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Service user

'Having been placed in care, Rachel absconded from school and there were serious concerns that she would link back with men thought to be sexually exploiting her.'

To protect identities, images are not specific to the stories but are of others involved with Catch22.

Rachel was a young person who had been placed in the care of her local authority due to strong evidence suggesting she was being sexually exploited by a number of men. Within the first month of being looked after, she absconded from school and there was serious concern that she would link back with the original perpetrators.

Bespoke support with partnership work

A Catch22 case worker conducted an interview with Rachel after she returned home and put in place a package of support concentrating on sexual exploitation. The case worker saw Rachel weekly and maintained regular contact with her social worker, the police and her care home. Using evidence-based resources, including those provided by the Local Safeguarding Board, the case worker helped Rachel to consider the risks and protective factors.

At the end of three months’ support, Rachel was able to express her level of awareness through art, drawing words and images of the young man who recruited her as well as words and images representing a healthy relationship. Rachel gave consent for her drawings to be used as part of Catch22 training and resources for professionals and young people.

Rachel completed a self-assessment using the Outcomes Star at the start of the intervention. She indicated on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) how she felt about contributing factors that were impacting her risk-taking behaviour.

Rachel scored herself between 2 and 3 for her level of substance misuse, her physical and emotional well-being, how well she was keeping herself safe and staying out of trouble, her school attendance and how much family support she had.

Positive impact

Rachel is still involved with Catch22 on a monthly basis and is being considered as a peer mentor. She is taking an active role in updating the service provision and resources to best meet the needs of young people in a similar position to her.

At the end of the intervention, Rachel stated she ‘enjoyed’ the support the service provided and liked that ‘it was someone for her’. She rated herself with a 5 for all areas and a 4 for her well-being, indicating she feels OK but still sometimes can still feel low emotionally.

The overall change we evidenced with Rachel was positive. Her awareness of what had happened to her has changed, she has developed skills to keep herself safe and she has not gone missing or been in exploitative situations since Catch22’s intervention.

Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the young person.