The Tees Strategic Vulnerable, Exploited, Missing and Trafficked (VEMT) Group submitted a bid to the NHS Education England Innovation Fund 2015/16.
The bid was to increase capacity in the range of practitioners to work with young people at risk of, or who have been subject to, sexual exploitation.
It also wanted to develop a set of resources and approaches to support the work of the Tees Group. The group is a multi-agency strategic partnership designed to safeguard and support vulnerable children.
The bid was successful and the group was awarded £175,000. The funding was to fulfil an identified need for additional therapeutic and clinical approaches to working with some of the most vulnerable young people affected by sexual exploitation, lack of confidence and skills.
The project will provide the following benefits:
- Increasing the skills and confidence of practitioners to improve quality of identification, assessment, understanding, planning and support;
- Establish a new action learning approach to ensure practitioners are able to further develop skills and experiences;
- Create a peer network to more effectively identify and support those at risk of exploitation and shift focus away from a reliance on disclosure to statutory agencies;
- Greater capacity to tackle risk factors and therefore reduce risk;
- More effective cross agency learning and implementation – across Police, schools, social care and health services;
- Reducing unmet need and increasing choice of, and access to, services for targeted and high risk groups
Barnardo’s is currently the main support service for children and young people affected by Child Sexual Exploitation across Cleveland.
It has, therefore, been agreed that Barnardo’s will be grant funded to deliver this project to build on existing service provision. Barnardo’s has also been awarded funding due to the short-term nature of funding. The project has to be delivered by 31 March 2017.