Jamie (16) was referred to includem earlier this year due to an increase in offending and a growing list of charges being brought against them. These covered a wide range of offences including possession of drugs, vandalism robbery and serious assault, including one involving a knife. The family situation was challenging. Their parents had split up and while they had some contact with their dad they lived alone in a high-rise block with mum, who suffers from ME. An older sister and their young daughter lived in the same block in a different flat.
Jamie hated school so had stopped attending and had no idea what they wanted to do. Mum was supportive, but her condition greatly limited her ability to help. Jamie struggled to process information, which led to frustration and anxiety which sometimes came across as anger, putting a further strain on family and other relationships. Having left school and to avoid feeling socially isolated, they spent a lot of time with friends, but they were easily led and were poor at thinking through the consequences of their actions, which contributed to further offending.
Includem stepped in with twice weekly meetings which were used to build relationships and create some structure to their life; something to which they responded well. Includem also engaged with Mum to see if there was anything they could help them with. A specific source of anxiety and concern to both Jamie and their Mum was the court appearances. Jamie was concerned about how to get to them and what they would entail, and Mum was concerned that they didn’t miss any leading to additional problems. Includem gave practical support by giving lifts to the Court and using the time to talk through what would be involved.
In order to create future opportunities for Jamie, includem engaged with the Prince’s Trust to find a suitable training course, and they got them enrolled in the ‘Street League’ initiative which led to the possibility of a place in the Action for Children Youth Build programme. This would however require an interview about which Jamie was “terrified” but with includem’s help they were coached in advance, and according to Jamie they “smashed it.”
They are now undertaking a course which will help them get a job in the construction industry. The result of includem’s support is they are now able to think through the consequences of their actions and there has been a significant reduction in offending. They have also learned it is ok to ask for help when they are unsure on anything, thereby reducing their anxiety and coping better with challenging situations. A notable indication of the progress that Jamie has made is that at one stage they were being assessed under The Young Persons Support & Protection (YPSP) Procedures, but with includem’s help over a six-month period this was considered no longer necessary.