From education to employment

Creating a shared model to support vulnerable young people

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Professor Elaine Arnull from Solent University, Southampton is leading a £25,000 research project to develop a model for better information sharing to support vulnerable young people by reducing opportunities for exploitation.

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, this new collaboration will tackle the challenges identified by the Commission on Young Lives (2022), Independent Review into Children’s Social Care (May 2022) and the Independent Inquiry into CSE (IITCSE) in Telford and Wrekin which found gaps in justice, social care, public health, and education systems; where professionals were aware of young people being exploited but did not effectively use the information to support or protect those young people.

Ultimately, the project aims to improve communication, empower local communities, and reshape policies to better protect young people.

The researchers – including Dr Mahuya Kanjilal from the University of Wolverhampton and Professor Karen Heimer from the University of Iowa – will work closely with professionals and community groups to create a model for critical information sharing. The project will generate insights and proposals on how local and national organisations, the third sector (which includes charities, social enterprise and voluntary groups), and community members can together address exploitation and exposure to violence. 

Professor Elaine Arnull says:

“We are delighted Nuffield Foundation are supporting our work with the communities and organisations of Telford to better understand how we can more effectively share information so that young people are better protected from exploitation and violence.

“This research project represents a pivotal step towards fostering a safer and more supportive environment for vulnerable youth in Telford and beyond.”

Through collaboration and innovation, the team aims to not only address immediate challenges in Telford but also lay the groundwork for sustained change on a national level by developing a workable model to effectively identify and support young people at risk of exploitation and exposure to violence.

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