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Effective Interventions Unit - Working with young people: A profile of projects funded by the Partnership Drugs Initiative

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Working with young people: A profile of projects funded by the Partnership Drugs Initiative

West Lothian Youth Action Project
  • Project aims and objectives

The project delivers a detached drug and alcohol information service to young people aged 10-20 years. It offers information and support around drug and alcohol and related issues such as sexual health and, where appropriate, refers clients to other services provided by the wider project and to other agencies.

  • Project start date

January 2002

  • Staffing

The street work project is managed by the Street Work Co-ordinator, who, in turn, is managed by the Co-ordinator of the 'host' agency. A management committee, comprising financial trustees and advisors from a wide range of other agencies, oversees the work of the entire project. A team of sessional workers, some working full time, have become involved in street work at varying times over the course of the project's life.

  • Geographical coverage

The project works in six different locations at any one time. These include:

  • Broxburn.

  • Bridgend.

  • Bathgate.

  • Blackburn.

  • Boghall.

  • Whitburn.

They use a converted minibus to travel to these areas on a regular basis and at pre-arranged times to make contacts and provide a place to meet young people. The areas are prioritised on the basis of an area assessment and local intelligence from police and housing services.

  • Setting for project work

The project works primarily with young people at street level.

  • Characteristics of client group

Young people at risk of substance misuse.

  • Client profile

The project aims to make contact with young people aged 12-20. In practice, it rarely works with under 14s and sometimes continues to support young people into their early twenties. For year 1 of the project, 1,500 young people were in contact with the agency.

The gender profile of the clients is as follows:-

Male

840

Female

660

For year 2 so far, from 1 April 2003 to 30 September 2003, 1,222 individuals have been in contact with the project.

The gender profile of the clients is as follows:-

Male

839

Female

379

Unknown

4

  • Client assessment and data collection

The project is currently looking at a range of computer based systems such as ASSET, SCAT and QUAD. They tend not to do structured assessments - they have used QUAD as a means of structuring their data collection. They also use manual recording sheets and seek feedback from young people themselves.

  • Intervention details

The project uses a converted minibus to make contact with young people in their local areas. The project team offers information and support around drug and alcohol and related issues such as sexual health and where appropriate they refer clients to other services provided by the wider project and to other agencies. They also organise diversionary activities such as football matches and encourage young people to play a role in defining, developing and managing local services.

  • Referrals

Clients are recruited by engaging them in conversation on the street.