What we do
New Directions Service
Engaging young people in a programme which involves a high level of commitment is difficult and challenging and our staff work hard to develop a relationship based on honesty and trust. The assessment period normally takes approximately eight weeks, profiling of offending behaviour is completed and subsequently an action plan is drawn up highlighting issues required to be addressed. The Asset assessment tool is used to examine contributory factors relating to offending behaviour, and gives an indication of risk of re-offending and of risk of harm.
Action plans are individually tailored to address issues relating to criminality and also take account of the young person's learning style using a range of resources. Young people have at least two contacts weekly with their project worker and the police provide weekly information on any offending concerns. The work is based on a cognitive behavioural approach and challenges the young person to examine their beliefs and attitudes that support their offending behaviour. At the same time the young person is supported towards a more positive lifestyle. Our staff are sincere in their commitment to create and sustain an environment of positive growth and change. Regular progress meetings take place at which time progress is assessed and the action plan is adjusted accordingly. Young people are encouraged to fully contribute to assessment, goal-setting, reports and progress meetings. A multi-agency approach is crucial if we are to meet the needs of young people involved, and the project has forged links with other agencies.
Aftercare and Drop-in Service
We have been able to offer an aftercare and drop-in service to support young people to sustain progress and desist from offending.
The service offers support, information and advice on alcohol and/or drugs and carries out a full assessment alcohol and/or drug use and how this is impacting on the young person's life and offending/anti-social behaviour. An action plan is agreed with the young person taking account of individual needs with the aim of reducing/ending use of alcohol/drugs. The young person's views are taken into account when deciding on an intervention programme. Information is provided to the young person on health and includes a range of advice including harm reduction and coping strategies. Referrals are made to other agencies where appropriate and with the young person's agreement.
Young people are asked to sign a consent form when they are referred to the service. This will allow the sharing of information with other agencies and with the young person's permission. There are some occasions when the project worker is required to pass information to other professionals where it is deemed that either the young person or another person is at risk of harm. The project worker will explain this in more detail to the young person at point of referral.
The referral criteria is as follows:
- young people from 12-17 years of age, with five or more episodes of offending over the last 12 months
- young people at risk of secure accommodation or custody due to serious offending behaviour
- young people with 10 or more episodes of offending overall
- young people at risk or subject to Anti-social Behaviour Orders
Once a referral has been accepted the following procedure is adhered to:
- the project worker will meet the young person, parent or carer and the referrer
- at that meeting, agreement will be sought regarding the work undertaken and possible timescales
- all young people who agree to work with the project will be required to sign a consent form - without this, work with the project will not be able to be undertaken
- a full and detailed list of all criminal behaviour will be provided by Grampian Police and access to social work records will be made available
- on completion of assessment, a range of specialist interventions focusing on the young people's substance misuse, can be carried out by our substance misuse project worker if appropriate
Criteria for referral is that a young person or their key worker is concerned that their drug and alcohol use is contributing to/or may contribute to their offending/Anti-social behaviour.
It is recognised that many of the young people accessing the Service may have identified issues with drug and alcohol misuse, therefore it is important to distinguish between priority levels for referrals.
The Source Service aims to work with young people who are:
- aged between 12 and 18 years
- living in Aberdeen City
- Using drugs and/or alcohol and this is having a direct impact on their offending or anti-social behaviour or
- using drugs and/or alcohol in a problematic/serious way and it is likely to lead to offending/anti-social behaviour in the future