Piloting Our Approach
We will pilot the approach in summer 2024, in a phased approach (replicating the support pathway model).
This will be achieved by identifying and prioritising three areas to pilot this approach:
- Edinburgh and Borders
- Highland, Perth & Kinross, Aberdeen, and Dundee
- Glasgow and Ayrshire
This will ensure that the local authority services in each area have a clear and managed pathway to accessing specialist support and that specialist support organisations have access to the relevant local authority contacts.
As part of this we will ensure an approach that responds to the particular needs of rural and island communities that are in the pilot areas.
The improved support pathway aims to:
- raise awareness of CSE across Scotland
- ensure that the policy principles and the aims of this Strategy are applied in terms of relevant service design and delivery. With the policy principles informing a service agreement, setting out the role of mainstream and specialist services within the pathway.
- share knowledge and good practice across all relevant partners, feeding into the new multi-agency group on CSE, which will help implement the Strategy and consider policy related to wider areas of CSE.
- Help to ensure more timely support for women with experience of CSE, with a clearer route to the support needed.
- Provide data/ insights on the support needed across Scotland- which will help inform future policy development- with the aim of continuing to improve support for women with experience of CSE.
We will pilot and evaluate this process from summer 2024. We will also publish a webpage detailing further information on the organisations involved in the support pathway delivery.
To support the three pilot areas (and national rollout thereafter) and as part of the broader vision within the Strategy, specialist organisations supporting women affected by CSE will also be brought together within a National Hub for Specialist CSE support services, overseen by a Scottish Government funded co‑ordinator, which will help organisations share resources and good practice.
The co-ordinator will connect these services to the relevant local authority contacts when needed and strengthen the links between specialist and mainstream services locally and nationally.
The learning from the Hub will also be fed into the new multi-agency group on CSE – which in turn will support the implementation of the Strategy and consider policy development on CSE more broadly.
As part of the pathway’s development and to support the introduction of the National Hub, we will work with our local authorities, health boards and Police Scotland in the pilot areas, to ensure they understand how to signpost women who need support to the specialist services within their communities.
Following the roll out of the pilot across the three local phases, the Hub would aim to provide a network of support that organisations across Scotland could seek advice from.
Multi-agency group on CSE
In addition, a new multi-agency group on CSE will be established, to bring together key partners to help implement this Strategy and to consider the work to tackle wider forms of CSE. The group will aim to discuss future policy development and act as a forum for knowledge exchange.
The group’s work will be driven by the Equally Safe Strategy and the clear definition contained therein that commercial sexual exploitation is activity which includes prostitution, lap dancing, stripping, pornography, and trafficking. The work of the group will also align with the Scottish Government’s Vision for Justice in Scotland.
Representation on the group will include stakeholders from the public and third sector- including practitioners working directly with adults with experience of CSE. A list of the membership will be accessible online following the Group’s launch in March 2024.
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