Tackling child exploitation – apply for support in your local area

29 October 2019

Tackling child exploitation – apply for support in your local area

As local areas strive to keep children and young people safe, it is vital that we make time for senior colleagues to think critically and creatively. Support is available to help local partners in developing their strategic response to exploitation and extra-familial harm.

The Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme aims to support local areas to develop an effective strategic response to child exploitation and threats from outside the family home (‘extra-familial harm’). This covers child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation, including county lines drug trafficking.

Aimed at multi-agency partnerships, the programme is designed to provide time-limited support to help local areas review and develop their strategic approach to safeguarding children and young people.

Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice said:

‘After several months of reviewing evidence and consulting with the sector, we are delighted to be inviting applications from local areas looking for Bespoke Support in tackling child exploitation. The strategic focus of these projects reflects the significant role that local leaders and managers play in enabling effective practice and services. Whilst our input is time-limited, we are determined to work in close partnership with local areas to support sustainable change and local ownership, and will share our learning throughout the programme so that all local areas can benefit.’

Bespoke Support projects

We are now accepting applications from local areas for Bespoke Support. Senior colleagues can request support on behalf of local area partnerships, provided the request is approved by those partners.

The small-scale projects are designed to accelerate and add value to local areas’ existing efforts, creating space to think and learn collaboratively.

Project leads and Delivery Partners will work with the local area to co-design a clear plan for each project, and each project will be written up and published in order to promote cross-sector learning. The impact of individual projects will also be measured and explored.

The types of projects available include:

  • ­Support in developing or reviewing a multi-agency strategy relating to child exploitation. Projects will be designed to fit the local area’s context and challenges and will draw upon expertise and experience from other areas’ strategies.
  • Support to articulate a Theory of Change / logic model underpinning new strategic initiatives. Theory of Change is a structured process in articulating desired impact and outcomes that the local area partnership is working to achieve from a set of activities. Projects will typically draw upon the views of a wide set of stakeholders.
  • Support to improve the collection and interrogation of local data. Projects will support the local area to collect and use data to produce intelligence about extra-familial harm and exploitation. The data will then be used as intelligence to inform strategy development.
  • Helping local areas to embed and/or expand new partnership arrangements and strengthen working relationships, using Action Learning Set approaches.
  • Helping local areas develop and embed action research skills so that they develop a deeper, evidence-informed understanding of local needs and practice.

Apply for support

Apply for Bespoke Support. Deadline for applying 19 November. Bespoke Support delivery will begin in local areas in January 2020

Lead applicants should be one of the partners in the local multi-agency safeguarding arrangement/s. At least two other partners should have agreed to participate in the project being applying for and the application form should reflect local partnership discussions about engaging with the TCE Support Programme.

Applications covering more than one local area are welcomed if there are common issues that need to be addressed. For example, a police force area, or several local authority areas in the same region with similar geographical issues or with the same concerns about child exploitation. However, it should be recognised that Bespoke Support projects are small-scale and time-limited.

The Bespoke Support process will be as follows:

The Bespoke Support process will be as follows

The next round of Bespoke Support applications will open in March 2020. The programme will offer three application periods each year.

Download the Bespoke Support Application Form – Guidance Notes.


If you have any queries about the programme or applying for support, please contact TCEadmin@rip.org.uk.

You can also follow the TCE Support Programme on Twitter via #TCEprogramme.

Tackling child exploitation: learning together and doing differently

Dez HolmesDez Holmes

After several months of reviewing evidence and consulting with the sector, we are delighted to be inviting applications from local areas looking for Bespoke Support in tackling child exploitation. We know we need to do things differently. Not only are we aiming to support system change at a local level, but also that we are part of the systems that we are trying influence.

About the TCE Support Programme

A consortium, led by Research in Practice, together with The Children’s Society and University of Bedfordshire, has been appointed by the Department for Education to develop and deliver a new national support programme to tackle child exploitation.

The TCE Support Programme will help local areas in two main ways:

  • Providing an online open-access resource containing evidence-informed materials, such as knowledge briefings and tools. These resources will support local areas to develop their strategic response to extra-familial harm and child exploitation.
  • Developing and delivering Bespoke Support, which entails providing time-limited projects in local areas.

Find out more.

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