K’s story illustrates the importance of being there for young people through their personal journeys to strengthen and increase the long term impact of targeted programmes.
K, age 14 was referred to the Youth Zone’s ‘Senior Choices Programme’ after several reports of anti-social behaviour, including incidents with stolen cars and bikes, and poor attendance in school.
He built a strong relationship with the course leaders and, with their support, returned to mainstream schooling. During a 1-1 session, K opened up to the leaders about the pressure to become involved in drugs and gangs on his estate. Whilst on the programme, the police reported that there were zero complaints received about K and his teachers reported he was making great progress.
After completing the programme K continued to attend Senior sessions where his progress could be monitored and supported. His attendance at school dropped dramatically and the anti-social behaviour restarted culminating in an arrest; it became apparent that more support was needed.
K’s Social Worker reached out as K was refusing to work with any other professionals and she was concerned for his safety. A meeting with all professionals working with the family resulted in K being placed back on the Senior Choices Programme. K opened up about his involvement with drugs and older gang members and openly said that he feels lost when he’s not on the programme. Whilst on it, he has positive role models to speak to about what is going on in his life, and he gets to go out and do normal things that someone his age should be doing like going out biking and playing mini golf. He is now doing well, has got involved in community volunteering with the Youth Zone and has returned to school on a manageable timetable.