Interventions – What does that mean?
The West Mercia Youth Justice Service (WMYJS) wants to work with you, your family and anyone else close to you including other agencies and professionals to help you stop offending and achieve a better life.
This means we will spend a lot of time getting to know you, your family and those who support you with the aim of helping to understand why the offence was committed. We will work with you to make a plan about what we can all do to make sure that you don’t get into that situation again.
Here are some of the common things we do (interventions) with young people
School, Training and Work
There are specialist workers based in each area team that will help young people maintain or re start their education training or employment if they are not in any form of education or work. We can help by liaising with schools, colleges, training providers and job coaches to ensure that you are able to attend, transfer to a new provider or help to develop work skills and find employment.
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a term used which means repairing the harm caused by the offence. This may be as simple as an apology to the victim or repairing the fence that was broken or paying for a repair. We will work with the young person, and the victim, with the aim of bringing them together in a safe planned way to discuss the harm or distress caused and to find a way to repair the damage. This is always done with the agreement of both the victim and the young person.
Reparation is part of Restorative Justice it may be work to repair the physical damage eg fixing the fence or working to pay back to the local community with something like grass cutting and weeding in local parks, making flower beds or containers to brighten up and area or painting a community centre. There will always be a worker from WMYJS with young people doing Reparation at all times during the activity.
We have all been a victim at some point in our lives and know how it feels to be unfairly treated in some way. Victim awareness sessions will help you to understand the impact that your actions have had on victims, their loved ones, yourself and the wider community. It will ask you to reconsider your attitudes and beliefs, take personal responsibility for your actions and identify what you could do differently in the future.
Drug, alcohol and substance use support
Drug, alcohol and substance use is a complicated issue for young people. It can be a serious concern for those caring and supporting young people. We know that young people who use drugs and other substances are more likely to be in risky situations, put their emotional and physical health at risk and are more likely to get into trouble.
Our Substance Misuse teams offer a range of support to young people using drugs and other substances, it is non-judgemental, young person led and can really help young people understand why they use, what the risks are and support them to build strategies to reduce or to stop their use through one to one support.
Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health
If young people using our service have emotional or mental health needs we can offer support and practical help to identify any issues or concerns and put in plans to help address or alleviate. We have trained and qualified workers from the Health Service working in all area teams who provide this work directly or can refer on if required.
Young people who have committed offence relating to road safety we have a number of interventions and activities to improve road safety for everyone. #MORSE is an innovative safer roads initiative which aims to reduce the number of road traffic offences being committed on the roads throughout West Mercia and make our roads and communities a safer place. It is run by one of our partner agencies the Youth Support Service (YSS). https://www.yss.org.uk/morse
If young people have committed sexual offences we have a range of interventions and programmes to help understand and address the offences. We have specially trained staff to deal with offences from ‘sexting’ type offences to the most serious sexual offences. We know that these can sometimes be difficult for young people, parents and others to discuss but we will do this work in a supportive and confidential way to ensure we get the best result for all.
Anger, violence and knife crime
Violent offences are one of the most common offences that young people commit that result in being on an order with WMYJS. The majority of violent crimes involve an element of anger which results in aggression and then violence, sometimes including the use of weapons. We will support young people to examine the causes of their anger, ways of dealing with conflict without violence, ways of being assertive without becoming violent.
Respect Young People’s Programme
The RYPP is a programme for families where children or young people are abusive or violent towards the people close to them, particularly their parents or carers.
The programme avoids blame and works together with both the parents or carers and the young person seeing them all as part of the solution. The programme is designed to enable families to identify negative behaviour patterns and work towards positive outcomes.
The RYPP practitioners provide support, insight and simple solutions to help to improve family relationships via weekly structured sessions and takes about 3 months to complete, longer where there are barriers to engagement
Sessions are varied and use a variety of tools and techniques. Some sessions are with the whole family, some with the parent and some with the young person. The programme reaches its full potential if both the young person and parent(s)/Carer(s) are willing to engage.
What parents are saying about the RYPP
“The programme helped me to understand my son’s behaviour and gave me more confidence in my parenting”
“I found real strength in knowing I was going to see the worker on a regular basis. This increased my self- confidence and my ability to use new strategies to manage volatile situations”
What young people are saying about the RYPP
“… It helped me have a better relationship with my mum”
“… It helped me not to get mad as often…I don’t get mad like I used to and I am happier”
“… It made my relationship with my mum better, we don’t fall out as often and if we do, it doesn’t last as long” See this link to the RYPP website
Gangs and Criminal Exploitation
A number of young people we work with are involved gangs. Often young people don’t feel they are involved in a gang, there are just a group of friends or people they know. They help each other out and do things for each other, they are mates. That is fine until there become expectations about what you will and won’t do for your mates, if that involves criminal activity eg holding or selling drugs, then that group may be seen as a gang. Gangs often involve older people befriending young people through providing free drugs, ways to make money, friendship, and ‘backup’ but later debts may need to be paid. We will work with you if you have become involved in a gang to help see what it is really about and move away from it.