Posted: 18 October 2019

Practitioner Stories: tackling child criminal exploitation

We caught up with one of our service managers who tells us her reasons for working to disrupt exploitation and support vulnerable young people who have become victims of this system.

Our practitioners work with the police to stop exploitation and recognise that young people that have been exploited by criminal gangs as victims, not criminals. They also work hard to educate other professionals and make sure young people's voices are at the centre of what they do. 

When did you join The Children’s Society and what were you doing before?

I joined The Children’s Society nearly five years ago as a Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) project worker. Before that, I worked for a local authority youth service and within the National Probation Service.

What's your current role and responsibilities?

I oversee our child criminal exploitation and trafficking service ‘Stride’, as well as supporting the area and service managers with operational delivery, quality practice and complex safeguarding. Most importantly, I ensure young people's voices are influencing our work and delivery of services.

Who are the children that use your service most?

We support young people who face multiple vulnerabilities. We have exploitation, missing and trafficking services as well as support for care leavers, young migrant, asylum seekers and refugees. We also have therapeutic support and deliver system change tasks too.

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

I literally have so many memorable moments whilst being in my current role so I’m struggling to answer this....One would be having a solicitor call me to tell me that, after we challenged a case against one of our young people, ensuring he was seen as a victim of trafficking, the charges had been dropped and the young person was no longer going to be facing custody. The young person had learning disabilities and had been a victim of exploitation and grooming from a young age. When I came off the phone it made me feel so proud that we had influenced that outcome.

'it made me feel so proud that we had influenced that outcome'

Another moment would be seeing a young person, who many professionals had given up hope on, engage with our services. The young person engaged well and went on to make some big changes and have great aspirations for the future.

What’s the best part of your job?

Meeting incredible, brave and inspiring young people, working with such an awesome team of dedicated and passionate staff who I am consistently learning from, and seeing great outcomes achieved for young people.

What are your hopes for young people that use the service

That we can continue to bring in funding to be able to offer young people a continuation of high quality services that stop the most vulnerable young people falling through the gaps.

OUR WORK TACKLING CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION

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