Gang Diversion Programme:
Working with Young People “Romanced” by Gang Involvement: A Solution Focused Approach
Eileen Murphy, Lead Consultant, Eileen Murphy Consultants
Eileen has over 30 years experience of working with challenging children, young people and adults referred via Social Services, Education and Criminal Justice. Eileen’s front-line programmes have been evaluated as providing strategies to reduce community crime and increase school attendance. Eileen’s work in Gang Diversion was twice commissioned by BUILD, a Community Group in the Midlands to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in gangs. Her work with West Midlands Police is included on the NPIA (National Policing Improvement Agency) Best Practice Website.
Mawuli Amesu, Senior Consultant, Eileen Murphy Consultants
Mawuli has extensive experience across Social Care, Youth Offending and Residential Care with vulnerable and disaffected young people. An experienced Social Work Manager working in a variety of settings including Residential Care; Education and Children & Families, Mawuli has played a lead role in the Behaviour Improvement Programme, providing leadership and management for multi-agency teams.
Simon spent his youth and young adulthood in Peckham, London. Simon works as a Mentor to disaffected and challenging young people in London within a 1:1 and Group structure and worked in a Community Mediation role during the Riots of 2011.
Experienced practitioners with over twenty four local authorities since 1993, Eileen Murphy Consultants have developed this hard hitting, no nonsense one day in-house course, that not only challenges the concepts of why young people join gangs but offers real and practical strategies for both preventing and diverting young people from the gang culture.
This in-house conference is not a “talking heads” day but instead offers a “pragmatic tool box” to front line practitioners in how to engage “at risk young people” and how to dispel the “romanticized” view that young people hold about gang membership.
Delegates will collect real and practical skills to help re-engage young people. For those who wish to take further intensive training in this field, a tailored package can be arranged.
The History & Overview:
The Home Office Report on ending Gang Violence 2011 acknowledged the role of schools and early intervention structures in the quest to divert young people who are at risk of joining gangs.
With pupils at some schools now arriving in Gang colours – there is, of course, an opportunity for schools to lead on this work as well as helping to redirect young people from existing gang involvement.
Scotland, however has seen great success in due to the focus on Gang Violence coming under a Mental Health umbrella and this widens the opportunity for trusted adults to provide an intervention.
With over 30 years experience of working with challenging and disaffected young people across Social Care, Criminal Justice and Education. We see a first step in this work with young people is to dispel the romantic view that some young people hold about gang involvement.
In the recognition that there are various levels of gang involvement, our programme has three separate strands in the work to Prevent, Redirect and Exit. This conference reflects the framework of this in-house Direct Delivery Programme and is tailored to ensure they are level and age appropriate.
Issues covered on the day include:
- Why young people become involved in the gang lifestyle, sometimes unwittingly
- How to recognise signs of young people’s involvement with gangs
- Helping young people to recognise the mental health affect of gang involvement
- Helping young people to regulate their emotions and reactions
- How to work with young people to reduce their gang activity.
- How to help young people from becoming voluntarily involved with gangs
- Challenges of working with gang affected individuals
- Real and practical strategies to help young people exit the gang culture
The Agenda includes:
Why young people want to be in a Group?:
Normalising and understanding the attraction of gangs for both sexes and a range of ages, it is important to examine the physiological and psychological needs of young people to find and test themselves as individuals outside of the family group.
Peer Groups v Gangs:
Young People often misconstrue Gangs as being a “group that accepts them for who they are”. Helping young people understand that Peer Groups bear no relation to the hierarchal gang culture, the Facilitators give feedback on gang experience.
“Excellence is a Habit not an Act”: the Plasticity of the Brain:
A look at the “Growth” Mindset and how the brain works with the individual in collaboration on anything the individual wishes to undertake – negative and positive. Looking at how also sharing this information with young people can be extremely effective in breaking negative self-beliefs
Putting the financial benefits of Gang membership on the agenda:
It is unrealistic to shy away from examining the real and perceived financial inducements that young people consider a benefit of gang membership. This element examines the truth on this issue. The Facilitators highlight that there can be no artificial inducement for young people to “swap” for the gang culture – only the benefits of living a viable and purposeful life.
Aim of the Course:
The aim of this event is to provide delegates with a greater understanding of the importance of a sense of “belonging” for children in their formative years as a realistic, very early intervention “first step”. This early acknowledgement alone, can often negate the very real risk for children in seeking validation and acceptance within negative groups.
The event will offer real strategies and resources for all those who work with children and young people who are at risk of “drifting” into the Gang Culture and, ironically, those who feel that the Gang Culture is their only protection from “the gangs” as well as those who proactively seek the financial and violent opportunities Gang involvement provides.
At the end of the conference, delegates will:
- Have an understanding of what motivates children and young people to join gangs and how to divert at very early stages.
- Understand the subtle recruitment techniques utilized by established gang members.
- Have a greater understanding of how they as professionals can help families, children and young people to prepare and resist negative outside influences
- Understand how they can identify patterns and behaviours that indicate vulnerability to joining the gang culture as well as identifying when young people are members of the gang culture.
- Have real understanding of how positive interactions from within and outside of the family group can go someway to “mending” a young person’s broken sense of self.
- Harness the strategies and resources of the Trainers in the work to help young people leave the gang culture
A certificate of attendance will be issued to all course participants that will form evidence of C.P.D.
Who Should Attend:
Everyone involved in working with children and their families including Teachers and Education Staff, Social Workers and Family Support staff, Mentors, Youth Offending staff, Children’s Centre staff, Early Years Child Care staff, Foster Carers, Residential staff
If you would like to host this event within your team or local authority, please call us for an informal discussion on Tel: 0208 947 8093 or 07779 242 289 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .