The Home Office has announced that more than £1.1 million has been awarded to fund a new project in Greater Manchester aimed at supporting children and young people at risk of exploitation or abuse.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) successfully applied for money from the Government’s Trusted Relationship Fund to run a new project in the area over the next four years. The scheme aims to intervene early to make sure children build their resilience to the threats posed by abusive predators or being drawn into county lines.
The project aims to deliver better quality, trusted relationships between professionals and vulnerable children and young people. The scheme will see psychologists brought in to guide 120 professionals and enable them to deliver more effective interventions. This will support abused children to build their resilience and support them through trauma recovery.
Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Beverley Hughes said: “This project underpins the GMCA’s ambitions for reshaping public services in our city-region. Our aim is to ensure that public services take a whole system and place-based approach to responding to people’s needs in the local communities of Greater Manchester.
“It is our vision, working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and key stakeholders across criminal justice, health and voluntary sectors, to implement a new operating model to improve services in Greater Manchester.”
The Trusted Relationship Fund was launched earlier this year following a review carried out by the Early Intervention Foundation. The review, commissioned by the Home Office, which found that a trusted relationship with an adult is an important part of programmes to support vulnerable children, and that the lack of trusted relationships is consistently cited as a contributing factor in cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
It found that this kind of social support can help children avoid risky situations, as well as help them overcome adverse circumstances in their lives, and that a trusted relationship can make young people significantly more likely to disclose when abuse is happening to them. The Early Intervention Foundation also emphasised the importance of testing the effectiveness of interventions with young people, which will form a key part of this Fund.
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: “We know that isolated children who do not have a trustworthy adult in their lives that they can rely on are left vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
“I am delighted that the Trusted Relationships Fund will provide vital support to children across Greater Manchester to help steer them away from destructive harms”.
As well as the GMCA, other successful local authorities include have received funding for the Trusted Relationship Fund.