Gwent and South Wales have initiated early support for children who may be more likely to be criminalised.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Understanding the Triggers report resulted in a pilot for early intervention work in the Llanwern area of Newport. This pilot, called ‘the Llanwern Project, supports children in primary schools who have been identified as having underlying needs that may increase their risk of later being exposed to criminality and exploitation.
The project takes a needs-based approach and uses the trusted adult model by which a single professional is assigned to work with the child and their family. The model provides consistency for children and families, allowing them to build trust and relationships with their key professional in order to work on the issues that matter most to them. The focus is on listening to the child and family to find out what they need rather than imposing solutions on them. Children are helped with the important transition to secondary school when problems can escalate if support is not to avoid exclusions wherever possible.
The project has already seen positive results, with some children who had been displaying difficult behaviours showing significant signs of improvements in their behaviour and overall well-being. The commitment to working differently and the buy-in from partners has been extremely encouraging.