The TARGET Project at Service Six stands for Targeting And Reducing Grooming, Exploitation and Trading of Children and Young People Online. We are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
The Project was developed as a direct result in a rise in cases of children and young people being abused by someone they had communicated with online.
The TARGET Team consists of Youth Workers and Child Sexual Exploitation Practitioners we offer support in understanding how the grooming process is used to abuse children.
The TARGET team covers the whole of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, we provide classroom based workshops and assemblies in Primary and Secondary Schools. We deliver support group work in secondary schools with and aim to broaden their knowledge of Online abuse CSE and CCE.
We work with children and young people in a 1:1 setting to provide them with emotional support and protective behaviours for incidents that have happened online.
We also have a programme that we call TARGET Champions, any young person we work with can join the programme as a volunteer and help spread the safety message within their school, we truly value that lesson we learn from all the young people we work with and their contribution is key to our success.
Recent Statistics from the National Crime Agency put the offender population (People who pose a risk to children) at between 500,000-850,000.
These figures make is increasingly apparent that children's and young people's online activity represents:
• Significantly high risks for children online.
• Substantial negative impacts
• Absent or inadequate online protective behaviours
• Absent or inadequate safeguarding
TARGET aims to update our knowledge and understanding of how online harms effect our children and young people. The sessions we deliver across Northamptonshire and Leicestershire aim to:
• Provide online protective behaviours
• Improve levels of wellbeing
• Increase transferrable life skills
• Provide real time rewards for volunteering in the form of Time Tokens
TARGET Research: During September and October 2019 we conducted a co-produced consultation with over 500 children and young people aged 11 - 17 and discussed their online behaviours. The results affirmed our previous findings from 2016; TARGET is needed. Children and young people told us that;
- 84% perceive to feel safe whilst using social media
- 70% are regularly contacted online by strangers
- 51% responded to stranger contact
- 42% have online fears as they have been contacted by stranger or strangers
- 28% are scared as they saw something online they didn’t like
- 31% stated it appeared to be a stranger adult and 38% stated it appeared to be someone their own age who contacted them online
- 29% were asked to meet strangers
21% met with strangers
- 38% received naughty or rude images/messages via live streaming. 33% via text and 24% via video
- 52% sent images of themselves and 49% felt that it is ok to send images of themselves
- 9% have sent pornography
- Only 8% told an adult
TARGET Success: Between April 2017 and November 2021 we are very proud to have engaged with 28,900 children and young people across Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, providing themed information workshops, 1-2-1 Support and Group Support sessions, TARGET Champion training programmes and access to a weekly helpline. We trained over 380 young TARGET Champions. After our interventions, 95% of the children and young people reported that.
- They have an increased knowledge in how to keep safe online.
- What to do if they should not feel safe or have any concerns
- They feel much happier and less anxious now they know how to stay safe whilst online
- They feel more confident in reporting unsafe and uncomfortable online incidents to an adult or their peers
- They have learnt new skills and improved their communication skills with peers and adults through their participation with TARGET and other volunteering opportunities.
The TARGET Team are very proud to be out delivering the important work that we do please do not hesitate to call if you have a question or are looking for further information about our service. The work we deliver is funded by the National Lottery and thanks to their funding we can continue to help keep the children and young people safe and feel supported. That also means our work is free to children and young people. Please consider our service if you have any concerns about online harm or abuse.
TARGET Champions: Our TARGET Champions are young volunteers who help others to understand their experiences and share this knowledge as well as helping Service Six develop and evolve the project using their feedback. Becoming a TARGET Champion provides accredited youth volunteering.
TARGET Testimonials: Here’s some feedback we’ve received from schools where The TARGET Project has been delivered:
“I sat in for one of the workshops delivered to a year 6 class and saw that the children were very engaged and receptive to the content. The adults, including myself learnt a few things too! I will be recommending your service to other schools when I network”.
“The children were so engaged and really enjoyed what they were learning about. The ICT Lead at that school is already planning on ways to use them around the school to further promote the e-safety message”.
“The teachers were so pleased with the workshops. The resources were great, and the information was up to date and really got the children thinking. We have some really internet ‘savvy’ children and they were really challenged to think!”.