DMSS Research undertakes research, evaluation,
policy analysis and training in the social care sector

A new tool for CSE practitioners

How can practitioners monitor the progress of young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation?

A well-designed tool can help.

Last year DMSS Research collaborated with practitioners at Safe & Sound (a service in Derby offering support to children and young people at risk of child sexual exploitation) to develop a new tool to help them assess the difference their support made to young people. Funded by the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CECSA), as part of their Evaluation Fund Programme, we aimed to develop a tool which reflected both the research evidence about risk and protective factors for sexual exploitation and the actual work undertaken by practitioners to increase young people's safety and help them thrive. Practitioners wanted a way of capturing the progress of young people without losing sight of the context and the complexity of their lives. The result was APART - 'A Practitioner Assessment of Resilience and Risk Tool'.

Following an initial pilot, which included consulting young people on a draft tool, we conducted a year-long pilot with two independent CSE services: Safe & Sound and Sheffield Futures. During this period practitioners completed 161 assessments.

Positive outcomes were recorded for young people receiving between 9 and 12 months of support. The analysis also highlighted that young people who were assessed as high risk on the APART's indicators at baseline, were especially likely to benefit from the support provided and progressed at a faster rate than those at lower-risk at baseline. As APART enables practitioners to record background information about the young person, the tool is also able to provide a contextualised understanding of changes to their resilience and risk scores.

Services interested in using the tool can access it for free here. However, ongoing support with implementation, analysis and reporting is also available. For more information see here.

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