Working to prevent the cycle of youth crime in Inner London – enabling children to improve their futures

Published: 7 Dec 2020

| Inner London

Welcare has recently secured funding from the Youth Endowment Fund Covid-19 grant. This is to facilitate work with families referred to us by Lambeth Children, Youth and Family Services, in conjunction with Lambeth Youth Offending Service, supporting young people and their families who have a child or sibling already in the criminal justice system or at severe risk of being so.

Many of these families may leave court with limited support, and so Welcare is filling this gap, working with the whole family through groupwork and 1:1 support to prevent siblings becoming involved with crime; whilst also building confidence to achieve a violence-free and healthy lifestyle. We will be running a Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme in February 2021 for the parents of young people impacted by childhood trauma and at risk of negative outcomes, as well as those who may have come to the attention of the Youth justice system through youth violence or offending behaviour.

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a strengths-based community Parent education programme. Having previously led in-person sessions, Welcare’s Inner London family support team have recently completed training in delivering the course online, in order to provide continued support to families and children in a socially-distanced London. SFSC is designed to increase parents’ and carers’ confidence, and through structured discussions and activities allow them to build skills and strategies to enhance the parent-child relationship.

SFSC is designed to specifically promote protective factors, integrating various prevention and intervention strategies to reduce violence against self, the family and the community. At the heart of the SFSC parenting programme is an ethos of equality, diversity and inclusion, and these themes run throughout the course.

The course consists of six weekly sessions including introduction and graduation, targeting a group of six to eight parents/carers. Each session will be co-facilitated by a minimum of two accredited SFSC practitioners.

The Inner London team were ready to launch the course earlier this year, but once lockdown began in March, all in-person events had to be put on hold. Now, says Fay Morris, Child & Family Support Manager, “we have to be aware of the increased anxieties and frustrations this year has brought to parents and young people, as well as their communities.” With increased youth violence in and around the capital, Welcare staff are extremely aware of the care and thoughtfulness that must be taken in approaching this work.

The course aims to help parents:

  • Explore how our experiences may influence parenting styles and values
  • Gain a better understanding of child development
  • Consider positive discipline strategies and techniques
  • Develop strategies to support routines and behaviour
  • Develop approaches to manage conflict, anger and solution building
  • Positively connect with their children to improve confidence & self esteem
  • Develop relaxation techniques and self-care
  • Enhance family relationships

To find out more about this Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities program, or other SFSC courses, contact Fay.Morris@welcare.org.



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