A Good Practice Guide for local community projects and organisations supporting individuals involved in prostitution has been launched by the National Christian Alliance on Prostitution (NCAP).
There are an estimated 80,000 people involved in prostitution in the UK.
The guide follows work for many years by communities who have responded to the needs of those working in prostitution. Among them, churches and local people have formed small groups of volunteers and taken to the streets, often with very few resources.
A wide variety of services have been developed to help sex workers, from drop ins, street outreach, prison outreach, court diversion schemes, day centres, home visits, safe houses, counselling services and rehabilitation support.
The Good Practice Guide has now been developed by practitioners who originally got together in the mid 1990s to support each other in their work, exchange ideas and share information.
By the time NCAP was formally established in 2003, there was a growing consciousness of the duty of care all projects had, and the need to ensure that they were supporting these individuals responsibly and to the best of their ability.
Mark Wakeling, Director of NCAP, said: “In 1995, when we first started to work with women involved in prostitution we were shocked by the lack of resources available to small charities that tackled sexual exploitation. The Good Practice Guide has been formulated to capture our combined learning, and is a way of charting a path for others to follow and improve on. We hope that it will enable others to reach out and support those exploited by prostitution.”
NCAP now has over 700 staff and volunteers who are affiliated to the network and who work together to offer freedom and change for those caught in prostitution.
Theologian Ann Morisy, who is a former Director of the Commission on Urban Life and Faith, also endorses the publication. “This has to be one of the most thorough, accessible and engaging good practice guides on the market, and to add to this, it probably represents the best value that is to be had" she said. "There is a host of experience and knowledge supported by lots of examples and explanations.”
“This good practice manual speaks of deep generosity from the NCAP network, with people sharing their hard won expertise for the benefit of others. This manual really does cover everything that a project / organisation needs to know, and the layout is a model of clarity and accessibility. This manual has been designed specifically for those working with people caught-up in prostitution but its relevance and usefulness is far wider - even the most experienced practitioners will find themselves being drawn in to the material that is presented. This publication is real gift to the faith-related social action sector.”