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Call for expressions of interest for bespoke support – Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme


The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme has a new opportunity for local partnerships across England to engage in Bespoke Support Projects from April to July 2021.

Bespoke Support Projects are time-limited projects for local areas and partnerships who are working together to respond to child exploitation and extra-familial harm. The projects aim to accelerate or add value to the existing strategic activity and responses to tackle child exploitation and extra-familial harm.

How to get involved

The TCE Support Programme is seeking to reflect on and improve the way we work, wherever meaningfully possible. We have continued to listen to local areas who have worked with us on Bespoke Support Projects to date and we know we can go further to improve our work.

We are inviting expressions of interest from local areas and partnerships, which will form the starting point of a conversation to scope a potential Bespoke Support Project. We believe the objective of moving from a formal application process to a shorter, more collaborative expressions of interest will allow meaningful conversations with local areas in order to fully understand their needs.

Expressions of interest can be submitted from all types of local areas and partnerships across England: single authorities, county wide or regional areas. We are also interested in networks of organisations who are working collectively to respond to child exploitation and extra-familial harm such as; groups of commissioners, health representatives or non-typical partnership arrangements.

Local areas and partnerships are encouraged to be reflective when determining their request for support. We look forward to receiving expressions of interest that are creative and honest, focused on developing strategic, partnership responses to tackle child exploitation and extra-familial harm.

Once an expression of interest has been submitted a follow-up meeting will be organised to discuss challenges identified and how the TCE Support Programme can support in addressing these. This will include actively discussing local context and knowledge of the area, the partnership, and possible strengths and limitations of each. These discussions will begin to form the project specification and help inform a suite of delivery methods, tools and resources to best achieve strategic change.

Local areas are encouraged to reflect on what delivery approach will best suit their context; for some a structured and facilitated approach may be the best fit, whilst others might opt for carefully considered commissioned resources.

We have yet to see the inclusion of children and young people’s voices and/or issues relating to equalities, diversity and inclusion take centre stage in Bespoke Support Projects. We would welcome and encourage expressions of interest from local areas who wish to explore either of these two priorities.

Express your interest for Bespoke Support. Deadline – Friday 12 March.

Please note that, as with previous application processes, there will be no point scoring assessment system. All expressions of interest will be considered within the context of conversations with the partnership/local area.

Key requirements

There are four requirements that we ask of those expressing their interest:

  1. Local areas/partnerships need to have capacity to engage in the Bespoke Support Project between April-July 2021.
  2. Attending an expression of interest meeting is a requirement of engaging in a Bespoke Support Project.
  3. Local areas/partnerships should think about sustainability beyond the life span of the Bespoke Support Project and consider how to embed locally owned change.
  4. Local area/partnerships will have to demonstrate capacity and capability to work digitally. Although we hope to offer a blended (face-to-face and digital) delivery approach later in 2021, we cannot guarantee this.

About Bespoke Support Projects

To date, the TCE Support Programme has worked on 19 Bespoke Support Projects co-designed with local areas and partnerships across England to develop their strategic responses, including:

  • Bringing together different partner agencies to design more effective strategic approaches to information sharing.
  • Refining single agency and partnership definitions of child exploitation.
  • Exploring the opportunity, scope and process for aligning child exploitation and extra-familial harm pathways across neighbouring authorities and geographical boundaries.
  • Applying a of Theory of Change methodology to child exploitation, to strengthen and focus partnership activity on the outcomes to be achieved.
  • Strengthening partnership and collaboration principles and culture across local areas and regions.

Local partnerships have shared with us that a real highlight of working with TCE Support Programme has been the opportunity to provide a space to pause and reflect:

‘This has slowed me down…created that space where we can understand the question (of what we are trying to address).’

Bespoke Support Projects equate to seven to ten days support provided to a local area across a number of months (typically three to four), which includes the time accounted for the development and planning of the project, as well as delivery and evaluation. Support is offered from the TCE Support Programme team with the expectation that the local area/partnership will engage in work outside of facilitated meetings and workshops.

TCE’s approach to delivery is of a strengths-based nature, working as a reflective facilitator and working with not doing to, or for the local area/partnership.

Further information

If a Bespoke Support Project does not feel like the right fit for your area then there are other ways to be involved in the TCE Support Programme. We are always interested in local research or evidence, which can be submitted via the TCE Support Programme website or by emailing Ellie Fairgrieve, Head of Delivery. Alternatively, if you think your existing strategic approach might inform our thinking, or feed into our own research, contact us.

Joining the Dots
Our collective knowledge of and understanding of child exploitation is still a developing field. Ideas and examples from across the sector and beyond may help bring a fresh new perspective or unlock a problem. The resources below are part of this rich conversation...
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