Youth Direction Switch Project

‘…Staying switched on to exploitation’

The Switch project provides one to one preventative grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) support to young people where there are early signs of concern or vulnerability.

Please contact the Switch project if you have concerns that a young person has:

  • Access to the internet with little or no knowledge of keeping safe, concerns about the material being accessed such as dating sites or concerns about increased time spent on social networking sites
  • Used their mobile phone to share inappropriate images
  • A missing from home episode where there are concerns about the nature of peer or adult relationships during this episode
  • Started to form an unhealthy relationship where there are concerns about controlling behaviours
  • Limited awareness or lacks awareness to recognise exploitative behaviour

The service will be offered to young people aged 8-17 years who are below the threshold of being referred to the VEMT Practitioner’s group. Please follow the current guidelines for making a notification to VPG and Children’s Social Care if you are concerned about CSE.

Making a referral to Youth Direction Switch Project:

  1. Current assessment and Common Referral Form

In order to access the service we will require a copy of the Early Help Assessment or the statutory assessment currently open on the child along with a completed and signed Common Referral Form.

  1. Tees wide Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool

In addition, the Tees wide Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Tool should be completed and submitted. This allows practitioners to focus on specific indicators relating to CSE, and will help to evidence that The Switch Project is the correct pathway for the child or young person at this stage, rather than requiring a notification to VPG.

Upon completion of the CSE Risk assessment you would need to proceed to make a notification to VPG and Children’s Social Care if:

  • There are higher risk factors identified or one high risk factor present for children aged 13 and under.
  • Multiple other factors are identified which may be indicators of child sexual exploitation

Whilst many of the indicators of CSE are also part of normal teenage behaviour, the completion of the CSE risk assessment will help to determine the correct pathway for the level of support required. The Switch project offers support to those young people who are assessed between low- medium and where there is no current evidence of grooming or CSE.

Contact us:

Youth Direction Switch Project

Youth Direction One Stop Shop

16 Bishopton Lane

Stockton-on-Tees

TS18 2AA

Tel: 01642 677600

Email: youthdirection@stockton.gov.uk

Please ask for Joanne Nelson or Beverley Eves if you would like further information or would like to make a referral.

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