Being a parent, carer or guardian can be difficult, we often worry about our children and sometimes wonder if there is more we can do to support them. Unfortunately, youth violence affects all of us in some way shape or form regardless of whether your child is a victim or a perpetrator.
If your child is involved in a gang they may be scared and not want to talk about it. It is important that they know you want to listen and support them. Make sure they know they have a choice.
Stay calm. Ask questions, but listen too. Don’t be afraid of confrontation, but try not to approach them with anger and accusations.
Try to understand the situation from their point of view and why they have joined the gang. Ask them what you can do to help. Try to agree about what they should do next. Work with them to find solutions and choices.
Here at Beds VERU we provide support for all people affected by youth violence. Contact us if you need more help and support, or please see below for some further helpful resources. Click on the images to access further information about each service.
Link to Change provide support programmes and training to young people and professionals. Their projects provide 1-2-1 support, outreach work and targeted group work programmes.
From initial risk assessment and referral processes, they assess the children and young people using a contextual safeguarding framework, which is recognised as one of the most current and effective approaches.
FACES is an organisation that works in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. The majority of their services are delivered by trained volunteers, who visit a family in their own home to offer both practical and emotional support for issues such as
domestic abuse, support for young people and families experiencing child sexual exploitation, help with pregnancy and infants, support with parenting issues, depression, isolation and victim support.
FACES is a Luton based Christian and Muslim partnership that’s been working to strengthen resilience in faith communities and enhance child sexual exploitation awareness since 2016. They focus on training, running youth
workshops and challenging damaging messages surrounding child sexual exploitation.
Whether it is you, a partner, friend, relative or colleague who has been the subject of a crime, Signpost for Bedfordshire is the way for you to find the help that meets your specific needs. The Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to anyone affected by crime whether it has been reported to the police or not.
Youth offending services (YOS) also provide support to affected parents. In Bedfordshire YOS is split into two agencies, one covers Luton and the other covers Bedford and Central Bedfordshire. Click on the respective links for more information.
There are three main drug and alcohol services in Bedfordshire: ResoLUTiONs Luton is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults, young people and families. P2R Bedford and Central provides drug and
alcohol advice, treatment and support to adults whose lives are affected, support can include the whole family. Aquarius supports anyone under 18 in Bedford and Central that is affected by substance misuse.
The NHS provides help to children and to the wider family, including those with living with foster parents, adopted children and young people living in children’s homes. The service may see children and adolescents on their own, with their parents or with their family, and may also see parents on their own.
Youthscape’s local to Luton team are dedicated to serving the emotional, social and spiritual development of all young people in our schools, churches and local community. They
provide diverse services supporting youth work across the UK. You can explore their national training courses, which cater to both professionals and youth workers, currently covering issues like self-harm, anxiety and emotional wellbeing.
CHUMS’ services wherever possible support the family as a whole as sometimes, everyone in the family needs a little help, not just the child who has been referred. All its group workshops support parent/carers as well as their children. Some of their current service delivery is also directly accessible to adults. CHUMS currently delivers nine services across Bedfordshire, Luton, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough although not all services are available in all four regions
You might be a parent worried about your child’s behaviour or how a divorce may impact on your family. You might be part of step-famil and need help adjusting, or you may be arguing with parents or siblings and need support communicating with each other. Regardless – Relate is here and available to help you.
The Children’s Society empower young people to make positive changes and rediscover their hope. They want a future they can look forward to and the Children’s Society is here to make sure they get it. Working alongside young people, their families and community, they will not rest until together, step-by-step, we’ve created a society built for all
CRIMINAL EXPLOITATION AND GANGS
NSPCC advice about how to spot the signs of criminal exploitation and involvement in gangs and what support is available for children and young people.
Anti knife crime campaign
The Ben Kinsella Trust campaigns against knife crime and educates young people about its dangers, helping them make positive choices to stay safe.
Youth Violence Intervention Programme
Redthread is an organisation that supports young people to lead healthy, safe and happy lives.
Information Against Exploitation project
Our friends at Bedfordshire housing association Mary Seacole worked with young people to come up with a really useful and easy to understand to guide on all different forms of exploitation, as well as where to get help locally.
mental health information for parents, carers & Guardians
Mental health charity MIND provides information if you are worried about a young person's mental health, supporting a young person who's living with a mental health problem or looking for support for yourself.
Advice for parents on gangs and knife crime
Parent Info has published a comprehensive guide around the signs to spot, how to approach these subjects with your children and how you can seek further help and support.