There is a national epidemic of children being criminally exploited into gangs. In response to this, Rock Pool have developed the Exploited Children and Gangs training to empower and inspire individuals to take a trauma informed response.


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Why do you need this training?

An emerging body of robust evidence tells us that children and young people who experience adversity in childhood are significantly more at risk of various forms of exploitation and over the last few years the number of children being groomed for the purposes of criminal activity has grown significantly.

Research shows that the impact of childhood adversity can result in a deregulated stress response system, poor parental bonds and attachment insecurity that in turn can make children feel unsafe and lead to peer orientation. These risks can be exacerbated by community factors such as social exclusion and living in disadvantaged neighbourhood environments. Gang members prey on these children using the driver of the ‘need to belong’ to exploit those with troubled backgrounds by offering a false sense of belonging and safety.

The resulting exposure to gang culture; intimidation, violence, witnessing drug use or overdoses and continued threats to themselves or family members compounds the trauma and can lead to significant mental and physical ill-health of exploited children.

In response to this issue, Rock Pool have developed the ‘Exploited Children and Gang’ training to empower and inspire practitioners to take a trauma-informed response.

We understand that tackling criminal exploitation requires a paradigm shift; we need to learn from our mistakes with child sexual exploitation and stop viewing children who have been groomed as criminals who are responsible for their own situation, and instead, view these vulnerable children using a trauma lens offering safety, trust, empathy and compassion.

When a child presents with offending behaviours, or other concerning behaviour, professionals need to be curious and compassionate and ask: “What is happening in this child’s life that is causing them to behave this way?”

About the Training

The Exploitation and Gang training has been developed by professionals with a combined experience of over 40 years in Policing, Youth Justice and Parenting and Youth Work. It aims to give delegates an understanding of the risk and protective factors for Children and Young People and provide them with techniques and tools that will enable them to work in a collaborative and trauma informed way to build resilience and help Children and Young People to develop the skills to recover from their experiences.

The training covers theories and emerging fields of research that help us to develop our understanding of the many facets of trauma and latent vulnerability. This includes Polyvagal Theory, Epigenetics, Neuroplasticity and how trauma impacts on the architecture of the developing brain.

Following the training, delegates will be empowered and provided with the tools to enable them to recognise, understand and respond meaningfully to the risks of criminal exploitation to children

Training Aims and Outcomes

  • To inspire and motivate the workforce to adapt their interactions with people through trauma-informed principles and practices
  • To understand how adversity in childhood can lead to children and young people becoming at risk of exploitation
  • For professionals to have an understanding of gang culture and how this is normalised by society
  • To be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of criminal exploitation and how to protect or reduce the risk to children and young people
  • To understand how trauma from early age manifests itself in behaviour and life choices of children, young people and adults
  • To have an increased understanding on the links between developmental trauma, attachment, behaviour and triggers
  • To understand how attachment insecurity and poor caregiver bonds can lead to peer orientation
  • To increase understanding of the impact of vicarious trauma
  • Increased knowledge of how to work in a trauma informed way with families and children and young people

Who should attend

  • Youth offending teams
  • Police
  • Police support staff
  • Family support workers
  • Social Workers
  • Health professionals
  • Housing sector workers
  • Neighbourhood teams
  • Domestic abuse workers
  • Early help workers
  • Voluntary sector workers
  • Any professional that works with vulnerable Children and Young People.
See more about our Enhanced course

Topics covered

  • Criminal exploitation
  • Gang Culture, hierarchy and terminology
  • Risks factors associated with exploitation
  • Attachment and Peer Orientation
  • Stages of ‘recruitment’
  • Trauma Informed Working
  • Developing resilience and protective factors
Find out more

“I have just completed the two day “Gang and Exploitation workshop” Thank you! You have validated everything that I believe. Life it tough for our students but it doesn’t have to be hopeless. The tools and ideas you shared have empowered me to tackle even the most challenging situation. It was a brilliant use of my time and I am now more passionate than ever. I will continue to view situations through a trauma lens and put the students at the heart of my decision making. Every child really does need a champion”

Deputy Head Teacher, The Jo Richardson Community School, Dagenham

“Thank you so much for the two day ‘Gangs and Exploitation Workshop.’ The course leaders were passionate, informed and engaging. I now have a wider range of tools and strategies to use with my hardest to reach young people and their parents. This course proves that all does not have to be lost even when situations are bleak. The focus on trauma and attachment was really key for me and it will change the way I approach each situation I deal with”

Head of Year, Jo Richardson Community School, Dagenham

  • Two day training programme delivered by skilled and experienced Rock Pool trainers.

Cancellation Policy
The customer may cancel a training course provided that written notice is given to the supplier at least 28 days before the first training date.
If the notice to cancel is provided less than 28 days before the first training date, no refund will be made to the customer.
If the notice to cancel is provided more than 28 days before the first training date, 100% of the charges will be refunded to the customer.

Click here to view Rock Pool’s Training Courses Terms and Conditions

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