Young People

Short Term Case Work

Referrals to the young people’s team are made by social workers and other professionals. Workers from the project then carry out an assessment and agree an action plan with the young person and relevant professionals when appropriate. The project worker meets with young people to offer individual support on a weekly basis, at a time convenient to the young person and in a place where they feel safe. We spend time building a trusting relationship to ensure the young people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and feelings. When a young person is engaged during one-to-one sessions, we address a range of issues such as awareness raising of sexual exploitation and grooming; managing risk and keeping safe; drug and alcohol use; positive relationships with boy/girlfriends, family, peers, home staff and other agencies; sexual health and contraception and education/training opportunities and career prospects. All our work is informed and evidence based. We recognise that the young people we support may have experienced breakdown in family relationships and abusive attachments and have had contact with different professionals throughout their lives and as such may find it extremely hard to trust others.
Most short term work is delivered over a period of 8-10 weeks and cases are closed when all relevant professionals and the young person involved agree that the CSE risk has been significantly reduced. Young people are encouraged to contact the project if they need further support in the future.

Women and Girls

The WAG project provides intensive support for vulnerable young women aged between 16 and 21, providing a coordinated multi-agency support package aimed at supporting them to successfully transition into adulthood. Our project worker meets with each young person 5-6 times per week advising and supporting around tasks of day to day living which previously had been provided by the residential care workers. We keep in regular contact with the clients via telephone, text and encouraging them to access the building aiming at having two or three contact episodes per day and effectively providing the equivalent of residential support or a parent. We also provided solution focused therapy looking at any factors increasing vulnerability such as drug/alcohol use, friendship groups, low educational attainment, lack of employment and training opportunities, identity issues, contact with family and friends and talking through their previous abusive experiences recognising that the reduction in support from statutory agencies and families, lack of preparation for the responsibilities of adulthood and their past experiences of abuse and neglect have left them particularly susceptible to exploitation from third parties including peers and perpetrators.

This intensive, holistic and co-ordinated support structure which involves supported referrals to partnership agencies including housing, drug alcohol services, mental health services and colleges with the project worker providing a similar level of support to that received within a family setting is necessary for these very damaged and vulnerable young women and have proved to be successful with the client group, with all previous participants making significant progress and change.

Workshops

The young people’s team carry out workshops to a group of vulnerable young people identified in schools and youth clubs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The aim of the workshops is to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and to promote critical thinking around risk. DVD, worksheets, discussions and debates are used to ensure the workshops are interactive as possible. The workshops are tailored to the specific needs of the group and the content is age appropriate. The workshops are a mixture of group sessions and individual tutorials for young people who have been identified as vulnerable to CSE. This group work also enables us to reach out to young people who may not initially feel comfortable working on a one-to-one basis with another worker. The workshops we conduct often lead young people identifying they are at risk and referring themselves to the young people’s team for one to one support. At the end of the workshop the young people complete evaluation forms. We use this information to monitor what they have learnt during the workshop sessions and to inform future group work.