With more news reports coming out every day detailing the practices within our society of detaining vulnerable children in police custody, I have to say more and more of us are having serious concerns about the world we live in and the damage that is been caused to these individuals.
In 2013 it was reported there had been 305 cases of detention by the police under section 136 and yet there were funds available to help them be correctly treated in the appropriate environment. Just this weekend BBC World This Weekend reported that the numbers of ‘children’ with mental health problems had hardly changed in three years despite government initiatives to reduce them.
Children as young as ten have been detained, while many 17 year olds are detained for longer than 24 hours. This is frightening, degrading and reflects so badly on the whole of society. These young people are among the most vulnerable in society and need the correct support, care and treatment rather than be treated like criminals.
We support many young people who have been scared, vulnerable and have been badly let down by society or individuals they had trusted, they need support and encouragement to turn their lives around. Often they have come into contact with the police as a result of fear, doing things that appear to pose a risk. With the correct diagnosis, care and support from us they respond positively and are no longer a threat to anyone.
Our practice is to work with them to discover how they would like to live their lives and through our uStep therapeutic model of support, enabling them to become positive, productive and contribute independently as members of society in their local communities.
What concerns us is that £25million of Government money is available to help these vulnerable people, yet it seems somewhat luck of the draw in how this money is effectively used. Some local authorities use the money to help quickly identify vulnerable young people who are picked up by the police, they have them correctly treated and ensure their safety quickly, while others seem to ignore that the problem exists.
While our model helps vulnerable young people achieve independent lives, and demonstrates positive improvements to them within weeks, it also saves society money. Our consumers flourish with their care and support reducing therefore costs are reduced making it best buy best value, it is a win win situation for all those concerned. It is time that we stopped criminalizing vulnerable young people and treated them as they should be, so they can become as they would like to be.