Protect and Respect
A programme for children and young people who have been affected by, or are vulnerable to, child sexual exploitation. Group work sessions are combined with one-to-one work and delivered by those who already work with children and young people.
Type of intervention
Individual work, group work
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Children and Young People (Victims) | Secondary prevention | Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Young Adult (18-20 years) | Male and female | Individual work, group work | English
- Children and Young People (Victims) | Tertiary prevention | Children (6-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Young Adult (18-20 years) | Male and female | Individual work, group work | English
Direct services are provided to boys and girls aged 11-19 years, who have been affected by or are vulnerable to child sexual exploitation. Help is also provided to parents and carers whose children are at risk. In addition, work is undertaken with practitioners, researchers and policy makers to raise awareness and share expertise.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – a charity/NGO in the UK specialising in child protection. See www.nspcc.org.uk.
Mode and context of delivery
Protect and Respect works directly with children and young people who have been affected by, or are vulnerable to, child sexual exploitation (CSE). Referrals are accepted when there are concerns that may indicate CSE, such as a child going missing, sexually explicit texting or evidence of an association with gangs. The service also supports children in care who have been separated or trafficked for sexual exploitation in the UK or into the UK from overseas. Services are provided by NSPCC in the community and are currently available in 7 centres in England. One to one and group sessions are combined. There is close cooperation and joint work with multi-disciplinary services.
In addition the service offers training to local authority and school staff and outreach to pupil referral units, residential homes and consultancy to parents and carers. An awareness raising practice resource for use with young people and professionals, which includes a number of video animations, is also available to download.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
People who have a professional qualification in relation to work with children and young people, such as social work, and who also have experience of child protection work. Staff will require specialist training in relation to child sexual exploitation.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The extent of one to one intervention is based on an assessment of need and is tailored to the individual young person. This may be followed by a weekly group session over a 16 week period.
Description of intervention
Protect and Respect accepts referrals in relation to both boys and girls aged 11- 19 years, who have been affected by or are vulnerable to child sexual exploitation. Following referral, a risk assessment is undertaken with the young person by a practitioner. A tailored intervention plan is then developed with the young person. This involves one-to one sessions which, depending on the young person's circumstances, target:
- Sexual activity linked to gang association
- Drug and alcohol use
- Running away
- Going missing
- Getting into cars with unknown adults
- Consensual sex and rape
- Risks of unprotected sex
- Building resilience
Following these sessions, staff assess whether the young person is ready to attend weekly group sessions over a 16 week period. Young people who attend the group can also:
- Act as a focus for research
- Aadvise on service development
- Help to promote the service and provide training
In addition to providing the above direct services, the service also works in local schools to raise awareness in young people of sexual exploitation and how to keep safe, particularly online. Staff are trained to recognise warning signs of possible sexual exploitation. A practice resource ‘Protect and Respect: session plans focusing on child sexual exploitation’ has been developed which can be downloaded from the NSPCC website and provides two 60 minute session for young people aged 11-19 years and one session for professionals. See www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/resourcesforprofessionals/sexualabuse/session-pl....
The practice resource contains three short video animations on different aspects of sexual exploitation:
- When Someone Cares - http://youtu.be/zuzi2fqcfc4
- My Story Is Real - http://youtu.be/rnqcc3WQl14
- Jay - http://youtu.be/XasNkfQ5AV
Consultancy is also provided to parents and carers of young people thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation.
This service is currently being evaluated.
Brown, S. (2013) A child sexual exploitation resource that professionals look to for an answer. Community Care, 26 November 2013
Pearce, J.J., Williams, M. and Galvin, C. (2002) It’s someone taking a part of you: a study of young women and sexual exploitation. London: National Children's Bureau