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Protecting children from abuse by someone in a position of trust or authority

'Position of trust' is a legal term that refers to certain roles and settings where an adult has regular and direct contact with children. Examples of positions of trust include:

  • teachers
  • care workers
  • youth justice workers
  • social workers
  • doctors.

It's against the law for someone in a position of trust to engage in sexual activity with a child in their care, even if that child is over the age of consent (16 or over).

There are many roles which are not legally defined as being positions of trust, such as swimming coaches or faith group leaders. This means it's not currently against the law for people in these roles to have a sexual relationship with a 16– or 17-year-old in their care.