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Child exploitation

Risk and Resilience Services: Supporting young people at risk of exploitation

A young person wearing a padded coat stands with their back to the camera and their hands in their pockets. Underneath the coat, they are wearing a hoodie, and they have their hood up.

When a child does go missing, the impact is far beyond the immediate worry of parents and guardians; missing incidences impact a young person’s friendship group, their education, and their safety. With holistic support, which acknowledges these incidences as a key indicator of Child Exploitation (CE) or Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), services can intervene early. But to achieve this, they must address risk and build resilience, interacting closely and working towards a shared goal.

Our approach to services is guided by what we call our 3Ps. We believe that access to three basic things – a good place to live, good people around you, and a purpose in life – is fundamental to transforming lives and communities. This applies to each and every case of child exploitation too; if we can get these three things in place for the young person and their immediate guardians, then the individual has a strong base for building resilience and restarting their lives.

Where Child Exploitation (CE) and Missing from Home services are commissioned together, we find they are more effective at identifying and managing risk as well as being more economically viable.

While each case is dealt with individually, addressing the particular needs and experiences of a child and their guardians can be achieved through Catch22’s Risk and Resilience Model. Our key workers build holistic trusting relationships through individual and therapeutic support, group activities, and signposting to other services.

Catch22 works with partner agencies including police and children’s social care to reduce the risk of all forms of child exploitation, including County Lines, and prevent further missing episodes. With services based within Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs, Catch22 is able to respond quickly to children’s needs and work in a truly integrated way.

Support to prevent missing from home or care episodes from recurring includes return home interviews, child exploitation screening and assessment, followed by programmes of direct work which enable young people to reflect upon and recognise the causes, signs and symptoms of child exploitation.

Experience tells us that people engage best with support that operates flexibly around their needs. Catch22 delivers interventions across the wider family to strengthen pull factors with the provision of preventative, specialist support, awareness-raising and training.