What are we doing?
The Blagrave Trust has been part of the Child Sexual Exploitation Funders’ Alliance (CSEFA) since November 2013. CSEFA is a group of charitable funders who are aligning resources in order to bring about a step change in how Child Sexual Exploitation is dealt with across the UK.
What’s the issue?
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner found almost 2,500 confirmed victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) over a 14-month period; and identified 16,500 at high risk of exploitation.
Research suggests voluntary sector services can be really effective; having different agencies located together so they can share information and respond to all the different needs of a child from one place, also works well. But most local authorities do not have these types of specialist services.
The over-arching aim of the strategy is to position CSE as an integral part of mainstream safeguarding activity. It comprises three key programmes of work:
- The development of a Hub and Spoke model of specialist service provision;
- The promotion of the meaningful involvement of children and young people in decision making and the development of good practice in CSE practice intervention;
- Creation of a knowledge hub on CSE to pool and share knowledge about CSE and the evidence base for good practice.
The strategy was developed with the University of Bedfordshire, International Centre researching child sexual exploitation and trafficking and they are integral to the project. The work is also overseen by an Expert Reference Group, chaired by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Sue Berelowitz.
What have we done so far?
Blagrave has made grants towards the Barnados South East service supporting:
- A project to assist vulnerable young people at risk of or victims of CSE in Southampton and Portsmouth
- The development of 3 spokes on the Isle of Wight, Reading and across Hampshire to expand the coverage of CSE services in the region and work with practitioners and relevant authorities to build knowledge of this issue and a coherent approach.
Other members of CSEFA are funding a wide range of similar initiatives across England.
Do please get in touch with Jo firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about the work of CSEFA.