Evaluating a new model of tackling child sexual exploitation across England


The Hub and Spoke Model

Last updated: Tue 05, 2016

What is the 'Hub and Spoke' model?

At the heart of the Alexi Project is the Hub and Spoke model, which is being used to extend the reach of specialist child sexual exploitation services (the Hubs), by placing Spoke workers into new local authorities (LA), or into new towns or rural areas within their own LA. 

Each Hub service has between two and five Spoke workers. They are located in a variety of settings (e.g. with the police, in children’s social care or a multi-agency team), and undertake a combination of direct work with young people, consultancy, and training with local practitioners. 

How is CSEFA using the model to tackle CSE?

The Child Sexual Exploitation Funders Alliance (CSEFA) has funded a phased roll-out of the model as follows.

  • Phase 1: Three services from January 2014 
  • Phase 2: Five services from January 2015
  • Phase 3: Eight services from January 2016

At the end of phase two (Dec 2015) of the Alexi Project there were eight services, using five different variations of the Hub and Spoke model.

What do we already know about the effectiveness of Hub and Spoke models?

In the early days of the evaluation 'Social Care Research' was commissioned to conduct a literature review of research evidence on the use and effectiveness of Hub and Spoke models of service delivery. The review found 10 different types of Hub and Spoke provision, although there is a general lack of evidence on the effectiveness of the model itself. 

Evaluations of Hub and Spoke models within healthcare have provided the best evidence of impact and cost-effectiveness, and demonstrate that the model tends to:

  • increase numbers of people accessing and engaging in treatment;
  • get patients into treatment faster; and
  • be more cost effective than other structures.

The Alexi Project will represent a substantial contribution to our knowledge about Hub and Spoke models in social care, voluntary sector and children's service settings. 

Social Care Research Report: Effective Approaches to Hub and Spoke Service Provision

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