ACT is a new approach to safeguarding young people at risk of exploitation using a Complex Safeguarding approach.
ACT aims to find alternatives to high cost and secure accommodation for victims of, or those at risk of, exploitation, to improve outcomes for those young people and their families.
The delivery model centres an ACT worker who works with the young person, their family and community, while supported by a range of new procedures that follow a relational and strengths based approach.
For example, ‘Ambitions’ meetings are held within 8 weeks of initial engagement, in order to provide the young person, their family/carers and the allocated ACT worker an opportunity to formally agree how they will work together and what priorities they will focus on. ‘My Safety Plan’ meetings are called with the young person and their parents when the perceived risks to the young person are escalating.
ACT has provided intensive early support to 25 young people in the Wigan and Rochdale Council Pilots. It is now scaling across Greater Manchester.
The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that intensive key worker support can aid in avoiding placement instability and unnecessary escalation for young people affected by exploitation.