Emerging Issues
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Developing a strategic response to tackle child exploitation and extra-familial harm

We are delighted launch the second application window for bespoke support from the Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme, for delivery October 2020 – March 2021. Local areas can now apply for bespoke support to develop their strategic response to tackle child exploitation and extra-familial harm.

Please note that the deadline for applications is close of play 11 September 2020.

The bespoke support projects offer time-limited, focused support to strategic leaders in local partnerships seeking to unlock capacity to accelerate or add value to existing system change goals in relation to tackling child exploitation and extra-familial harm. Since January we have worked with seven local areas delivering bespoke support projects, and a further dozen projects are currently under way.

The TCE programme has had a busy few months. We’ve launched our new TCE website, which aims to support cross-sector leaders achieve system change in tackling child exploitation. Like everyone else, we were impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and so seized the opportunity to reflect on the programme’s learning and our approach to delivery. After consulting our key partners – Department for Education, consortium colleagues, our Delivery Partners and local areas – we have revised our approach to delivery to ensure that we can deliver projects digitally, whilst still offering the same quality of support.

For this application round we are looking for applications from local partnerships, who are confident that they have the capacity and capability to collectively take forward a time limited single and clearly articulated change goal across their partnership on a digital-only basis. We plan to open another application round in January 2021 that, context permitting, will have a more mixed approach to delivery.

Three core principles will form the basis of TCE support, with all projects:

1. Designed to allow digital delivery, regardless of the size of the project or type.

2. Articulating a clear change goal and this goal will be defined after a period of collaborative development between local areas and the TCE team.
3. Demonstrating a clear focus on sustainability and commitment to embedding locally-owned change.

The learning from year one of the programme highlighted four key areas of development across the sector. We would therefore welcome applications that address one of the following:

  1. Voice of the child, young person, parent/carer and community – We’re keen to receive applications that focus on capturing, amplifying and using the expertise of children, young people, parents/carers and the community within the local strategic response to child exploitation.
  • Equalities, diversity and inclusion – We welcome applications that meaningfully engage with issues of equalities, diversity and inclusion within local strategic approaches to child exploitation.
  • Horizontal and vertical expansion – We’re interested in supporting local areas thinking about ‘horizontal expansion’ (e.g. expanding child sexual exploitation responses into a broader child exploitation and extra-familial harm response) and those exploring ‘vertical expansion’ (i.e.extending support for young people beyond 18 years).
  • Integration – It seems many local areas seem to have established or expanded specialist exploitation teams to create more integrated services. We are interested in the impact this had on wider local knowledge, skills and confidence and how this supports local strategic activity.

The TCE programme approach to making decisions on which local areas will receive support is not based on a scoring system. Instead, the team will consider the applications and use our judgement as to which areas we think we can most usefully support and that meet our criteria for digital delivery. We are aiming to ensure a process that enables local areas to confidently submit applications that are based on honest and robust conversations with partners, and which reflect existing strengths and resources; barriers and blockers. Previous delivery rounds have shown us that this approach allows us to most effectively match TCE programme support, to the strategic needs identified by you, as senior leaders within the sector.  

Local areas – access the application form.

Whilst we have your attention…

The TCE Support Programme’s year two sector survey closes on 31 July. We would really appreciate you taking the time to complete it – your views will help us ensure that the programme reflects the sector’s needs and priorities.

Take part in the survey.

About the author

Ellie Fairgrieve is the Head of Delivery at the Children’s Society, and part of the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme team.

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