Social Inclusion, Early Intervention, Prevention - what works and why?


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Prezentācija EEZ grantu programmas "Children and Youth at Risk" kontaktseminārā, kas notika 2014.gada 14.janvārī Tallinā, Igaunijā.
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Presentation in Contact seminar of the EEA Grants programme “Children and Youth at Risk”, which was held on January 14, 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia.
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Social Inclusion, Early Intervention, Prevention - what works and why?

  1. 1. 5 Social Inclusion, Early Intervention, Prevention what works and why? Sanita Sīle, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  2. 2. Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS THINK TANK: mission is to facilitate comprehensive policy change in areas important for Latvia’s development.
  3. 3. Early prevention? “Early prevention” refers to a series of actions which aim at creating an environment that deters children from persistent disruptive behaviour and early-onset delinquency. By involving the entire society and implementing specific actions (lawful and socially useful), we can ensure that the personal development of children is as harmonious and as free from crime as possible. International Juvenile Justice Observatory
  4. 4. Building a Support System to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency Duration: 01.01.2011.-30.06.2012. • 240 children were involved in activities that took place in three pilot places – Madona, Cēsis and Saldus municipalities. • The main achievements: – Development of Inter-Institutional Cooperation Model; – Establishment of Regional Work Groups; – Catalogue of Activities for each municipality. • The main conclusions: – Lack of parental involvement impose serious difficulties in creation of safe and supportive environment for children’s development while also reducing the risks of social exclusion. – Early intervention should be really early – the first signs of anti-social behavior are shown at very early age – they just must be recognized in an appropriate way.
  5. 5. Keeping Youth Away from Crime: Searching for Best European Practices Duration: 07.01.2013.-06.01.2015.
  6. 6. Keeping Youth Away from Crime: Searching for Best European Practices • National level – pilot projects and monitoring • Baltic States’ level – research, trainings and workshops • “Old European” countries’ level – research and workshops
  7. 7. Keeping Youth Away from Crime. What happens in pilot places? • Cooperation on Inter-Institutional level – Inter –Institutional Cooperation Groups are established by a decision of City Council. – Specialists : social service worker, psychologist, social pedagogue, representative from Department of Education, representatives from State Police, Municipal Police, State Probation Service of Latvia and the Orphans’ Court. If necessary, teachers, narcologists , family doctor etc. are invited to meetings. • Activities for both children and their parents/relatives. • Risks and needs assessment of children and families. • Catalogue of Activities. Low income families History of offending Children have problems at school Single parent families
  8. 8. Reducing youth at risk numbers: modeling early childhood intervention approaches Duration: 01.11.2013.-31.10.2015. Our to-do list: • Promotion of change in philosophy when working with children and families; • Formation of children friendly and inclusive society and created multi-disciplinary cooperation model; • Methodology for identification and prevention of early risks of children’s antisocial behavior; • Failure prevention tool for improving the quality of work; • Monitoring report.
  9. 9. Reducing youth at risk numbers: modeling early childhood intervention approaches Main differences from other initiatives: • Early “early intervention”: the age of children involved in the project (preschool and primary school educational institutions); • Activities will be implemented by teachers at preschools and primary schools – they are the ones noticing the first signs of anti-social behavior and should know the best ways how to react/help. Parents • Cooperation on all levels around a child: Child Officials, NGOs Teachers
  10. 10. Conclusions – what are our lessons learned? • Inter-Institutional Cooperation works – bringing specialists together, making coordinated and discussion-based decisions contributes to overall understanding of prevention instead of just applying formally punitive measures. • Social inclusion of children is impossible without social inclusion of their parents. • We cannot rely only on projects to improve the situation in specific field – officials have to recognize the importance of these issues. – Recognitions of Inter-Institutional Cooperation Groups – decision of City Council; – Budget – several activities are now financed by municipality (project ensured the “evidence based” aspect)
  11. 11. Conclusions – what are our lessons learned? • Can there be early prevention/early social inclusion that is too early? The need for help can be noticed at very young age and it cannot be ignored – the right measures and tools should be used. • Specialists should not be left alone with their difficulties and questions – colleague consultations, tools for prevention of failures, monitoring are methods that were evaluated very highly by all our partners. • Finding the right people to work with is crucial (even though it is easer said than done)!
  12. 12. Thank you! Sanita Sīle Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS E-mail: