PCC launches new early intervention child mentoring scheme
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall today launches RISE, an early intervention child mentoring scheme (10-17yr old) to help prevent vulnerable young people experiencing problems.
In 2021, the Constabulary’s Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT) received 1300 referrals of young people facing childhood trauma and vulnerability. A large proportion of referrals had links to violence, with 43% of children being a victim or witnessing violence and 22% suspected of committing violence offences.
The RISE project aims to help children who are at risk of criminalisation, support them at the earliest opportunity and prevent harm. The RISE practitioners help young people to understand how trauma has affected them, manage conflict situations and develop coping strategies for when they feel under pressure. They also support children who have been exposed to criminal behaviour, demonstrated aggression towards others, unhealthy relationships and shown early signs of alcohol and drug use for example.
The PCC has committed £289,000 over two years to the project, commissioning Barnardo’s to recruit and co-ordinate RISE practitioners across the county. All referrals to the RISE project, come from the Constabulary’s Child Centred Policing Teams.
Peter McCall, comments: “It was clear from the number of referrals the Constabulary were receiving, that we needed to look at providing additional support for our vulnerable young people, who had experienced childhood traumas and were at risk of breaking the law.
“The RISE project aims to give young people, who are potentially on the wrong path and are dangerously close to normalising criminal behaviour, a second chance and critical support.
“The 12-week programme includes 1-2-1 mentoring support, that helps to develop trust and positive relationships with the RISE project workers. This helps the young person to establish personal goals and action plans which in time, builds their resilience and confidence.
“All too often we hear about children’s anti-social behaviour escalating to criminal offences and aggressive behaviour, which in turn can lead to young people showing early signs of alcohol and drug abuse.
“In an ideal world, programmes such as this would not be necessary but sadly preventative projects such as RISE are very much needed and are critical. We must educate and protect our young people with underlying vulnerabilities, support children as early as possible and help them to make positive life choices.”
Inspector Gemma Hannah, manager of the Child Centred Policing Team comments: “Cumbria Police have adopted a child centred policing approach.
“Our child centred policing teams across the county are committed to working with children who are at risk of criminalisation and signposting them to support.
“The RISE service provides that additional longer term 1-2-1 support that some children need to address underlying vulnerabilities and enable them to live a positive and healthy life. We are looking forward to working with the service to identify children that would benefit from this support and gain better outcomes for themselves and their families.”
Fay Preene, Team Manager for RISE, comments: “The RISE project workers help children and young people to understand how trauma can affect them, taking the approach of ‘what happened to you’, instead of ‘what is wrong with you’. They empower children and young people, building upon their strengths and offer them a safe and compassionate space to talk.
“Working closely with the child and family over a long period of time, allows RISE project workers to get to the root cause of what is happening to the child, and what factors are contributing to their behaviour. The longer term, consistent support enables RISE to give the time needed to the child and family to create sustained changed.”
Case Study A
The RISE worker received a referral from the Constabulary’s Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT), for ‘R’, who had been confrontational and aggressive both in the family home and at school, with the police attending the home when ‘R’ damaged the property.
R is halfway through the RISE programme and has been working on identifying risk taking behaviours, calming techniques, and strategies to control emotions when at school and with their family.
At the start of the school year, ‘R’ reports they are ‘excited to finally be in Year 6’ and has recognised that they need to stay more relaxed and controlled in school, rather than confrontational.
Case Study B
After physical altercations between ‘P’ and parent, which were triggered following significant loss/grief, officers felt longer term support would be more effective given the complexity of their home life. The RISE practitioner and ‘P’ worked on building emotional resilience, self-esteem and communicating effectively at home.
‘P’ is now able to share their thoughts and troubles with their parent, feels listened to, valued and believes that they can move forward. Neither ‘P’ or parent are worried about future physical conflict and believe that they have the foundations to independently work through their difficulties.
In feedback, ‘P’ commented: “The RISE support worker has helped me to feel safe and valued. Without them, I would still feel alone and unheard”. ‘P’ now sees that in the future they are a person, and they do matter.
For more information contact Cumbria Child Centred Policing Team – email@example.com
Support services for young people in Cumbria: