19.6 Parent or Carer Involved in Sex Work
Last reviewed in October 2022
Next review in October 2025
Involvement of family members in sex work does not necessarily mean children will suffer Significant Harm.
If the parent is sex working from home, risks to children should be assessed on a case-by-case basis as circumstances may vary dramatically.
Some people may see only one or two known, regular clients, whilst others may be advertising their services and accepting bookings for new, unknown clients. The risks to children if the parent is sex working from home come from the following potential sources:
If the parent is sex working online via webcam or webchat, consideration should be given to cyber security to prevent children from accessing inappropriate sexual content or images online, and other risk of harm to children through being identified online, e.g. by a client of the parent accessing personal information about the parent, child or family via social media. Mitigating action may include:
If others are working from the premises this may present additional risks in terms of how much control the parent or carer has over safety on the premises.
As per the Children and Young Persons Act 1993 (Section 3) it is an offence to allow a child or young person in to a premises classed as a brothel. The legal definition of brothel is more than one person selling sexual services from a premises.
When sharing information around risks to a child around parent sex working, consideration should be given as to how information is shared, why and with whom, to prevent further risk from harm to the child or parent. Any discussion with children around parental sex work may have an emotional impact on the child and should be age-appropriate and conducted with care. Children may feel a sense of secrecy or shame, and fear about sharing information. Risks to parent (or child) from harm – e.g. domestic violence or family breakdown- may increase with exposure of sex work.