Supports 10-15 year olds who are at risk of offending
Youth support charity Includem is set to work with West Dunbartonshire Council and Police Scotland to provide help and support to guide young people away from crime.
For the next three years Includem will deliver their Adapt for Cashback project which will work with hundreds of young people by offering an alternative and more positive life path.
The West Dunbartonshire project is being funded through a £807,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme which takes money seized from criminals under proceeds of crime laws and reinvests the money in projects to support young people.
Adapt for Cashback will provide an early intervention, one-to-one support service for 10-15 year olds who could be at risk of offending.
Includem’s chief executive, Martin Dorchester, said: "West Dunbartonshire Integrated Children's Services Plan has identified a need to provide more support to vulnerable young people and families to stop them drifting into criminality. We are delighted that we will soon be helping to transform young lives in the area and building safer communities at the same time."
Includem works with young people across the country who are experiencing challenges dealing with day-to-day living. It offers a tailored intensive support to build confidence and social skills to help them progress towards better lives.
The charity has a proven track record in helping to reduce crime rates in given geographic areas. In Glasgow they worked with Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit to target knife crime among local gangs.
Over a two-year period, evidence showed that offending behaviour reduced both in severity and volume.
Dorchester added: "Nearly 80% of those who engaged with the programme said their perceptions of offending had changed for the better. Over the period convictions for crimes with weapons in the target group dropped from a baseline of 20% to virtually zero post programme.
"We are confident of delivering similar results in West Dunbartonshire."
Young people will be referred to the programme through school, other charities, Youth Engagement Officers within Police Scotland and through the Council’s Whole System Approach Coordinators.
Councillor Marie McNair Chair of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (WDHSCP) Audit and Performance Committee and Vice Chair of WDHSCP Board, said: ‘" am delighted to welcome Includem to West Dunbartonshire and this will be a great addition to the existing services we have in place.
"We know that early intervention and appropriate support at the right time can make a world of difference to young people and I welcome any additional supports that can help guide our young residents to keep then on the right path to a happy and fulfilling future."
Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: ‘The services of Includem in West Dunbartonshire will help support our most vulnerable younger residents by offering them care, guidance and advice when they need it most. With the support of Includem, we can do even more to better the lives of our younger residents, helping them through their education and improving their life chances.’
Chief Inspector Scott Carlin, Local Area Commander for West Dunbartonshire, said: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Includem to support vulnerable young people in West Dunbartonshire.
"The project has the potential to transform the lives of local young people who are at risk of offending, helping them to build confidence and develop skills which will help them make safe and healthy choices.
"We are looking forward to the difference this will make to the lives of these young people; helping keep them and our communities safe."