Full-year evaluation into Kent county lines project
Evaluated by: JH Consulting
- The Home Office funded St Giles County Lines pilot project ran for 12 months from September 2017.
- It involved providing one-to-one casework support for vulnerable children involved in county lines drug running activity in the Margate and Dover areas, and the establishment of a team of trained volunteer Peer Advisors who could offer additional support to such children.
- In depth discussions with St Giles caseworkers and professionals from statutory services, children being supported and their mothers as well as examination of casework updates, statistical analysis from Kent police and other project material.
- In total, 38 children and their families have been provided with one-to-one casework support between September 2017 and September 2018.
- Of the 35 children remaining on the caseload in September 2018, 85% have positive outcomes: 11 (31%) children successfully exited county lines activity, 19 (54%) children at decreased risk and are in the process of exiting the activity
- Positive outcomes for children include: 5 who have re-engaged with education (including some moving back into mainstream education and achieving GCSEs) and 3 who have moved into employment; decreases/cessation in offending and going missing – Kent police report 50% of children experienced a reduction in reported crime (as either victim or suspect) and missing episodes across the cohort have halved.
- The pilot has continued to demonstrate that one-to-one specialist casework enables children to make the move away from and exit county lines activity. Caseworkers’ lived experience and/or cultural competence remains an essential feature that provides the much needed credibility required for children to develop relationships of trust.