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Council to invest extra £750k into children's services to tackle exploitation of young people

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 June 2019

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall

Archant

An additional investment of £750,000 will be put into children's services in a bid to tackle serious youth violence and the exploitation of young people.

At last week's cabinet meeting, it was agreed that Havering Council would send an extra three-quarters of a million pounds on more resources to ensure earlier intervention across departments to safeguard children at risk of criminal exploitation.

The local authority says part of the approach will target young people at risk by focusing on the places where they socialise.

The additional funding, which will be spread over three years, will be used to recruit specialist staff and to commission projects for children and teenagers, as well as provide safeguarding training for staff.

Cabinet member for children, education and families, Councillor Robert Benham said: "This additional funding means we can target the areas that need the funding the most.

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"We can recruit extra specialist staff, provide additional support to vulnerable young people and their families and ensure our staff are equipped to help young people improve their life chances."

The approach is one of a series put in place by the council's children's services that have included hosting knife and crime safety workshops and assemblies in schools for more than 2,000 children since 2018.

A session was also held earlier this month at the Myplace Community Centre, Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, which provided vital information to help professionals and parents to be aware of how children and young people can be lured into gangs.

The cabinet also agreed to forming more of a closer partnership with neighbouring local authorities Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge to help keep children safe who are at risk in the community.

The partnership will ensure that all agencies such as the police, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups collaborate to safeguard children in the borough and surrounding areas.

Each local authority will also maintain their own group but on a smaller scale.

Every local authority is required by law to publish their plan by the end of June 2019 and have the new arrangements in place by September 2019.

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