What We Do /  

Children's House Pilot Project

In 2018 we opened the Unseen Children’s House.

This pilot project was the first specialised safehouse for trafficked children in the UK.

Nationally, around a quarter of trafficked children disappear from care. We opened the Ofsted-registered Unseen Children’s House as a trial to explore ways to reduce this shocking statistic.

Volunteer house parents provided a loving family environment for up to three trafficked children, while a specialist staff team provided bespoke support, and increased security features kept children safe.

Adam* had been found in the back of a lorry entering the UK, distressed and alone..

He spent seven months at the Children’s House, where he thrived – building his confidence and forming a strong bond with his house parents and the support staff. He enjoyed house activities like arts and crafts, film nights and outings to the countryside, as well as learning English.

He is now safely settled into a new home and enjoying continuing his schooling.

Adam was one of four children supported at the Children’s House, none of whom, crucially, went missing.

[*Not his real name]

What next

The Unseen Children’s House kept children safe, supported them emotionally, and prevented re-exploitation. We believe it could provide a model that could be replicated across the country to reduce the number of trafficked children going missing.

Having come to the end of the pilot, we are now working with the government and others to put together recommendations on what needs to be done to keep trafficked children safe.

Spotlight

Meanwhile, preventing child exploitation remains one of our top priorities. So Unseen has rolled out Spotlight – an interactive programme delivered in school assemblies to empower children to protect themselves and their friends against exploitation.

Read about our Spotlight programme and how you can donate to our work.