Child Sexual Exploitation & Runaways
The Runaways Service works with individual children and young people identified as being at risk of running away or forced to leave home, and those children and young people who are currently missing or have been recently forced to leave home. This includes the hidden missing - that is those children and young people who are not reported missing to the police. Similarly it works with children and young people who have been missing and are now found. The service offers Independent Interviews for those who have been missing from care.
Strategically the Runaways Service plays a pivotal role in local relevant protocols in Torbay. This includes with Children's Services reviewing and revising the Missing Persons Protocol.
The Sexual Exploitation Service is funded by the Big Lottery. It sits alongside Checkpoint’s Runaways Service and is coordinated by the same manager. It works with children young people who are at risk of becoming sexually exploited or are being sexually exploited. In particular the service works with boys. In order to build trust and begin to empower children to break away from the grooming cycle, workers operate an informal, long-term casework approach.
The service delivers local training and workshops on sexual exploitation to young people and professionals. Workers are also able to offer support to parents whose children are at risk of exploitation, particularly around online safety.
The service is represented on Torbay's Sexual Exploitation & Runaways Forum (“SERF”). We are also represented at the Peninsula wide sexual exploitation working group. The service is a member of the National Working Group for sexually exploited children and young people.