Independent advocates for child victims of trafficking
Solihull MBC is joining with the six other west midlands metropolitan local authorities in participating in a home office funded pilot scheme to provide a specialist, independent advocate for children identified as victims of trafficking (international or internal). Barnardo’s are providing the trained advocates, who will be able to work intensively with the child, and will also be able to represent the child’s views in legal proceedings due to a clause added to the modern slavery bill. Effectiveness of the scheme will be subject to independent evaluation.
If you identify a child where you are concerned they could be a victim of trafficking, international or internal, then you should refer as normal to MASH. MASH will then refer either to the advocacy scheme or the ‘comparator’ group (as required for the evaluation). Support from the advocate will not replace work to be undertaken by children’s services if the child is assessed as requiring children’s services intervention, but will be in addition. An outline of the work of the advocates is available here at Barnardo’s .
The pilot is now live, and is due to run for one year, September 2014 – September 2015.
Barnardos have been asked to attend a meeting of each LSCB in the west midlands police area to discuss the pilot and its progress.
Updates and changes
These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information. Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.