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Multi-agency Approaches to youth ‘at risk’. Holly Harris Dept. of Social Work, Community & Mental Health CCCU Framework. The ‘science of risk’.

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multi agency approaches to youth at risk

Multi-agency Approaches to youth ‘at risk’

Holly Harris

Dept. of Social Work, Community & Mental Health


the science of risk
The ‘science of risk’

“authorises researchers & practitioners as expert speakers about homeless youth at the same time as it delegitimates young people as speakers and active subjects capable of framing problems in different ways”.

Bessant, J. (2001) Journal of Criminal Justice 29 (31-43)

east kent homelessness strategy 2003 2007
East Kent Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007
  • Multi-agency working towards:
    • Prevention of Youth Homelessness

“This strategy recognizes the importance of working with young people to meet their housing & support needs before they become enmeshed in homelessness & rough sleeping lifestyles”. (East Kent Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007)

why partnerships quality
Why Partnerships = Quality
  • Prevention through a ‘seamless’ service network
  • Cost effective in a service market
  • Progressive ideals
east kent initiatives
East Kent Initiatives
  • Advice Services
    • Specialist support
    • Gateway (referrals) to housing support
  • Supported Housing Projects
    • Key working
    • Risk assessed
a service perspective
A Service Perspective

challenges for a multi-agency approach

  • access
  • dependency
  • How young homeless people find the services they need - usually peer-suggested
  • ‘Out of hours’ issues for accessing services
  • Planning with agencies; users should be aware of the boundaries of agencies
  • Gaps between child-adult services - learning disabilities, mental health
  • How young people can be inspired and helped to move on
  • Mentoring or key worker
  • Issues about dependency – break away from ‘being rescued’ provide services, not dependency
“The difficulty for many social workers and social work commentators is that the mix may have swung more away from the casework or counselling role involving direct work with clients to one in which there is less and less such direct involvement. Social workers may have become more social care managers, risk assessors and controlling or surveillance agents”

The Role of the Social Worker in the 21st Century: A Literature Review (2005)

young people s perspective
Young people’s perspective

‘Homelessness cannot be prevented but the situation can be made easier’

young people s perspective12
Young people’s perspective
  • Easy, accessible information
  • More support groups (like Rainer Kent Housing)
  • Teachers need a better understanding of young people
  • More free & secure homeless shelters just for young people
  • 24 hour drop-in centre with all services
    • Advice
    • Counseling
    • Health & Sexual Health
    • Doctors
    • Teachers etc.
  • Schemes to give you encouragement to move on
  • Services are increasingly dependent on risk technologies to respond to the needs of homeless young people
  • Multi-agency working has increased the skills pool of services but it has diluted intensive social work
  • Risk management excludes those ‘at greatest risk’