child sexual exploitation supporting the child’s journey london borough of merton lee hopkins...
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Child Sexual ExploitationSupporting the Childs JourneyLondon Borough of MertonLee HopkinsService Manager
Spotlight on CSENov 2011 Government CSE Action Plan2011-2012 Safeguarding preparation for Olympics2011-2012 Merton review of safeguarding at Wimbledon Olympic site
In Merton we found:No significant indicators of child trafficking.No history of safeguarding referrals from the Wimbledon venue.Historical concerns about CSE focusing on a specific venue and group of older male perpetrators.
Prior to 2011Mertons CSE protocol overdue for review with frequent references to child prostitution.The new protocol has removed all such references and can be accessed on the Merton safeguarding Childrens Board websitewww.merton.gov.uk/health-social-care/children-family-health-social-care/lscb.htm
Merton CSE ServicePrior to 2011/12 was disorganised and poorly coordinated with separate professional groups meeting to cover:Healthy RelationshipsMissing/Young RunawaysSexual exploitation
Mertons CSE ServiceIn early 2012 the 3 groups were combined to form thePromote and Protect Young People Steering GroupWith established terms of reference, multi-agency partnership and strong links to the voluntary sector.
Promote and Protect Young People GroupComprises: Police (Cait and Missing Persons)Health (CAMHS, Community Health and LAC Nurse)Education (Welfare Service, Behavior Support and Pupil Referral unit and Secondary school)Voluntary Sector (Barnardos, Catch 22, Jigsaw4U)Social Care (MASH, LAC, YOT) Probation.And has established:A unity of purposeA common data setA Multi-agency focus on the child
Keys to SuccessLead Member, DCS & AD buy in.Being aware there are no quick fixes.Being prepared across the partnership to tackle the issues.Having a strong and vocal third sector helping to set standards.
Getting the Right BlendStatutory agencies have a key role to play from identification, assessment, disruption to support and recovery. They cannot succeed however without,Third sector services offering bespoke 1 to 1 support to young people and their families. In Mertons CSE service 3 voluntary agencies deliver various aspects of this support:Jigsaw4UBarnardosCatch22
The Mixed Economy of HelpThe range of agencies attending the Promote and Protect Young People group ensures that there is a comprehensive and coordinated package of support to young people.It does mean that the successful interventions to support young people are grounded in good information sharing practice and do not exclusively rely on statutory interventions.Taking time and being persistently helpful is what also makes the difference
What does CSE look like in MertonSince the Promote and Protect Young People Steering Group was set up it has managed and overseen:65 referrals34 of which remain openAll referrals are graded for their level of risk.
Characteristics of CSE100% Closed cases also had missing episodes60% Open cases also had missing episodes0% Closed cases on Child Protection Plan10% Open cases on Child Protection Plan0% Closed cases are looked after child10% Open cases are looked after child
Age at Referral70%1420%1510%16
Ethnicity of Referrals40% White10% Black10% Black Caribbean20% Asian20% Other
Referrals by type of exploitation80% Older Boyfriend10% Peer10% Group
Effective Information SharingThe strategic responsibilities of the Promote and Protect Young People Group need to be clearly linked to all other relevant activities under the auspices of the local Safeguarding Children board, the Childrens Trust and the Health and Wellbeing Board.This must also include effective liaison and inclusion with other local authorities where cross border CSE concerns arise.
CSE Successes in MertonSuccessful bid for MOPAC post focussed on CSE prevention and gangs.Strong linkage of Missing and Young Runaways to the CSE prevention and specialist support services.Local Authority Commissioning priorities have supported the clear focus on CSE and robust intervention to help young people through recovery.Establishment of a local Practitioners Group to support CSE best practice.Established 2 support groups for young victims of CSE.All out of borough placements are audited and analysed for potential CSE risk.The common purpose of the Promote and Protect Young People group is endorsed through the lead member, DCS and LSCB/HWB.
CSE Challenges in MertonStrengthening prevention and awareness amongst and with young people.Joint chairing of Promote and Protect Young People group with Police and Childrens social Care.Mapping known and suspected perpetrators and linking to successful prosecution.Developing network of CSE champions in key agencies.
The Importance of staying the course- the positive benefits of working with a victim for two years and counting.At referral Emma was (name changed):Using alcohol and cannabis.Had no understanding of grooming.Had been reported missing.Was not attending school.Had been bereaved.Had self harmed.
Currently EmmaIs attending her apprenticeshipIs in a relationship with a stable peer.Has not been missing for over 6 months.Has not self harmed.Can reflect on her exploitation and experience of grooming.Is still living with her family who are more supportive and understanding.Is not abusing alcohol or drugs.
CSEDeveloping a dependable service.The story in Merton.Lee Hopkins.Service Manager.Lee.firstname.lastname@example.org
*Apologies from Lee Hopkins.The title of this presentation describes both the core purpose of supporting victims of sexual exploitation, and the development of a Multi-Agency response to this increasing significant issue.
A very welcome focus on the issue of sexual exploitation was triggered by the publication of the Government action plan 2011.This coincided with work to ensure there were robust safeguarding arrangements for all the Olympic sites including specific attention to victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
*The low numbers of child trafficking referrals in Merton was not unsurprising as the local picture reflected the historical concerns relating to a specific group of perpetrators and work undertaken by the police to disrupt them.This could be taken to be a reassuring picture but in relation to sexual exploitation it left a sense of concern with some evidence of some young people being groomed in to exploitation through exposure to drugs and alcohol.
*With a range of groups of professionals meeting to address issues separately there was an overall lack of coordination and collaboration.Because of this the standard of information sharing between agencies was unpredictable and interventions were led by single agencies with little Multi-agency coordination and protection.
*Good fortune plays a part in the successful development of any service.In our case the demise of the Eclipse project in Croydon meant that there was a ready made source of very experienced staff who could quickly link and engage with the more concerning cases of CSE being referred to the Promote and Protect Young People steering group. Initially this was done through spot purchasing but this has evolved in to a 3 year contract funding a full time worker, training and family work.
*The Promote and protect Group meets monthly to review the multi-agency planning to support the recovery of actual and potential victims of sexual exploitation.Individual sexual Exploitation meetings are held for each case and these are then referred to the P&PYP Group.The group looks at the work with Missing and Young Runaways activity and also looks to support and promote awareness raising campaigns in the Borough secondary schools and youth activity venues.The real strength derives from the coordinated planning across all partner agencies.
*Through the combined efforts of all the agencies now working together in the P&PYP group a clearer picture emerged of the nature and extent of sexual exploitation in the borough.The lead member has championed the issue locally and regionally, attending and speaking at special events including a number of Barnardos conferences.There can be no doubt that supporting young people takes time. The effects of grooming and abuse are profound but the equal persistence of support pays off.Leading that support locally we have a strong compact with the voluntary sector who work hard to keep us all honest in this demanding task.
*No single statutory or voluntary agency can sufficiently address the complex issues of sexual exploitation.In Merton the statutory agencies are nicely complemented by a combination of voluntary agencies.Jigsaw4U provides all missing persons debriefs and undertakes preventative work with possible victims of CSE.Barnardos undertakes specialist work to support the recovery of victims and they also work with families to assist young peoples safe return home.Catch22 work closely with young people to address issues of substance and alcohol misuse ensuring close liaison is kept with CAMHS to address issues of mental health and wellbeing.
*Focusing attention on CSE really pays off.In the short term in Merton it has led to the identification of significantly more cases then had previously been the pattern of referral.It has raised awareness across all agencies much more significantly and it has consequently required a more strategic and joined up response from these agencies to meet the needs of young victims and their families.CSE, Missing , Drug and Alcohol services have necessarily been identified as commissioning priorities by Merton to support their work overall.
*Referrals to the P&PYP Group c