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Wendy Nicholson Specialist Adviser - National You're Welcome Programme Acute settings and Regional Teenage Pregnancy Lead for North West Decision making.

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Presentation on theme: "Wendy Nicholson Specialist Adviser - National You're Welcome Programme Acute settings and Regional Teenage Pregnancy Lead for North West Decision making."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wendy Nicholson Specialist Adviser - National You're Welcome Programme Acute settings and Regional Teenage Pregnancy Lead for North West Decision making - a double edged sword. Addressing the expectations, pressures and challenges for young people within a national and regional policy context

2 How do we view of young people? All too often we focus upon the negative aspects of young people – the media is awash with reports of gang-related violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour. Young people should be held to account for their actions, but we also should be clear about our expectations of them. We have the opportunity to include, encourage and protect them. Young people can be seen as groups to be afraid of. We sometimes don't stop to think that they are equally part of our community and realise how vulnerable and excluded they can be.

3 The face of youth? School Gate Should police help With parenting? Survey Disconnected and disengaged... Teen behaviour 'better than 1985'

4 Decision making and young people Transition of empowerment from childhood to adulthood Increased autonomy – consider ‘Best interests’ Adolescence is often characterized as a time for taking chances. Exploring one’s boundaries, participating in new activities, forming new social networks, and adopting unfamiliar roles are all a normal part of the transition to independent adulthood. Most young people will successfully negotiate this transition. After all, psychologists note, the ability to regulate intense emotions, distinguish feelings from facts, reason, make decisions, and solve problems also improves throughout adolescence

5 Risky behaviour? Factors that can lead to greater risk/protection and that improving parental and educational experience may lead, in a broad population to greater levels of protection against risky behaviours, this will not be true for all. It will be the case that for some of those that report the highest risk behaviour had antecedents to their risky behaviour that will include sexual and/or physical abuse from parents or caretakers and their `problems’ might be made worse by interactions with school Young people are known to be more prone to engaging in risky behaviour than adults and there are many possible explanations for this. Risky behaviour is not only an expression of personal preference, but also has a symbolic meaning and may be a source of personal gratification and enjoyment. Risky behaviour as enjoyment has originally been studied in the context of extreme sports, but the perspective has since evolved to cover everyday activities and decisions, such as occupational choices and drug taking From this perspective, risky behaviour is driven by the need for excitement in light of an otherwise routine life, which offers little gratification outside self-constructed leisure time. Another perspective is that of risky behaviour as a source of social prestige and recognition. Social recognition has long been considered to be an essential aspect of risky behaviour among young people who are seeking acceptance by their peers and / or integration into peer groups. Most notably, the importance of imitative behaviour in response to peer group pressure has been the focus of youth gang crime research Peer group-compliant risky behaviour helps to create personal identity through recognition by the group, and builds the image and perception of self, and the group, in society

6 The pressures and challenges young people face Pressures and challenges Peer pressure Societal pressures Self fulfilling prophecy Low aspirations Media

7 Overcoming challenges by supporting young people to make decisions Gain insight into the perspectives of young people, including the most marginalised Develop a robust understanding of risk and protective factors. They build on knowledge of why young people tend to get into trouble and what helps to stop them in the first place or rescue them when things have gone wrong ‘joined up approaches ’ that bring together different professions and address all the dimensions that matter to young people’s development, including those that are outside Government’s traditional scope such as parents and communities Support that is planned, focused and persistent, with early intervention, intensive action at key transition points, sustained following through, and ways back offered to those who have gone off track coordination and practice was seen as key to taking interventions forward The use data and local knowledge to target action and monitor their success Use of innovative and proactive, making use of ‘non-professional’ resources, for example, communities, families and young people themselves Proper planning and training – Better planning is needed at regional, district and neighbourhood level, between agencies and within communities. The best local authorities, in their community leadership role, have demonstrated successful co-ordination of district and neighbourhood activity in partnership with young people, and provided training for local residents.

8 Tools of the trade Teenage Pregnancy reduction Alcohol reduction NEET Child Poverty target Healthy schools You’re Welcome Agenda

9 Conclusions Young people need to be active participants rather than passive recipients Narrowing the gap – not an option but an essential component of health and wellbeing for adolescents A healthy longer happy life is a basic entitlement for all


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