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Child Sexual Exploitation

Project start date: February 2015

We were awarded £496k to set up a specialist unit and bespoke programme, at the Aycliffe Secure Centre, to work with young people suffering trauma as a result of child sexual exploitation (CSE). The project aimed to assess the extent to which secure accommodation provides a therapeutic environment, builds relationships and facilitates transitions back in to the community.

Project Summary


The rise in concern about sexual exploitation and the difficulties of keeping exploited young people safe in the community has resulted in more referrals of sexually exploited young women to secure accommodation. However, depriving young people of their liberty on welfare grounds is a contentious issue.

The project appointed a strong core team to work alongside residential workers. The team developed a shared ethos and method of practice. The programme for young people involved: a period of three to six months accommodated in a secure therapeutic environment; the development of positive relationships with specialist workers and mentors; transitional support for three months; and longer-term community support.

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Project contact details

Bernadette Wright

Project evaluators

University of Bedfordshire

Project partners


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