Accessing Support

The main way that people access Unseen support services (WATER and RIO) is via the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army hold a contract to provide support services to adult victims of trafficking across the UK. Unseen provide these services in the South West.

To access these services people usually need to be referred into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). Referrals to the NRM can only be made by authorised agencies known as First Responders. Authorised agencies in the UK are the police force, the UK Border Force, Home Office Immigration and Visas, social services and certain Non-Governmental Organisations. Unseen is a registered first responder, which means that we can make referrals into the NRM on behalf of an individual or make the referral if another frontline agency isn’t a First Responder.

If it is decided by the Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU) Team that an individual is a potential victim then they will be offered a place at WATER, our safe-house or supported in the community, via Unseen’s RIO service and granted a period of reflection and recovery of 45 days. This can be extended if the victim needs this kind of support for a longer period or if making the decision takes longer. During this time further information is gathered relating to the referral from the First Responder and other agencies. During this period the UKHTC team are deciding is the person is a victim of modern slavery or trafficking. The target for this decision is within the 45-day recovery period.

We will receive referrals for WATER predominantly via The Salvation Army but Unseen can also accept referrals into WATER from agencies external to this process please call our office 0303 040 2888 if you wish to discuss this and how we may be able to assist you.

As a frontline professional if you have someone you are concerned about you need to complete an NRM form, or get a first responder to do this for you. You then need to speak with The Salvation Army to discuss support needs and make a referral into safe accommodation.