Recognition for youth offending work in Aberdeen

Recognition for youth offending work in Aberdeen

Photo: Sacro’s Assertive Outreach team at the 2014 Care Accolades. George Gartly, service manager, Graeme Pyper, team leader, Roz Vickery, criminal justice worker and Paolo Mazzoncini, director of operations

Sacro’s Assertive Outreach service in Aberdeen was among the finalists at this year’s Scottish Social Services Council’s Care Accolades. The “Children and Young People” category was one of the most hotly contested of all and saw just three services chosen as finalists.

The Assertive Outreach service works with “hard to engage” young people in Aberdeen City aged between 8 and 18 years old as part of Sacro’s Youth Intensive Support Package.

In its first year of operation, independent research reported a 91% reduction in offending behaviour of the target group using the service.

The service works with young people involved in persistent offending and/or antisocial behaviour who have disengaged from other services designed to address their behaviour. Assertive Outreach was set up as an action research project in 2010 following a previous pilot which had been specific to just one area of Aberdeen. The city-wide service was set up as part of the Whole Systems Approach and independently evaluated.

Since its inception, the service has continued to operate successfully and is now in its fourth year of funding. The service has adapted and evolved to meet the needs of those young people in Aberdeen who find themselves marginalised due to often difficult circumstances. Sacro understands the need to provide early and effective intervention. This has led to the Assertive Outreach service reviewing its referral criteria and working more closely with schools to take direct referrals for those young people who are presenting with more concerning behaviours or having issues with attendance.

For more information on Sacro’s Assertive Outreach service, contact Graeme Pyper on 01224 560563 or email gpyper@sacro.org.uk