Issue: Alternative to Secure Care and Curfew Compliance
When Alan was referred to Includem, he was at serious risk of being placed in secure accommodation. A risk to himself and others, at just 14 years of age he was absconding, using cannabis and alcohol regularly. He was also spending time with older peers, involved in negative behaviours and offending on a regular basis.
Alan lived with his grandparents due to his mum being unable to cope with his disruptive behaviour towards her and his siblings. Due to serious concerns about him, he was placed on a curfew with an electronic tag, secured around his ankle. During this time, Includem supported him to reduce risk-taking and offending, and address his issues with drugs and alcohol.
Alan’s problematic behaviour was thought to be linked to the chronic parental neglect he suffered as a child and suspected sexual abuse.
Includem worked with Alan to remind him of the importance of sticking to his curfew. We helped him to realise he had a later time than most (9pm-7am) and offered praise when he kept to this.
For most of the time this worked – but when he did breach curfew, Includem spent time with him to identify the root of the problem. With help, he identified that alcohol affected his decision making, giving him a lack of responsibility and awareness. Includem worked on consequential thinking, encouraging him see the clear link between consuming alcohol and offending.
During coaching conversations, Includem encouraged Alan to have the confidence to make safer choices. As became clear, at that point he didn’t believe he could work towards a more positive future.
Includem spent time encouraging him to see that he could avoid secure accommodation – something he felt was inevitable. However, we made it clear he needed to take responsibility for his actions and make a change.
He was encouraged to get involved in positive leisure activities and reduce his cannabis and alcohol intake. This he successfully did. We also worked with Alan on victim empathy, and the impact of his behaviours on those who cared about him.
He was able to see their point of view in situations he would had previously laughed about – and he started to realise how he would feel in their position.
When, sadly, a friend of Alan was murdered, it prompted him to reflect on past behaviours and risky situations. The murder happened when a drunken fight broke out at a party. It’s likely Alan would have been at the party and involved in the incident – and he was shocked at the reality of the consequences he could have faced.
This helped make Alan realise the curfew had helped him.
The tag was removed shortly after. Includem praised his progress and the fact he’d chosen to stick to his curfew most of the time. Ultimately, we motivated him to think about a positive future, moving towards independence after school. With the support of Includem, Alan continued to live with his grandparents who felt better able to cope with him due to advice and support given by Includem.