Preventing Exploitation Toolkit
The Safer Devon Partnership has developed an online preventing exploitation toolkit to tackle the threat of exploitation. This toolkit will help frontline colleagues learn about, identify and report exploitation happening in Devon and the surrounding area.
The toolkit’s audience consists of anyone who, through their paid or voluntary work, may encounter individuals who are vulnerable to exploitation. This includes individuals working for statutory, commissioned and third-sector organisations.
Exploitation is a major local and national issue, and within Devon increasing numbers of vulnerable children and adults are being identified as victims of exploitation. As illustration:
- the number of suspected modern slavery victims identified in the South West tripled from 60 in 2015 to 190 in 2017
- a growing number of ‘county lines’ drug gangs are operating in Devon and Cornwall, transporting drugs from major cities to local urban and rural areas
- from April 2017 to March 2018 over 400 people in the South West were referred into the government’s counter-terrorism programme due to concerns that they were being radicalised.
How the toolkit can help you
The toolkit will help your colleagues safeguard and support vulnerable people who are experiencing, or are at risk of, exploitation, abuse and harm, through:
- providing all colleagues, irrespective of agency and specialism, with a minimum-level understanding of exploitation and the factors that can increase vulnerability to exploitation
- increasing colleagues’ confidence in identifying and acting on their concerns, and supporting people who are at risk of exploitation
- providing a supplement to safeguarding training
- providing wider personal development opportunities (especially through our training package – see later)
- providing practical ‘on-the-go’ support – acting as a reference tool in situations where a colleague is concerned about someone and would like guidance with understanding the nature of these concerns and deciding on appropriate action.
The toolkit contains the following features:
- background, contextual information about exploitation and vulnerability
- summary-level information about key types of exploitation (county lines, modern slavery, sexual exploitation, radicalisation and financial exploitation), including local information and case studies
- links to other websites and resources providing more detailed and specialist information about exploitation
- an interactive reporting flowchart to help colleagues take action to safeguard people and share their concerns with the appropriate authorities
- guidance and support about working with people who are being exploited
- training materials to support colleagues’ personal development.
As a web-based resource, the information in this toolkit can be updated to reflect changing information, priorities and reporting processes.
The toolkit can be used by all workers and volunteers operating in, and outside of, Devon – where Devon-specific reporting and referral processes are specified, we have also included information about the processes used by other local authority areas.
We have also produced training resources which can be used in formal and informal training settings, including training days, team briefings and supervisions. This training is designed to equip workers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support people who are being exploited, or who are vulnerable to exploitation.
How you can help us
We hope to encourage use of this toolkit amongst statutory, commissioned and third-sector organisations across Devon and beyond.
We are working with Safer Devon partners to help raise awareness of the toolkit amongst their organisations, and have produced some communication and publicity materials to assist with this.
We are also encouraging partners to consider incorporating our training offer into existing workforce development programmes and training/briefing sessions.
We would encourage you to consider how your colleagues could benefit from using this toolkit, and make use of the above materials to promote it within your organisations.