By Megan Bethell, Marketing and Communications Manager at Snowdrop.
Casework and befriending are important because, without support and advocacy, many survivors face overwhelming barriers to independent living; including separation from family, on-going police investigations, limited English and exacerbated mental health issues. Having a trained advocate to navigate these issues makes these barriers more surmountable.
To date, 62 clients have received casework or befriender support from Snowdrop.
Casework is a fundamental element of Snowdrop’s successful model for long-term support. Caseworkers work individually with survivors to provide advocacy, practical and emotional support. This depends on which barriers survivors are currently dealing but can include navigating: police investigations, on-going legal battles, housing troubles, benefits, education, employment, social isolation, health problems and well-being.
It has been recognised that without support, survivors of human trafficking are vulnerable to re-exploitation (on top of the multiple challenges associated with recovery from exploitation). In a report produced by the Department for Work and Pension’s in 2017, it was stated that: “victims face destitution or even a return to their enslavers because they have no ongoing access to support”. At the Snowdrop Project, we provide ongoing long-term support to ensure no survivor faces the prospect of returning to their traffickers.
Senior Caseworkers at the Snowdrop Project, are qualified social workers and support clients with many complex needs. Highly experienced volunteer caseworkers are also recruited to support clients with low to medium needs. They are thoroughly trained to identify the tailored needs of each individual survivors and to empower them to move on from their past.
How do Caseworkers make a Difference?
*Louise was a determined young woman, who wanted nothing more than to move on from the abuse she suffered as a domestic servant. Through the support of her caseworker, Louise started to attend regular English classes, this began to reduce her anxiety, enabling her to overcome previous challenges around the language barrier and develop her confidence. Soon Louise enrolled in college and her opportunities expanded even more. Louise’s resilience along with the guidance of her caseworker meant she eventually went on to study at university and the violence she faced as a domestic servant no longer controlled her life.
Visit the Snowdrop website to find out more about the work of caseworkers at the Snowdrop project.
*identities have been changed.