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Meet the Team – Catch 22

Date: Thursday, 25th Mar 2021 | Category: General

Catch22 have been commissioned to provide Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Services in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire since 2017. We support every child who has been reported missing and any child at risk of, or currently experiencing, CSE. In 2020, we were also funded to start a pilot project for children at risk of Child Criminal Exploitation such as County Lines.

You don’t need to refer into the Missing Service- a referral is made automatically by Staffordshire Police when a child is found or returns home. Referral to the Child Exploitation Services is by completion of the local authority Risk Factor Matrix (RFM) , which can be found here. We don’t require any further paperwork.

Each day, we access Staffordshire Police’s Missing Persons system to see which children have had a missing episode and we allocate a caseworker to go out and have a chat with them about why they went missing and what we can do to help prevent that happening again. Wherever possible, we try to ensure that the same staff member deals with the same young person to help build trust and confidence.

We also assess all the RFMs we receive on a daily basis and determine the most appropriate support for that child, again aiming for relational continuity wherever possible. We liaise with referrers and parents/carers to ensure the child is supported and safeguarded effectively.

Each coordinator has a team of four caseworkers who report to them. These case workers provide the direct support to the child through a range of means: face-to-face where possible and safe but also text, phone and video calls. We really appreciate the support of families and professionals to facilitate arrangements to meet with children, especially at the moment when options are so limited.

Our staff also attend a wide range of multi-agency meetings, including Missing Intervention meetings, MACE panels, Child in Need and Child Protection meetings.

Meet the team

Claire Boon, Stoke-on-Trent Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service Coordinator

Hi everyone, I am Claire and I worked for the previous commissioned service as a Case Worker supporting individuals experiencing drug and alcohol misuse, multiple complex needs, homelessness and supporting young people at risk of sexual exploitation. I was then tupe’d over to Catch22 when they secured the contract in Sept 2017 as a Service Co-Ordinator for the Stoke-on-Trent, Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing from Home Service.

Prior to this, I worked as a Global Buying Planning Specialist for a large manufacturing company however, due to economic uncertainty it was decided that UK sites would be closed, and the manufacturing would be re-located to Toronto. I moved to Canada for two years to ensure a smooth transition of manufacturing lines. Whilst in Toronto, I was shocked at the amount individuals experiencing homelessness and where substance misuse was described as a ‘means to survive’. In the evenings, I joined an outreach group which provided support for medical care, food and drinks especially in the winter when temperatures could reach -33°C factoring in the wind chill. On my return to the UK I realised how passionate I felt around supporting and safeguarding individuals which led me to be in the role I am today.

Contact 07738 075751

Emily Kidd, North Staffordshire Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service Coordinator

Hi everyone, I’m Emily and I am one of the Service Coordinators for Catch 22. I began my career in exploitation services in 2015 for the previously commissioned service, initially as a Men & Boy’s caseworker and then as a Missing from Home caseworker which I completed for 5 years. This role entailed carrying out return home interviews and direct work with children who had missing incidents. Alongside this role I worked for the Women’s Project in Stoke undertaking outreach work twice a week to female sex workers within the Stoke on Trent area, offering support, ensuring women were safe, and had someone to talk too. My role as a caseworker for exploitation services fulfilled my ongoing passion of ensuring that children can build positive relationships with professionals, ensuring they are listened too, understood, and voiced, so that their experiences can be directed to a positive change.

In 2020, I progressed in my role to Service Coordinator for North Staffordshire (Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle and Stafford) Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation team, which developed my knowledge from a managerial perspective. It continues to widen my learning not only county wide but nationally, in the fight to keep children safe from exploitation. My role entails managing a team of 4 caseworkers supporting children who endure missing incidents and are at risk of sexual exploitation. Daily we receive Risk Factor Matrix’s to review and initiate consultations with professionals to ensure every child referred is receiving the correct and most suitable support. As Service Coordinators we take part in frequent multi agency meetings, attend Multi Agency Child Exploitation panels, support social care, and police colleagues and nationally represent as a service. I work among an amazing team whose passion and commitment inspire me daily, not only at Catch 22, but by all professionals as part of working together across the county.

Contact 07834 341550

Aneel Jakhu, South & East Staffordshire Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service Coordinator

My name is Aneel Jakhu and I manage an amazing team who support children who have experienced missing episodes as well as children at risk of sexual exploitation in the South and East Staffordshire region. I have always had a passion for helping people and I initially trained as a primary school teacher, however I soon realised my calling was to support children who did not have the same opportunities I had growing up. I first began working in residential care homes for children and then as a mentor for vulnerable children in care. I have since been with Catch22 for over 3 years and during that time my team have supported hundreds of vulnerable children influencing positive change in their lives.

Contact 07843 467900

Gemma Mander, Child Criminal Exploitation Service Co-ordinator

Hello, my name is Gemma Mander and I am one of the Service Coordinators at Catch22. I began my professional career slightly later in life after obtaining a degree in Psychology and Counselling at the age of 27. This was following trauma of my own, which once recovered from, encouraged me to want to get into a profession that would help people and make a difference to anyone who has suffered adverse experiences. My first roles were with a local organisation supporting adult female offenders and sex workers. However as these were temporary positions, I was later lucky enough to obtain the position of ‘Development Officer’ on the Child Sexual Exploitation and Missing project. This was at the time the service was expanding into the Staffordshire area and my role was to coordinate and develop the project across both Local Authorities. As this progressed I also began to support the team operationally as a Missing from Home Case Worker, which was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had and allowed me to be involved with all aspects of the service and actually work with the young people and families on a 1-1 basis.

In 2017 Catch22 became operational and I and several colleagues were transferred across from the previous provider. It was at this point that I secured a management position. I currently manage a team of six amazing staff who support children who are at risk of or are victims of child criminal exploitation. The opportunity to offer support to children and families is the highlight of my role. We recognise that sometimes where children are committing crime, they are not seen as victims even though they have usually been groomed and coerced into doing this. We strive to raise awareness among professional partners and the wider community to tackle exploitation.

Contact  07540 674912

In 2019-2020, we supported almost 1200 children who had been reported missing and 368 children at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation, as well as up-skilling and resourcing hundreds of professionals. The Child Criminal Exploitation pilot has supported a further 292 children at risk of criminal exploitation in its first year of operation.

One of children said:

“I won’t talk to any other professionals. I normally hide in my room when they come to visit me. I even turned Netflix off to come and speak to you. You listen and you don’t judge me.”

Please call the office if you have any general queries or if you want to speak to any of the Coordinators above: 01782 237106  or email or