Our approach of using people with lived experience of the issues facing our clients has led us to become one of the leading charities in this area. The insights and expertise of our staff – all of whom have personal backgrounds which relate to these issues – makes them highly sought after to work with young people who often fall through the gaps.
Addressing County Lines Exploitation
We first became aware of this issue in 2010, through our existing gangs intervention work when young people would go missing for periods and sometimes later present in police custody many miles away from their home areas. Over time, young people started to confide in our caseworkers and we began to uncover the full extent of the serious exploitation they were involved in.
What was also clear was a stark gap in the right kind of services to help these particularly vulnerable young people. Being so frightened and traumatised meant they would not engage with anyone other than people who had possibly shared the same or similar experiences to them – something we offered through our peer-led casework.
We provide a range of services helping children and young people affected by county lines exploitation and it is an issue which manifests in many of St Giles's services. We are one of the key delivery agencies in the multi-agency Mayor of London supported Rescue and Response project helping children and young people from the capital, ensuring their safety and supporting them to resettle and rebuild their lives. we have also developed a specific project helping children and young people in Cardiff being exploited through county lines as the city and surrounding area working with local partners to proactively address an early identified need for this type of work in the city.
Integrated Work with Local Authorities
Our staff are embedded in local authority Integrated Gangs Units to provide tailored support for young people and their families. They are credible and accessible, able to engage young people that statutory agencies may find difficult to reach. Our teams work closely with partners to address local needs and priorities.
Little steps make all the difference.
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