Consider a scenario. After a neighbour complaint, a local authority arrives to a run-down house and finds four adults and two children living together. In broken English one of the men explains that he was brought here three weeks ago and works long hours for little pay in a recycling plant. One of the other men, who appears seriously unwell, was already living there then, the other four arrived later. What should you do in such a situation?
The Wilberforce Institute, together with the Rights Lab, Gangmasters Labour and Abuse Authority and Fresca Group, are working on a project to develop a package of workshops aimed at front line practitioners in local areas across the UK.
Rather than relying on often dry and theoretical traditional presentations raising awareness on forms of modern slavery, the workshops will be based on simulated scenarios such as the above taking into account complex individual factors for the victims, as well as limitations in capacity of those expected and required to intervene.
These innovative training tools aim to empower local communities to respond in appropriate ways to complex situations, to learn about the capacities and capabilities of other local organisations and to improve responses and victim care.
The workshops are designed for regional Modern Slavery Partnerships – local initiatives that bring together key partners from their regions to work in collaboration to improve the prevention of modern slavery and the support provided to victims. The partners that these workshops target include businesses, recruitment agencies, police, adult and child safeguarding teams, housing teams, fire and rescue, health services and local support charities.
Rather than delivering training, the project team is developing the package of workshops with accompanying guidance and handouts, which will provide the Partnerships with everything they need to deliver and facilitate the workshops themselves. This will allow the Partnerships to identify the key organisations in their regions and engage them in meaningful training and discussion that is supported by their knowledge of the specific needs and capabilities in their local area. Open conversation between partners is a significant component of the workshops, allowing for attendees to identify their practical responsibilities and ability to deal with different real-life scenarios while building up relationships to be able to implement effective multi-agency responses to situations of exploitation.
Project lead: Alicia Kidd, Wilberforce Institute.