Slavery: Victim Support Schemes

Home Office written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Labour, Gedling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the safeguarding of individuals people on to the national referral mechanism.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

In October 2017, the Government announced an ambitious package of re-forms to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), which were developed following extensive stakeholder consultation

Adults who enter the NRM can receive specialist and tailored support through the Victim Care Contract, which can include accommodation, finan-cial support, assistance in accessing mental and physical health care including counselling, and access to legal support.

Through robust contract management we ensure the safeguarding of victims of modern slavery. The prime contractor for the Victim Care Contract, The Salvation Army, is responsible for ensuring that all subcontracted provision meets the needs of victims. The Salvation Army conducts regular safeguarding reviews and it has a duty to escalate to the Home Office any safeguarding concerns that it finds.

Furthermore, as part of the NRM reform package, we are introducing an inspection regime for accommodation provided under the Victim Care Contract. This will ensure that victims of modern slavery receive appropriate support and are effectively safeguarded while in the NRM. We are working with the Care and Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and social care in England, to develop a rigorous inspection regime for safehouses and outreach support, which will be embedded in the new Victim Care Contract.

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