On 25 February, the Home Office launched a £13 million ‘Trusted Relationships’ fund to help Local Authorities work with community organisations.
Published: Thursday, 23rd August 2018
On 25 February, the Home Office launched a £13 million ‘Trusted Relationships’ fund to help Local Authorities work with community organisations to build trusted and protective relationships with children and young people affected by sexual exploitation, gangs, child criminal exploitation and trafficking.
Following a successful bid Hounslow Council will receive funding of £1.2m (over 4 years), which will allow an innovative project aimed at fostering trusting relationships between frontline staff and children at risk of child exploitation. Through the fund, the council will work with local partners to further develop the way professionals work together to support vulnerable young people.
The PEACE (Protecting, 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 minimise risk to children vulnerable to exploitation outside of the family home.
This extremely exciting project will build upon Hounslow’s work with children, young people, families, schools and the community. This fund will work with local partners and specialist organisations to create better outcomes for children. The PEACE project will consist of a project manager, family therapist and four experiences Outreach Workers. In collaboration with our partners from specialist organisations the PEACE project will deliver direct work with young, parenting groups, interactive workshops in school, sports and arts based youth groups, and targeted sessions in the community.
The bid was endorsed by the multi-agency Hounslow Safeguarding Children’s Board (HSCB) which has the full support of all agencies involved in safeguarding children. This will be invaluable in contributing to its success and commitment in reducing the exploitation of vulnerable young people.
Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Children Services, Hounslow Council said: “I am delighted to hear that our bid for funding has been successful.
“We are committed to providing support for children and young people at risk of sexual and criminal exploitation, and I believe this funded project will allow us to bridge those gaps.
“With the funding, we will continue to provide care and support to vulnerable children and help them more as they integrate within our borough.
“The funds will also bring a range of benefits to the whole community by increasing awareness of child sexual and child criminal exploitation. We need to embed lasting cultural change in safeguarding practice in Hounslow, which will benefit children, families, schools and communities beyond the life of the project.”
The project will also support and enhance the work of the Multi-Agency Sexual Exploitation panel and fill gaps in external provisions available to vulnerable young people and communities.
The PEACE Project will consist of a project manager, family psychotherapist and Preventing Exploitation Outreach Workers, whom will deliver parenting groups, family sessions, workshops and peer group sessions.
Safeguarding children from exploitation is everybody’s responsibility. Any child can be a victim of sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation no matter what age, culture, ethnicity, religion, whether a boy or a girl.
If a resident has any concerns about a child, you should call the police on 999 if it is an emergency or 101 if an immediate response is not needed. You can also call the council’s children’s services team on 020 8583 6600 or email the Early Help team