Posted: 14 March 2019

Practitioner stories: Steve Furze

Our story this week comes from Steve, a Child Sexual Expoitation worker at our Checkpoint service in Torquay. 

Checkpoint provides a range of information, advice and support services to children and young people aged 8–17. Their services include children's rights advocacy, missing from home, drug and alcohol support and child sexual exploitation.


What are your main responsibilities as a CSE practitioner? 

My main purpose is to reduce young people from being at risk of CSE. I do this by working with young people and their families to help reduce conflict, increase emotional support and help build emotional well-being and self-esteem for all children with in the family.

What does an average day look like?

When I get into the office, I'll wait to see if any of my young people have been reported as missing overnight. Then I attend my pre-booked appointments - or I might visit young people in their homes, in the community or at schools. My sessions usually last around an hour and may cover internet safety, consent, healthy relationships and the signs of grooming.

As well as the above, we offer emotional support for young people who may be experiencing difficulties in coping with their emotions due to having been exploited.

Who are the children that use your service most?

I work with a lot of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 15, all are at risk of CSE. A lot of my cases are young people who have been groomed online by older adults and have been forced into sending inappropriate images of themselves via social media.

We work with the young people on keeping themselves safe online and help them understand the signs of online grooming. 

What is your most memorable moment in the service so far?

One of my cases won a Star award last year. It was a memorable moment for me as the young person who had won the award had worked hard with our service to reduce her risk taking behaviour and get back into mainstream education.

What's the best part of your job?

We do some really good 1-2-1 work with young people and it is very rewarding when their missing episodes and risks reduce.

What are your hopes for young people that use this service?

I hope they understand the signs of grooming, are able to reduce their risk taking behaviors, and have improved relationships with their parents and carers. 

Tell us something people might not know about you

I used to be a Chef; I have cooked meals for the royal family including Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

Find out more about our Checkpoint service and our other CSE services around the country.


By Steve Furze

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