Working with sexually exploited girls/young women – Children in Need funded

My name is Carwen Jones and I am a young persons’ worker for Basis Young People. Our work with young people focuses on Child Sexual Exploitation – supporting girls and young women. I’ve been with Basis Yorkshire for 3 years now – all those years my post have been funded by Children In Need.

My job iDSC_0356s to meet young people one to one, either at school  or somewhere else where they feel safe and talk about whats happening to them and how we can stop this – most of the times the girls and young people are already being sexually exploited, if not they are at significant risk thereof. At any one time I might be working with 10 – 12 different young people, each with their own difficult experiences, each requiring a different approach. It can be a really tough job but overall I really love it!

I like the relationships that I am able to build with young people.  It is always difficult for a young person to talk to somebody new about such personal things but once they get to know me and realise that I am able to provide a safe space for them to talk about how they feel, a trusting relationship can develop.  This is the beauty of the work not being time limited.  This is the reason that I am able to make a difference.  We are able to provide support at each individuals pace and focus on individual need.  Relationship building is the key.  It helps young people to know that I am on their side.  I will listen. I will not judge.  I will help them to build courage and knowledge to help them stay safe.

Our results with the other children are key – we work with young people until their risk is reduced to low,  meaning they are no longer being exploited and are unlikely to experience this again in the near future, with 100% of the young people increasing their knowledge of reporting child sexual exploitation and online abuse.  One of our hardest tasks is to convince the young women that they are not to blame, although such an essential element of our work- in the words of one young woman i recently worked with: “Recognising it’s not my fault made me stronger and happier!”.

I’m very grateful to Children in Need for the support they give to this type of work – to Basis Yorkshire and other organisations. That’s why I’d like to ask you all to donate generously – I can safely say that we are extremely proud of being able to make a real difference to girls and young women that are being sexually exploited with your donations!

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