County Lines Child Trafficking Family Support Programme
In partnership with Manchester City Council, AFRUCA has established the first service across Greater Manchester dedicated to providing support for parents of children at risk of county line trafficking and criminal exploitation. Our service will support 25 parents from BME communities over one year through the provision of a range of services.
Many parents in BME communities face multiple challenges which might limit their capacity to protect their children from different forms of abuse, harm and exploitation outside the home. These challenges include no recourse to public funds which limits the family’s capacity to care for their children, language barriers, mental health problems, unemployment and other factors. Without access to early help and support for parents to help meet their needs, children might be vulnerable to grooming, recruitment and trafficking for different forms of exploitation especially drug trafficking which is a growing problem across the city.
Parents might be at risk themselves from threats of violence from traffickers based on false accusations that money is owed to them.
Children who are victims of county lines trafficking might experience trauma, frequently go missing from home and might not disclose to their parents or siblings their experiences of abuse and exploitation. It is therefore critical that parents are supported to be able to identify the indicators of exploitation which their children are exposed to and provided with tools to support their children to access early help.
AFRUCA has launched this one year pilot project with funding from Manchester City Council to provide a range of support services for parents whose children are at risk.
We will take referrals from a range of service providers and self-referrals from parents to deliver the following:
- Provide parents with basic training in child protection and the law so parents understand their roles in protection and safeguarding and can identify the indicators of exploitation and abuse.
- Provide support and guidance to parents who might be struggling to understand their children’s behaviour, especially where issues of identity, peer pressure and absence of a positive male role model are concerned
- Support parents to engage with a range of statutory agencies involved with their children including the police, education, youth offending, social services and others.
- Signpost parents to other service providers where such services are not available at AFRUCA.
- Provide a peer support forum for parents whose children are at risk of criminal exploitation to enable them share knowledge, information, support and learn from each other’s experiences.
- Parents will have better knowledge and understanding of child protection laws and their roles in keeping their children safe from abuse and exploitation
- Parents will have access to reliable support to address concerns about their children’s behaviour
- Parents will be able to act quicker to report suspected cases and liaise with agencies about their children’s behaviour and safety
- Parents will have a support network of other parents to share knowledge and information about issues of concern
For further information about our County Lines Child Trafficking Family Support Programme or to make a referral, please contact Family Support Worker at AFRUCA Centre in Manchester on 0161 205 9274