Presentation on theme: "Croydon Eclipse Invest to Save Evaluation : 2007- 10 Research evidence on Croydon Eclipses effectiveness in meeting the Home Office Invest to Save outcomes."— Presentation transcript:
Croydon Eclipse Invest to Save Evaluation : Research evidence on Croydon Eclipses effectiveness in meeting the Home Office Invest to Save outcomes Dr Caroline Paskell & Deborah Meyer Barnardos Policy and Research Unit
Todays presentation The Policy and Research Unit and work on CSE Outline and operation of Eclipse The impacts Successes Challenges Priorities for multi-agency work on CSE
Barnardos Policy and Research Unit (PRU) Research Learning from the experiences of Barnardos services. Providing evidence of what works for and what matters to, children and young people Influencing Working to influence and inform Government policy.
PRUs work on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Barnardos has been addressing CSE since 1994 when: First CSE project began in Yorkshire - now 22 CSE services in 4 Nations First report: CSE in the context of children's rights and child protection The Four As – Access, Attention, Assertive Outreach, Advocacy Research and evaluation: (11 major publications) Highlighting risks to males and females, on the internet, in specific areas Evaluating CSE services, and efforts to raise awareness of CSE Creation of education/training pack raising awareness of CSE and guidance on protection Policy: Influenced government recognition of young people as victims of abuse not criminals; informed both statutory guidance and local practice
Child Sexual Exploitation Sexual activity involving under-18s which entails some form of exchange – e.g. money, shelter, possessions, food – for sex but the relationship in which the exchange occurs is unequal (typically by virtue of age, but increasingly between peers by virtue of status) and the sexual activity is fundamentally abusive. Barnardo's defines CSE as: any involvement of a child or young person below 18 in sexual activity for which a remuneration of cash or in kind is given to the child or young person, or a third party or person. The perpetrator will have power over the young person by virtue of one or more of the following: age, emotional maturity, gender, physical strength and intellect (Palmer, No Son of Mine. Children abused through prostitution)
Operation of Eclipse Key principles of gov. guidance Integrated: tackling prevention, protection and prosecution. Proactive: focusing on prevention, early identification and intervention, disrupting and prosecuting perpetrators Shared responsibility: the need for effective inter-agency working, based on strong commitment from managers and effective co- ordination by LSCB. Awareness Advice and consultancy Individual work Group work Police investigation, disruption, helping young people to make formal statements delivering awareness-raising sessions in schools and to professionals working with young people including new police officers. Multi-agency protocol meetings including health, education, YOT and social services. Social Services level of support began high but declined with staff turnover in Eclipse began in 2007 as a three-year partnership between Barnardos, Croydon Childrens Services and the Metropolitan Police. It supports young people within Croydon who are at risk of, or are already being sexually exploited. It is staffed by Barnardos workers and police officers, co-located in Croydons Family Justice Centre.
Barnardos Eclipse Evaluation Eclipse has worked with 125 young people at risk of CSE or known to be exploited June 2009-May 2010, Eclipse supported 39 young people directly and 48 indirectly Evaluation of Eclipse was a condition of the Home Office and Metropolitan Police Invest to Save budget funding (ISB) and focused on four core objectives: 1.To make Croydon a safer place by reducing child sexual exploitation 2.To improve health outcomes and life-chances of children at risk 3.To reduce public expenditure on out of borough placements and criminal justice processes 4.To improve knowledge and skills of community groups working with children at risk. The evaluation has involved 47 interviewees over the three years: 13 Eclipse team members, 21 stakeholders, 7 parents and 6 young people Note: some interviewees participated in the evaluation more than once
Outcomes 1/2: Reducing CSE & improving health Broad reductions in risks for most young people while with Eclipse. Risk of involvement in sexual exploitation declined for over half. Risk of going missing, especially significant for CSE, also showed broad declines with over half of service users showing reductions Risks on other categories such as drug dependence, alcohol abuse and engagement with education have showed mixed but modest change Risks of disengagement from education or training showed an overall trend of moderate improvement. Most service users showed modest improvement or no change on risk of drug dependence or alcohol abuse
Outcomes 2: Improving sexual & emotional health Two-thirds of service users showed no change in sexual health risks Sexual health assessments may be unreliable, as young people may not disclose risks or may be unaware of risks Those who showed improvement were aware of their original risk, as all began at medium to high risk Service users said they felt better informed about sexual health and healthy sexual relationships Over half of the service users included in the OMF data showed improvements in relationships with carer Eclipse provides a stabilising influence – encouraging small steps towards independence from exploitative relationships.
Stabilising families My behaviour has got much better now and I dont run away so much and I speak to my mum more. (Service user) Basically having someone to talk to has stopped me wanting to run away, I run away only rarely now. (Service user) Barnardo's support has been absolutely essential to us in the last months; without it I think I would have cracked and my daughter would have been taken into care. It was just knowing that there is someone else there that gives a damn. I could always ring [the Bs and police workers] and they would give me support and ideas for how to cope with her being really violent, for example. It is so important when I dont have much other support. (Parent)
Outcome 3: Reducing public expenditure Out of borough placements Unsure whether Eclipse can reduce out-of-borough placements Decisions about young peoples placements are Childrens Services responsibility. Eclipse can put forward a strong case for or against placing a young person out-of-borough. Young peoples involvement in criminal justice processes Members of the Eclipse team have worked closely with police on the beat to support young offenders who are also Eclipse service users Eclipses relationship with the YOT has continued to strengthen. Tackling involvement in sexual exploitation has the potential to reduce involvement in crime.
Outcome 4: knowledge and skills of community groups working with children Awareness-raising and training sessions for multi-agency practitioners and young people. Barnardos and Police deliver training in schools and residential homes. An assessment of the schools-based awareness-raising sessions in Croydon showed that it achieved its aims Schools have been very positive about the training Working with Eclipse gave me a different view on how children can go missing. It made me more aware about why children can go missing. Even though Im a Social Worker, Eclipse has taught me better awareness and how to manage children that I engage with out on the street in a different way. (Stakeholder)
SUCCESSES Partnership and communication Engagement with young people Police investigation and disruption
Partnership work and communication Communication. I cant stress it enough. To be able to sit and talk to somebody face to face about a case with no barriers, no protocol worries like can I talk to you about this? It is simple, straightforward and clear. We all have the same goals and objectives. To be able to talk to somebody face to face, despite the fact Barnardos and the police are from two diametrically opposed worlds, we gel so well and work so well together because we communicate. (Eclipse) I chair many meetings other than the protocol meetings and I can say that the protocol meetings are among the most well-attended. We get Barnardos workers, health, education, not always the social workers interestingly, but we do always get the leads from other key agencies. I think that the partnership is very positive; its a good reflection on working together, definitely better than most other meetings. (Stakeholder)
Engagement with young people Three characteristics facilitate Eclipses engagement with young people: Patience taking time to build relationships with young people Flexibilitymeeting at home, school or other settings, at varied times and at short notice, to fit young peoples needs Persistence engaging in different ways, again and again, to ensure that young people know they are there for them The workers go into detail explaining things to you if you dont understand; they will really talk about things. They are always there to take phone-calls if you want to talk to them about something, or if parents need to talk to them about something. Theyll always talk to you about things (service user) I have had quite a few problems in school. [Eclipse worker] has helped me to get back into going to school, she helped me to face the fear of going back and shes helped me stay there. She sometimes comes and meets me at school. (service user)
Police work in support of young people Key characteristics distinguish Eclipses form of police work: Supportoffer informal and formal assistance to service users Disruptionsuccesses in disrupting relationships between with perpetrators using Section 2 abduction notices Informationgather, assess and share (within limits) information on perpetrators, networks of abuse and risky adults If it is appropriate then we interview the child to gain evidence to prosecute the offender, and to help protect the child. That is the theory but it is rare for young people to want to be interviewed and give evidence against the offender. So most of our intervention with children is to gain their trust and work on protecting them. We also share information that helps protect children, such as if we know something about where offenders are or where other young people at risk of sexual exploitation are already living in a home that is being proposed for the young person under discussion. (Police)
CHALLENGES Limitations of Croydon Social Services Policing and Criminal Justice
Limitations of Croydon Social Services Levels of support from senior management were initially quite high, but commitment declined with the absence of an overall lead for CSE after the senior manager left in 2009 Pressurised case loads may hamper social workers from attending protocol meetings regularly and engaging in information-sharing Communication is impeded by high staff turnover
Policing and Criminal Justice Despite the commitment and encouragement of Barnardos and Police, it has proven extremely difficult to obtain statements from young people The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) often judges young people who are the victims of sexual exploitation to be unreliable witnesses CSE prosecutions require young victims to report intimate details of the crime to a court which is not always in the best interests of a child There havent been a huge number of criminal investigations because children dont always want to disclose. Those there have been have had difficulties in getting prosecutions. Young peoples statements are discredited because they tell lies about other things; this has to be highlighted to the CPS which discredits them. It is also difficult because young people may be groomed over a year, but the CPS require that a single criminal offence is identified which is difficult to evidence. It can come down to a childs word against the adult. Often the adult does not have criminal convictions but the children do. We still persevere.
Priorities for multi-agency work on CSE Priority areas for any partnership-work which aims to support young people at risk of, or already experiencing sexual exploitation: Multi-agency work (including protocol meetings) Prevention work (with professionals and young people) Police disruption and effective links with police in other boroughs One-to-one therapeutic intervention Co-located partnership
Priorities for multi-agency work on CSE Commitment from the Local Authority Links with the Crown Prosecution Service may increase the likelihood of police impacting upon CSE prosecutions. Delivering awareness-raising work to the CPS may encourage greater interest and understanding of CSE and lead to higher prosecution rates. Pan-London approach to CSE - It was felt that if boroughs were unable to provide a dedicated police team on CSE, there should be a structure through which lead multi-agency professionals could identify primary police contacts for CSE in each borough.
And……. Croydon Eclipse should be seen as a model of excellence with it being the only London-based partnership between the statutory sector, voluntary sector and a dedicated MPS team. The benefits [of working with Eclipse] include the fact that they can actually get out there and do the work, theyre more creative than we are as a statutory agency because there are so many guidelines we have to work to, but they are able to be more flexible and get out and do the work. It is great for us if we have an Eclipse worker working alongside us because they can really take action on that side of things in a way we would find difficult (Stakeholder)
Thank you. Dr Caroline Paskell Deborah Meyer Barnardos Policy and Research Unit