Independent child trafficking service (ICTA)
Who are ICTAs?
Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) are specialist professionals who support children who have been identified as trafficked or potentially trafficked to navigate the complex systems of social care, immigration and criminal justice.
The ICTAs provision was trialed by Barnardo’s in 2014 -2015 and we have now established the ICTAs Service in six Early Adopter Sites across England and Wales, commissioned by the Home Office.
The role of and ICTA is outlined in s.48 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and within the following Home Office interim guidance 2017.
What do ICTAs do?
- Support children to understand and navigate the complex systems of social care, immigration and criminal justice.
- Enable children’s voices to be heard.
- Ensure children are referred into the National Referral Mechanism.
- Support in keeping children safe and work toward the prevention of re-trafficking.
- Provide advocacy, guidance and signposting to relevant services.
- Raise awareness and support professionals in their work with trafficked children
What are RPCs? (Regional Practice Coordinators)
The Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy Service has been delivered across Wales, Greater Manchester and Hampshire + Isle of Wight since January 2017.
Based on both quantitative and qualitative data gained throughout this period the Home Office have agreed to trial a different model of ICTA provision which continues to provide intensive one-to-one support for unaccompanied children who do not have a figure with effective parental responsibility for them in the UK.
Taking into account the need to respond appropriately to UK trafficked children, the model also includes a Regional Practice Co-ordinator whose role will be to work closely with organisations to upskill professionals in recognising and responding to exploitation and trafficking for UK children, for example in relation to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and County Criminal Exploitation (CCE) through County Lines drug distribution model.
What can RPCs help with?
- Ensuring professionals are able to recognise the signs of trafficking in young people being referred into Children’s Services and on their caseloads.
- Ensuring safeguarding action taken takes into account the complex considerations for trafficked children, and covers all available options.
- Empowering practitioners to understand the range of disruption opportunities available for those perpetrating trafficking and exploitation, which is a necessary part of safeguarding plans.
- Understanding statutory agencies responsibilities under Modern Slavery Act 2015, with particular regard to ‘Duty to Notify’ and submission of National Referral Mechanism for potential victims of trafficking.
- Enabling practitioners to complete good quality National Referral Mechanism submissions to gain the best outcome for the child
- Supporting strategic professionals to consider and improve their strategic approach to internal trafficking of UK children
Early Adopter Sites
All local authorities within:
Isle of Anglesey
Neath Port Talbot
Rhonda Cynon Taf
Value of Glamorgan
Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
London Borough of Croydon
This means that all children identified as potentially trafficked in those areas must be referred into Barnardo’s ICTAs Service and an ICTA will be allocated and make contact with the child within 24 hours.
All referrals to the ICTA Service should have also been referred into local Children’s Services.
Making a referral quickly after identification could support in reducing children going missing and being re-trafficked.
How to make a referral:
Check that the child/young person lives in, is supported by a local authority in one of the three Early Adopter Sites.
Send a completed referral form to our secure mailbox. The form is available in both English and Welsh.
Call our 24/7 Support Line and we will support you to make the referral over the phone.
Contact and referral details
24/7 referral and support line: 0800 043 4303
If you don't have access to a CJSM account, please ring the referral and support line. Independent Child Trafficking Advocacy is part of the National Counter Trafficking Service.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for general enquiries about the ICTA or National Counter Trafficking Service.