Turning it around

A new project to make sure children aged 8 – 13 receive services at an early stage to prevent them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or offending activities was launched last Friday.

The Turnaround Project, otherwise known as a Youth Inclusion Support Panel (YISP), recognises that young people can get into trouble for a variety of reasons. However, by providing a voluntary package of support the project aims to get them back on track at the earliest opportunity.

Turnaround has a range of specialist agencies concerned with the well being of children. They can target services and activities to children and families who will benefit from it most. Services include:
· Education
· Children’s Fund
· Youth Services
· Voluntary Agencies
· Social Services
· Youth Offending Team

Young people aged 8 -13 can be referred to the project by their parents or carers, organisations, or they can refer themselves. A key worker will then visit the young person to identify areas where they can be supported. A panel of specialist agencies will then put together a support plan for the young person. The length of support varies for each individual but should last between 3 – 6 months.

Ged Curran, Merton Council’s Chief Executive, said: “The project is part of our strategy to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour in Merton. It enables a number of support agencies to work together to help young people to turnaround their behaviour by looking at the ‘bigger picture’ and providing the support they need to make their lives different.”

The scheme was launched by the new Chief Executive of Merton Council. Ged Curran last Friday. The launch was also attended by Bob Ashford, Head of Prevention from the Youth Justice Board and Connie Jennings, Strategic Manager, at Birmingham YISP.

For further information on the Turnaround Scheme or to make a referral please contact Emma Richards, Project Manager, on 020 8274 4962 or e-mail turnaround@merton.gov.uk