social care, referral thresholds and pathways within local networks for those at risk of CSE.