We find ourselves in the most challenging of times. The collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic has called on us all to adapt how we live our individual lives – but it too, has ushered in changes to the services we provide at Includem. Our team continues to work tirelessly to develop new, creative ways to engage with and support young people throughout ‘lockdown’ and we still provide vital financial and material support to families through our Young Person’s Fund.
We can answer this question with an emphatic YES.
Why? First and foremost because we recognise Article 1 of the UNCRC which defines a child as anyone under the age of 18 and therefore they should be offered the full protection of their rights.
The fundamental principles of our unique Children’s Hearing System are that the welfare of the child is paramount and for the measures to be effective, the child must be viewed in the context of their family, regardless of the cause for concern which brought them before a Hearing. As far back as 1964, Lord Kilbrandon recognised that punishing young people for their behaviour which resulted from failures in their own care and upbringing, was not the right response. More than fifty years later, these principles remain unaltered and for that reason we support the raising of the age of referral.
Includem, Scotland’s youth and family support charity, has been appointed by the Scottish Government as the National Childhood Bereavement Coordinator with Denisha Killoh, former stigma co-chair of the Independent Care Review set to coordinate the project.
With the support of local councillors and Police Scotland, Includem has officially launched its ADAPT for CashBack project in West Dunbartonshire.
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 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 has today released a report on poverty and the impact coronavirus is having on young people and families we support.
We asked families what their experiences of meeting day-to-day costs has been like over the past 12 months and what impact COVID-19 has had on them.
Our Chief Executive, Martin Dorchester, said: “We support some of the poorest and most marginalised young people and families in Scotland. We knew that coronavirus was going to hit them the hardest, and this research has sadly confirmed this.”