18 services preventing youth offending

| No responses | Theme: Youth & Education

Realising Ambition is a £25m Big Lottery Fund programme supporting 22 organisations across the UK to replicate services aimed at preventing youth offending.

This case studies series provides a snapshot of each of the 25 projects delivering in the Realising Ambition programme.

Each case study outlines the project’s achievement against Realising Ambition’s five key ingredients of successful replication and highlights the outcomes achieved through their service delivery.

These case studies have been written by the Realising Ambition consortium in conjunction with each project upon completion of their delivery.

  1. Boy’s Development Programme (Working With Men)

Working With Men is an award-winning charity supporting positive activity in schools and communities by boys and young men. In Realising Ambition, Working With Men delivered the school-based Boy’s Development Programme (BDP) (formerly Conflict Resolution – Uncut), which diverts boys from pathways into offending by teaching them non-violent approaches to resolving conflict.

Read the Working With Men case study.

This case study shows that the investment required to prepare a programme for replication can be demanding for small organisations.

2. Early Intervention and Family Support Programme (Malachi)

Malachi is a community interest company which has been delivering services in Birmingham since 1991. The organisation works with schools, council and agencies to identify and support families who are facing difficulties. In Realising Ambition, Malachi replicated its own Early Intervention and Family Support Programme (EIFSP), a holistic intervention which aims to improve life chances and address the underlying issues that often lead to criminal and anti-social behaviour. This is done through bespoke music and drama projects, one-to-one therapeutic intervention and parental support programmes. The Realising Ambition funded replication of EIFSP in Bridgwater represents the first time the programme has been delivered outside of the West Midlands.

Read the Malachi case study.

This case study illustrates that smaller organisations can effectively introduce and build sustainability into grant-funded services that are replicated in new geographical areas.

3. Early Intervention Mentoring (Chance UK) 

Chance UK is a specialist early intervention mentoring organisation working with children with behavioural difficulties. It has 21 years’ experience of delivering solution focused mentoring to children, many of whom have been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion at time of referral. Children receiving support from volunteer adult mentors over the course of a year tend to be those assessed as being at risk of involvement in anti-social behaviour, gang activity and the criminal justice system in adolescence and early adult life. Realising Ambition represents the first replication of Chance UK’s Early Intervention Mentoring (EIM) programme in Enfield and Waltham Forest.

Read the Chance UK case study. 

This case study demonstrates that although a service may be readily replicable, the context in which new replications are delivered is important to achieving anticipated reach.

4. Functional Family Therapy (Action for Children)

Action for Children supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK. In Realising Ambition the organisation delivered Functional Family Therapy (FFT), a form of intensive family therapy for young people who are at risk of entering custody or care and their families. This service works to improve communication and parenting skills and reduce problem behaviour such as drug use and violence. FFT was delivered by two different teams in Action for Children, one in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland.

Read the Action for Children case study

This case study examines the impact of the wider commissioning environment on further replicating and sustaining a service.

5. Glasgow Children’s Parliament Community Initiative (Children’s Parliament)

Children’s Parliament gives children the opportunity to voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings so that their opinions can be listened to and included in the social and political landscape.

The Children’s Parliament Community Initiative (CPCI) aims to promote human rights and pro-social relationships among children on the periphery of anti-social behaviour or gang involvement. The initiative includes training for teaching staff, a one-day workshop for children to explore their rights and five days of focused group work where children identify personal goals in a series of activities centred around the creation of a 3D papier mache model.

Read the Children’s Parliament case study (Welsh Version)

This case study explores Children’s Parliament’s experience of replicating its rights-based initiative, and how Realising Ambition supported the organisation to become more outcomes focused.

6. It’s Not OK! & CyberSense (Ariel Trust)

Ariel Trust (Ariel) is an educational charity which aims to build resilience in young people, working with them to tackle important issues in their lives and change their attitudes, behaviour and levels of achievement. It develops multimedia projects to address social issues, including racial and homophobic bullying, alcohol misuse and online grooming and sexual exploitation. Realising Ambition supported Ariel to replicate its suite of anti-violence resources, It’s Not OK!, for secondary school students, and to develop and launch CyberSense, its first resource targeting primary school students. This resource focuses on online safety and cyberbullying.

Read the Ariel Trust case study

This case study shows that a dissemination model of replication enables scale to be achieved quickly. However, it is still important to adapt to local and national policy contexts and to engage the right local stakeholders who can champion a programme in a replication area. These activities are key to gaining traction for a programme.

7. LifeSkills Training (Barnardo’s)

Barnardo’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children across the UK through services, campaigning and research expertise. In Realising Ambition, it delivered LifeSkills Training (LST), a highly effective, evidence-based early intervention and prevention programme that reduces risk taking behaviour. LST has three core components: self-management skills which helps children with problem-solving, decision-making and how to regulate emotions; social competence where students learn how to communicate clearly, make friends and develop healthy relationships; and drug resistance training to help children develop strategies for resisting peer pressure.

Read the Barnardo’s case study (Welsh version)

This case study examines the many factors involved in replicating across different geographical areas.

8. Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (Ambition) 

Ambition is a membership organisation providing training, support and assistance with quality assurance to voluntary youth services within the United Kingdom. In Realising Ambition, the organisation delivered Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (Skills for Adolescence), an evidence-based programme operating in over 90 countries. Participants take part in workshops and a community project in order to attain good citizenship skills, core character values and social-emotional skills to reduce their likelihood of using drugs, alcohol and violence in the future. Realising Ambition funded the overall set-up and management of the programme by Ambition as well as its delivery by Ambition’s member organisations.

Read the Ambition case study

This case study highlights how important it is for an organisation to adapt their business model to account for external funding factors.

9. Multi-Systemic Therapy (Extern) 

Extern has almost 30 years of experience of working with the most vulnerable young people in Northern Ireland. In Realising Ambition the organisation delivered Multi Systemic Therapy, an intensive family and community-based model that focuses on the whole ecology of the child. MST has been effective in reducing out of home placements, retaining young people in school, decreasing drug and alcohol misuse, and improving family relationships.

Read the Extern case study (Welsh version)

This case study explores the importance of understanding the local context in which you are replicating. Following a number of inappropriate referrals, Extern put a significant amount of work into building relationships with local referral agencies and other stakeholders to ensure its service was reaching the right people.

10. PATHS Plus Programme (Barnardo’s)

Barnardo’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children across the UK through services, campaigning and research expertise. In Realising Ambition, it delivered PATHS® Plus, which combined a universal classroom-based programme (The PATHS® Programme for Schools) and a targeted small-group programme (Friendship Group). The PATHS® team trains and supports teachers to deliver the PATHS® programme, which focuses on social skills, emotion recognition and emotional well-being. Friendship Group was delivered by Barnardo’s staff to higher-risk children displaying emotional, behavioural or social problems.

Read the Barnardo’s case study

This case study shows how replicating programmes delivered simultaneously across all four UK nations requires robust management to embed them, ensure they are delivered with fidelity and sustain them.

11. Positive Assertive Confidence Skills (Kidscape)

Kidscape has been delivering high-quality training programmes and interventions for young people for over 32 years to safeguard children from exploitation, harming and bullying. Positive Assertive Confidence Skills (PACS) is a school-based, preventative intervention, identifying and targeting young people who exhibit aggressive or challenging behaviour with the potential to become perpetrators of bullying or criminal behaviour. In Realising Ambition, Kidscape developed a sub-contracting model to replicate and scale PACS. It supported three local authorities to establish delivery teams, providing training, resources and ongoing assistance for them to deliver the programme in schools.

Read the Kidscape case study (Welsh version)

This case study highlights the range of challenges that using external delivery partners can pose to organisations replicating with this model.

12. Realising Ambition (Shelter)

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through providing advice, support and legal services. Shelter’s service, also called Realising Ambition, supports children and their families deemed ‘intentionally homeless’ or at risk of becoming so due principally to antisocial behaviour. A three-tiered model delivers intensive support to stabilise root causes of problems, putting children on a path to avoiding offending and re-engaging in education and community life.

Read the Shelter case study

This case study explores why and how adaptations may need to be made to a service when replicating it in order to best meet local need.

13. Respect Young People’s Programme (Respect)

Respect is a national agency that tackles domestic abuse by providing expert advice, training, development support, phone lines and quality-assurance to improve the service delivery of other organisations. The Respect Young People’s Programme (RYPP) targets those who use aggressive or abusive behaviour in the family. It focuses on adolescent violence against parents, which is often a precursor to other forms of criminality and offending behaviour. RYPP consists of structured sessions with the young person, with parents or carers and whole-family sessions. Within Realising Ambition, Respect supported the delivery of the programme by external partners.

Read the Respect case study (Welsh version)

This case study highlights the large amount of investment required by developers to ensure that external partners deliver programmes with fidelity. It also demonstrates that delivery organisations can be vulnerable to external factors, like funding cuts, but delivery through multiple partners can offer solutions to this challenge.

14. Roots of Empathy (Action for Children)

Action for Children (AfC) supports and speaks out for the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK. In Realising Ambition the organisation delivered Roots of Empathy (RoE), in which a mother and baby regularly visit a classroom. Through observing the baby’s development, children learn to understand the baby’s needs and emotions and gain understanding of how to care for a baby safely. Each visit is preceded and followed by a session led by an instructor who helps prepare the children and reinforces learning through group discussions, artwork, maths, drama and writing. The programme significantly decreases children’s aggressive behaviour and increases their pro-social behaviour.

Read the Action for Children case study

This case study shows how important the context of delivery is for the sustainability of services, even with the most highly evidenced services.

15. Stepping Up (The Bridge Foundation)

The Bridge Foundation for Psychotherapy and the Arts (Bridge) has worked with children and parents in the most disadvantaged wards of Bristol for 20 years, providing support through qualified and experienced counsellors and therapists. In Realising Ambition, Bridge led Stepping Up, a programme which engaged vulnerable children before, during and after their transition from primary to secondary school. Stepping Up provided children with combinations of services that were chosen specifically to meet their individual needs. The services were delivered by a partnership of five local organisations consisting of: Creative Youth Network organising arts-based group activities; Empire Fighting Chance teaching non-contact boxing; Bristol Drugs Project mentoring children affected by parental or sibling substance misuse; Hawkspring running an environmentally focused summer camp for children affected by parental
or sibling substance misuse; and Bridge providing school-based counselling.

Read the Bridge Foundation case study

This case study shows that it is difficult to replicate a programme that offers combinations of services that are chosen specifically to meet each child’s interests and needs, meaning the service differs significantly from child to child. Successful replication depends on making all of the programme’s component services replication ready and adapting them to new contexts.

16. Strength 2 Strength (BANG Edutainment)

BANG Edutainment (BANG) has 16 years of experience delivering a wide range of creative and media-based diversionary projects for children and young people. In Realising Ambition, the organisation delivered Strength 2 Strength (S2S), a community-based intervention for young people and their families that builds protective factors and minimises risks which can encourage offending or anti-social behaviours amongst young people. The intervention works in safe environments to focus on the developmental needs of children and their families. The
intervention was developed and piloted in Northern Ireland and adapted significantly during BANG’s replication.

Read the BANG Edutainment case study (Welsh version)

This case study examines the great demands placed on organisations of honing interventions and how they can respond to these challenges.

17. Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK) (Oxford Brookes University)

Oxford Brookes University (OBU) is one of the UK’s leading modern universities. In Realising Ambition, the university delivered the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK), a seven-week, evidence-based programme to help families with young people to prepare for teenage years. The programme is aimed at reducing alcohol and substance misuse, behavioural problems in adolescence and strengthening the parent/carer-child relationship. The programme was developed in the USA and adapted by OBU. Using a sub-contract model, the university commissioned and managed three organisations to deliver the programme in different contexts: Lifeline with families who experience substance misuse; Dorset Youth Association with families living in rural areas; and Changing Lives with Muslim families.

Read the Oxford Brookes University case study (Welsh version)

This case study explores how developing a sub-contract model enables scale to be achieved, but this requires investment in the model’s management if a complex programme is to be delivered with fidelity.

18. The Co-operative Primary School (Success for All-UK)

Established in 1997, Success for All-UK (SfA) is a charity driven by the philosophy of co-operative learning, which focuses on individual pupil accountability, common goals across the school and recognition of group success. In Realising Ambition, it delivered The Co-operative Primary School (TCPS), a universal intervention that improves children’s achievement and diverts them from pathways into offending. Pupils work in small groups to help each other build reading skills, while teachers use strategies for social-emotional learning, classroom management, encouraging attendance and influencing behaviour.

Read the Success for All-UK case study

This case study highlights the need to ensure that organisational capacity and supporting infrastructure are sufficiently developed if services are to expand rapidly. It also demonstrates that services which do not rely on direct delivery may be scaled quickly.

Join the conversation 

What do you think about the perspective this case study offers on replication? Tweet us using #RealisingAmbition or email us to share your thoughts. @BigLotteryFund would also like you to tweet your thoughts on the programme, diverting young people from pathways into offending and funding socially responsible services.


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