PEACE Project

The PEACE (Protecting and Empowering Against Child Exploitation) Project aims to address issues of both child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation across the borough by utilising a mixture of assertive outreach work, systemic family therapeutic intervention and a contextual safeguarding approach to safeguard young people from exploitation outside of the family home.

What is Contextual Safeguarding?

It has historically been a long-held assumption in child protection that harm and abuse predominantly exists in the home. Contextual safeguarding looks holistically at the situation by looking at the role of neighbourhoods, schools, peer groups (friends and relationships) as well as the home in children’s experiences of harm. Extra-familial harm are risks children face when outside of the family unit, such as child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation. We do this because to best safeguard a young person we must understand them and their circumstances as much as possible.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a type of sexual abuse. Children in exploitative situations and relationships receive something such as gifts, money, or affection as a result of them performing sexual activities or others performing these acts on them.

What is Child Criminal Exploitation?

Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE) is similar to CSE as it focuses on controlling and manipulating children, but typically for moving drugs across county lines or committing other types of offences. The children find themselves in these situations as they will often receive gifts, money, food or drugs and alcohol in return. The reasons exploiters use children are that they are often naïve to the risks and are less likely to attract police attention.

What we have already done?

Throughout the PEACE Project we have worked with over 100 children, families and presented to over 6000 school children in the borough. As well as making Contextual Safeguarding known in the borough by using undertaking training, using contextual strategy meetings and neighbourhood assessments, which are new to frontline staff.

Neighbourhood assessments involve talking people who live in the neighbourhood about whether they feel safe or unsafe and if they are aware of any issues and how it could be made safer. We work with children and families to do this through safety mapping, as it helps professionals understand young people’s experiences of areas they feel safe and unsafe and supports practitioners to create a safety plan with young people. Therefore, starting a conservation between young people and professionals into why these areas are unsafe and what could be done to make it better. We focus a lot of our work on the spaces and environments experienced by children and how these spaces can be made safer.

What we are currently doing?

As of this moment the PEACE Project is upskilling frontline staff across Children’s Services in Contextual Safeguarding considerations and approaches and understanding exploitation, this is done through web-based training. We plan to continue training front line staff by developing resources and ensuring our resources remain available online. We are also arranging with schools to receive delivery of awareness workshops and addressing the areas where concerns around exploitation are concentrated.

The PEACE Project is a Home Office funded project, due to come to a close at the end of March 2022.

Webinars are available for all to use.

If you're worried that your child or a child is being exploited, get in touch with us.


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