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Bristol Child Exploitation Collaboration

Bristol City Council logo Barnardos


A strategic partnership between Bristol City Council and Barnardo’s to work collaboratively to design and develop services relating to children who have experienced sexual and/or criminal exploitation.



  • Bristol was one of the first areas in the country to recognise child sexual exploitation as a child abuse and a safeguarding issue.
  • Bristol City Council and Barnardo’s have worked successfully together for over 26 years.
  • Bristol’s Safer Options was established in 2018 concurrently with Barnardo’s piloting the Bristol ROUTES service. We have worked together to develop a service responding to children who are criminally exploited and seriously harmed through violence.
  • Despite all this work there are still children who are being sexually and/or criminally exploited. We recognised it was time for a review of capacity and current arrangements to enable strategic planning to be able to deliver effective services that meet all children’s needs.
  • There are a range of services are currently provided through various arrangements across the city that may benefit from a more coherent offer to ensure children get the support that meets their needs.
  • Bristol’s voluntary and community sector organisations are key stakeholders. We want to maintain and develop the offer to children affected by exploitation and meet growing demand.
  • We all want safer childhoods for the children of Bristol and recognise the ever-changing nature of abuse and exploitation.


The Work of the Collaboration

To develop a specialist services model for children who have been exploited or effected by youth violence by asking:

  • How is the current system working?
  • Where are our resources? Is this right?
  • Are our services meeting all children’s needs?

By putting young people and families at the centre we will:

  • Focus on the experiences of our children, young people, and families. We actively seek out and listen to children, young people, families as well as our partners across the city.
  • Ensure we use an intersectional lens and understand the lived experience of our children and families.
  • Use ethical research methods to understand who the person is, engaging with them to understand their strengths and what their needs are.
  • Hold the lived experience of our children in the highest regard.


How will we do this?

We are using service design principles which means:

  • We work within cycles of design and research so that we can start by fully understanding what is the real problem we are trying to solve? By listening to young people, families, professionals, and the voluntary and community sector.
  • We will then look at different solutions and find ways to test these with young people, families, professionals, and the voluntary and community sector to get to the best ones.
  • We can then build the right solutions.
  • Each step will be co-produced with young people, families, professionals, and the voluntary and community sector


Key contacts

Project Manager
Harriet Andrew 

Bristol City Council
Becky Lewis, Strategic Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Service Manager
Gail Rogers, Head of Children’s Commissioning

Suzanne Taylor, Assistant Director Impact - Child Sexual Abuse & Exploitation 
Duncan Stanway, Assistant Director Children's Services