Sheffield Futures have developed a new sexual exploitation and relationships education programme for young people. Friend or Foe? is designed to offer a full programme on relationships and risk, with a focus on preventing Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and reducing harm.

The resource is designed to be used by any professional working with young people and has been developed with the CSE Young Advisory Group. The CSE Young Advisory Group said that they wanted to “share our experiences with you, to tell you what helped us in the hope that it will prevent other young people from going through what we did and to help workers understand what they can do to help and support someone who finds themselves in similar situations.”

Friend or Foe? is a vital resource to help promote healthy relationships and understand risky situations. The young people who helped to develop the resource said: “Young people need to learn about grooming, what to look for and to understand that not everyone who is nice to you has your best interests at heart. This knowledge could save them from a life of heartache and pain.”

Friend or Foe? contains 14 group work activities which provide a holistic programme for raising awareness of sexual exploitation, unhealthy relationships and managing risk, both on and off-line. These activities can be adapted for one-to-one work and will provide a comprehensive, inclusive prevention programme. There are also 10 activities for working one-to-one with young people who are at risk of, or experience of child sexual exploitation. Individual workers are able to facilitate the sessions and the CSE Young Advisory Group said: “One thing that helped us most was having that one person who was there for us no matter what.”

Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service, managed by Sheffield Futures, are offering training to accompany Friend or Foe? and prices are available on request. To order Friend or Foe? please see: or contact Angela Wood via email: [email protected] or call: 0114 201 8644

Pieces of Me is a booklet of creative writing and advice from young people who are at risk of, or who have experience of, sexual exploitation. Its intention is to give young people a valued outlet for expression concerning sexual exploitation and highlight the vulnerabilities in young lives that lead to heightened risk in the area. Each of the young people who have contributed to this work has bravely given something of themselves and their experiences and we would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to them for their courage, wisdom and strength. A follow-up book called Pieces of Me 2 was produced following the success of the first publication. You can watch a video we made below featuring readings from Pieces of Me 2.

To order Pieces of Me 2, please contact: [email protected]

Of particular note was the work with children and young people around CSE spanned the spectrum of nationally-recognised thresholds and that prevention was extensively promoted across Sheffield. Practitioners are highly child and young person focussed, including allowing, where possible, direct work to be guided by them. They innovate and source solutions to engage and help those impacted by CSE and develop trusting relationships, allowing the necessary time for this to happen. Those affected by CSE also help shape future services through consultation and national representation of their voice. Dr Kathryn Houghton ‘Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation Services in Sheffield,’ 2014.

At Sheffield Futures, we produce guides that help local young people to make positive decisions. Options Guide 2017 is a guide to all options at 16 years and beyond in Sheffield. To order copies of Options 2017, please contact: [email protected] or come in to Star House. The guide is £2 and is available now.

Mi Book is a pocket guide to young people’s lives in Sheffield. The booklet is filled with advice, information and signposts young people to help with family, home and relationships, health and wellbeing and more. You can now download Mi LifeMapp here! Our app filled with the same information and much more. To order copies of Mi Book, please contact: [email protected]

Since the introduction of the Children and Families Act 2014, the Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans began replacing Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments. In April 2015, Sheffield Futures began work on a Department for Education funded National Prospectus Grant - SEND Custody Project, endorsed by the South and West Yorkshire Resettlement Consortium.

The focus of the project was three fold:

  • Training covering the SEND reforms for professionals working with young people with SEND in custody in the South and West Yorkshire region.
  • Involvement work with young people with SEND in custody, focussing on their experiences.
  • The production of a guide to working with young people with SEND in custody.

You can read the Supporting Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Final Programme Report and Recommendations for Good Practice here.

The materials in this pack have been derived from a collaborative effort between the SEND Custody Project (2015-16) and a group of young people with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND) in the secure estate.

The SEND Custody project, which was led by Sheffield Futures was funded by the Department for Education National Prospectus Grant. The project was commissioned to deliver training on the 2014 SEND reforms to workers from Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and the secure estate in South and West Yorkshire. A key element of the project was to represent the thoughts and feelings of young people with SEND in the youth justice system. Project staff went into custodial institutions where 60 young people with SEND volunteered to meet with them and discuss their experiences.

Communication difficulties are a common issue around SEND young people and project staff found that visually engaging materials were a big aid to discussions. Some young people became so enthused that they worked with project staff to share their ideas and thoughts about the type of materials that might be useful to use with similar young people.

This pack has been developed with reference to and consideration of their ideas. The hope is that it might help other SEND young people to reflect upon and understand their experiences in custody and thereby ease the transition back into the community. Our intention is that it can be used by anyone working in the youth justice system with either young people or their families, for example:

  • YOT case managers
  • Police
  • Court staff
  • Custody staff
  • Social workers
  • Legal advisers

The young people who took part in the project were at either Wetherby Young Offender Institution or Aldine House Secure Children’s Centre. All were age15-18 and male, reflecting the general custodial population in the region. This is also reflected in the imagery used in the pack. They received no material payment for taking part in this project and we would like to thank them for their enthusiasm, commitment and creativity. You can see the resources here and order paper copies, contact: [email protected]

Sheffield City Council has been working with Sheffield Futures, Chilypep, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board to create the strategy to help reduce the risk of suicides and support young people to have good mental health.

The strategy is aimed at frontline practitioners to help them support young people at risk of suicide. It is part of a raft of new local initiatives supporting children and young people’s mental health, including:

  • A better link between child and adolescent mental health services and schools.
  • A one stop shop for advice and counselling service for young people up to the age of 25. · Training for schools on a range of mental health issues.
  • Support for families, friends and those affected by children and young people’s suicide.
  • A tool to support practitioners working with young people and domestic abuse.

Becky, aged 20, is part of STAMP (Support, Think, Act, Motivate, Participate) a group of young people aged 14-25, facilitated by Chilypep who are funded to involve young people in working to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people across the city as part of Sheffield’s Local Area Transformation Plan. The group has created a film to support the launch of the strategy, as well being involved in developing the strategy itself.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “We want to create an emotionally healthy and wealthy city and this strategy that builds on our healthy minds work will help us to achieve this.

“Young people have told me that having a safe place to talk and get help early, is a vital part of helping them overcome stress and preventing their problems from getting worse. Through this strategy we will ensure that the support is there for our children and young people to do this.”

You can read the Suicide Prevention Pathway here.

For FAQ from the Suicide Prevention Pathway, please see here.

The film is available online here.


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