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Project no longer live

South Yorkshire Empower and Protect

Developing an evidence based, cost effective sub-regional delivery model for young people experiencing or at risk of child sexual exploitation, to demonstrate that CSE-affected young people can be safely cared for in their own communities.

Project Description

South Yorkshire Empower and Protect (SYEP) programme was set up as a partnership between Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham local authorities and Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and voluntary sector partner Catch 22 to tackle the challenge of referrals related to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) that were increasing year on year for over a decade.

The programme aims to enable young people experiencing or at high risk of sexual exploitation and to remain safely in their communities, either at home or in stable foster care in South Yorkshire, rather than being placed out-of-area or in secure accommodation.

For young people already in care, this involved recruitment and training of specialist foster carers, intensive support and therapeutic input to help sustain placements. For young people living at home, SYEP worked with family members to increase their understanding of CSE and ability to manage risks, and provide appropriate care. SYEP also sought to increase reflective social-work practice based upon relationships, through modelling, supervision and training.

SYEP experienced challenges in engaging social workers and managers, and there was uncertainty around the cost benefits of the programme. For these reasons, the project was not continued beyond March 2017.


The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that:

Lead Organisation

Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire County Council


Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and Catch22


South Yorkshire


Yorkshire and the Humber


Funding Information

Funding theme: Other

Total amount awarded


Round 1 Feb 2015

Other information