LSCB Young People at Risk Conference

23 January 2018

Written by: Lambeth Safeguarding Children Board

Children and young people - Council statements and updates - Health and Wellbeing

The Lambeth Safeguarding Board (LSCB) launched its Young People at Risk Strategy at a Conference attended by agencies from across the Borough.

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What is the Lambeth Safeguarding Children Board?

The LSCB is a multi-agency partnership which includes representatives from agencies across Lambeth including, Council Services, Health, Education, Police, CCG, Faith, Voluntary and Community sectors.

Many parents, teachers and other professionals are coming across some really vulnerable young people who are at risk of being exploited by adults and peers for criminal and sexual purposes. Too often these young people are either too frightened to say anything or think they are being treated as adults and do not realise that they are being used or harmed.

‘What we’re dealing with are some really vulnerable people who have a lot going in their lives which is complex…we all have different skills to bring to work out which intervention will work’ (Commander Richard Smith, Metropolitan Police)

Launching the Young People at Risk (YPaR) Strategy

The LSCB has developed the Young People at Risk (YPaR) Strategy in response to the powerful and often disturbing evidence that too many children and young people in Lambeth are at risk.

Central to the strategy is a core belief that we need to remember all teenagers are children, and as adults who are responsible for their welfare – we must never give up on them.

Speaking at the launch of the YPaR Strategy attended by 140 delegates from across Lambeth on 20th October 2017, Junior Smart from St. Giles knows what it feels like to be a young person caught up in the criminal justice system. ‘When a young person is caught up in serious youth violence, gangs or criminal lifestyle choices, it’s important you start with that young person and that can only be done by…addressing the young person as a whole’ Junior Smart, St Giles).

Junior also reminded us of the importance of working together; ‘practitioners don’t often ask who else has worked with the young person, what were the successes, what were the failures…there are no quick fixes, this work takes time’.

Toni Harriet from SOS Project said that challenge for us all is …‘How we shape, help and guide them in the transition between broken child, disaffected teenager to a functioning well-rounded adult’ (Toni Harriet, SOS Project)

The conference head from leading researchers in the University of Bedfordshire about children being sexually exploited and the need for ‘creating opportunities for disclosure, not sitting back and waiting for this to come to us’ (Helen Beckett, Director, International Centre: Researching CSE, University of Bedfordshire)

Red Thread highlighted the importance of a solution-focused approach, drawing on ‘teachable moments…finding opportunities to reach out and enabling the young people to reach out to us’(John Poynton, Chief Executive, Red Thread). ‘…these young people are a part of our community, they’re our children and this helps focus us’ (Lucy Knell-Taylor, Red Thread)

The YPAR strategy deals with

  • Missing from home, care or education
  • Serious youth violence
  • Involvement with gangs
  • Involvement with ‘county lines’
  • Radicalisation

Find out more

To download a copy of the YPaR Strategy or to find out more the LSCB, please visit the LSCB website.