Right 2B Safe

Right 2B Safe involved the identification and support of young people, either with experience of, or at risk of abuse and neglect, including domestic violence and child sexual exploitation. The project largely targeted 11-19 year olds, and some older groups e.g. those with a disability and Care Leavers. The project ran during 2013-2015 and set out to:

  • Strengthen Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services’ (YIACS) capacity to identify young people at risk of harm, particularly sexual exploitation and violence.
  • Increase access to timely and appropriate help for young people identified in need or at risk.
  • Increase awareness of YIACS’ contribution to local child protection and safeguarding strategies, particularly for 13-19 year olds.

Right 2B Safe was a partnership of No Limits, Southampton (operating across Hampshire), Off Centre, Hackney and The Market Place, Leeds and Youth Access that:

  • Implemented a programme of early identification, intervention and prevention targeted on those at risk
  • Built relationships with local statutory services to develop YIACS role and contribution to local safeguarding and child protection strategies.

Through this Department of Education-funded project, the sites offered a range of services:

  • No Limits - worked with smaller YIACS across Hampshire to offer a support package, including brief interventions in “drop-ins”, individual casework and some groups, particularly for LGBTQ young people.
  • The Market Place provided a single sex self-harm and safeguarding group work programme, individual counselling and brief solution focused sessions
  • Off Centre offered individual counselling and therapeutic group support; the latter particularly for those with disabilities.

Achievements

Right 2B Safe was independently evaluated by Dr Ann Hagell with the support of Dr Debi Roker.

The evaluation found that work undertaken through Right 2B Safe reached increased numbers of very vulnerable young people with complex needs. It also went on to suggest that building mutual knowledge and understanding between sectors takes time, and improving joint working with existing child protection and safeguarding services is challenging. 

The report specifically found:

  • 742 young people mostly with multiple difficulties, including a high frequency of safeguarding concerns were engaged with the project between July 2013 and January 2015.
  • Over half of the young people were in contact for between one and three months, with the remainder in contact for four months or longer.
  • The majority reported a range of positive outcomes, including feeling safer
  • More work is needed to build stronger links with the existing statutory services; to play to the strengths of both sectors and improve the offer to young people.
  • Insecure funding streams added to the complexity of provision in this area.