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Safe Steps

Project start date: February 2015

We were awarded £1.19m to develop the St Christopher’s Fellowship Safe Steps project as an alternative to placing young women being identified as sexually exploited, or at risk of sexual exploitation, in secure children’s homes or homes far from their own area.

Project Summary

 

There has been growing national concern about the extent of child sexual exploitation, and the failure of a range of public services to protect young people. This remains a pressing problem for children’s services, who are continuing to identify young people at risk of harm in this way.

We opened Safe Steps, two specially adapted children’s homes in London, for girls at high risk of sexual exploitation. Staff were trained in social pedagogy, with a focus on relational security and a personalised approach to risk and safety.

We set out to test whether providing intensive support and supervision, while working within existing regulations on restrictions to liberty, can keep girls safe outside a secure setting. We aimed to enable girls to continue to live locally in order to limit disruption to their education and family ties, and to minimise the possibility that they would feel blamed or ‘punished’ for having been exploited.

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Project contact details

Geneva Ellis
Director of Corporate Services
[email protected]

Project evaluators

University of Bedfordshire

NatCen Social Research

Project partners

 

Insights

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