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Mark’s Story

Boy with head in hands | Barnardo's
Photo posed by a model for illustrative purposes

Mark’s view

By the time he was 15 years old Mark’s anti social behaviour in the local community meant his whole family, including a brother and sister, were in serious danger of being evicted, his mother and step father faced a parenting order and he was awaiting the outcome of an assault charge.

Mum Ann said:

There had been problems with him since he was about 11, hanging around in the village with other lads who were up to no good, a bad influence, but he wouldn’t listen. The police were at the door every five minutes.

Barnardo’s Family Intervention Service did an assessment and put together a plan to work with the whole family including Mark’s brother and sister and step father, as well as be the lead agency to liaise with other agencies including education, police, youth service and housing.

After 11 months of support from Barnardo’s there were no further incidents of anti-social behaviour, his name was removed from the local Anti-Social Behaviour Case Conference and Mark had moved on from the gang he’d been hanging around with. He received Student of the Year Award at his alternative education provider programme and has now taken up an apprenticeship in Bricklaying.

A parent’s view

Having completed a Family Intervention service we run in the North East, a mother of an 11 year old who had repeatedly been in trouble with the police said:

my life and that of my children changed 100%, we now work together on problems, we talk instead of shouting, the children know what is acceptable and the consequences of doing things they know are wrong.

A professional’s view

A youth offending team manager who has many years experience working with children who offend, said:

The youth justice system is not geared up to meet the needs of these young children. What is required is an intensive approach that works with the child and their family to challenge and support them to change.