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£360,000 pot to tackle child sexual exploitation

PUBLISHED: 16:37 12 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 12 May 2018

Magdalene Group chief executive, Suzi Heybourne, during the visit of Home secretary, Amber Rudd, to talk about domestic violence and vulnerable people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Magdalene Group chief executive, Suzi Heybourne, during the visit of Home secretary, Amber Rudd, to talk about domestic violence and vulnerable people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Children at risk of sexual exploitation are to benefit from an improved service after £360,000 was invested in specialist support.

The three year partnership, known as The Rose Partnership, will see The Magdalene Group and children’s charity Barnardo’s work with children and young people who go missing and those who are at risk of sexual exploitation.

Norfolk County Council will invest £270,000, with police and crime commissioner Lorne Green putting £90,000 towards the costs of service.

The Magdalene Group will provide a befriending service to children at risk of child sexual exploitation and both they and Barnardo’s will provide return home interviews to children who go missing.

It builds on the success of The Magdalene Group’s Rose (Reaching Out on Sexual Exploitation) project.

Suzi Heybourne, chief executive of The Magdalene Group, said: “The Magdalene Group established the Rose Project through Big Lottery funds more than five years ago in response to hearing how young boys and girls were being targeted and groomed both on line and in their communities, something we now understand to be Child Sexual Exploitation.

“We are so pleased that this has grown into the Rose Partnership working with Norfolk County Council, the police and crime commissioner and Barnardo’s, who will work together to tackle this issue and provide support to the young people affected.”

The service will be based in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), which includes social care staff, police and health staff. This will ensure that the right children are referred into service and all of the agencies can offer information and support when it is needed.

Mr Green said: “Child sexual exploitation is a vile and abhorrent crime, which robs children and young people of so much.

“It is crucial agencies continue to work together to ensure children are protected and provided with the vital support they need at the earliest opportunity.

“This is why I am delighted to have been able to provide £90,000 over the next three years to ensure such early intervention is available to young people who have been missing, are vulnerable and who may be at risk of exploitation.”


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