Hillingdon Council has been recognised for its innovative approach to safeguarding children coinciding with National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day on March 18.
The council’s AXIS project has been shortlisted for ‘The Biggest Impact Award’ at the National Children and Young People’s Awards, commending the work of the team that promoted positive change for vulnerable families.
From October 2017 to January 2021, 314 local children were supported by the AXIS project, which uses advanced technology to gather information from the local community to identify hard-to-reach children who may be exposed to exploitation.
Emily Fletcher, Hillingdon Council’s AXIS Youth Prevention Officer said the team are delighted and hope that it encourages others to follow them in making a difference.
She said: “The AXIS team is thrilled to be nominated for an award and we hope it encourages other authorities to embed some of our practices. We support children and young people at the earliest stage, with the aim to prevent escalation into social care or the council’s youth justice service.
“During lockdown periods, we witnessed a slight increase in online grooming due to more children being targeted at home on the internet and social media. We work with victims of CSE and look at how their information on social media can identify them and make them vulnerable to online grooming.”
If you suspect that a child or young person is at risk of exploitation, call the police on 101 or Hillingdon’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 01895 556644. If a child is at immediate risk of harm or danger call 999.
The National Children and Young People’s Awards are due to be held at The ICC in Birmingham in July, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.
Picture credit Hillingdon Council