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Barnardo’s welcomes government focus on intervention and prevention in the Serious Violence Strategy

Release Date: 09 Apr 2018

Barnardo’s welcomes a focus on intervention and prevention in the Government's Serious Violence Strategy, to be announced today.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

We welcome the Home Office’s focus on serious violence, particularly its emphasis on early intervention and prevention.

I know from my previous work with the London Serious Youth Violence Board that addressing these complex issues requires a coordinated solution with the Government working alongside the voluntary sector and other agencies to identify children who may be at risk of exploitation by criminal gangs.

Barnardo’s is particularly concerned about the scale of exploitation of children across the UK across so called County Lines.  This is a form of child trafficking which urgently requires local authorities and agencies to work together to identify, tackle and prevent exploitation.  

Early intervention is vital and this is why Barnardo’s is running the YouTurn anti-gangs project in the south London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Croydon. This scheme supports children and young people who are at risk of involving in gangs and violent crime, to help them make better life choices. We also work with an all-party group of MPs and Redthread youth charity to investigate the root causes of knife crime.

We know that cases of child exploitation by criminal gangs can be complex so a key part of the strategy must be to ensure child criminal exploitation victims receive the specialist help they need.  We are pleased the Home Secretary has committed to tackle this issue.

Notes to editors:


YouTurn supports children and young people who are at risk of becoming involved in gangs and violent crime in the south London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Croydon. We work directly with schools, community groups and families to help 11 to 24-year-olds make better life choices, including girls and young women, with a particular focus on young people from black and minority ethnic community

It is based on a successful YouTurn project run by Barnardo’s in Southwark and Lambeth between 2012 and 2015 which carried out group work sessions with more than 300 young people in schools and in the community, and provided intensive one-to-one support for 31 at-risk young people.

The project has three key elements:

•Prevention – including an intensive six-week programme for parents and families, bi-monthly family forums and weekly meetings for parents and carers referred through social care.

•Whole-school approach – working closely with schools to deliver a six-week programme across the whole school, including age-appropriate work with individual year groups and sessions with staff and parents and carers.

•Intensive support – six months of weekly (or more regular) targeted one-to-one support from a project worker, followed by ongoing support from a volunteer befriender.

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