How We WorkSAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime arose out of a concern for young people who have been victimised through crime or severe bullying.
SAFE! provides direct support to young people aged 8 to 18 (up to 25 for those wht additional needs) in the Thames Valley who have become victims of crime. Self-employed Project Workers offer up to 6 sessions of individual targeted support to young people at a place they choose (typically at home, school or youth/ community centre), using protective behaviours and restorative approaches to aid them in their recovery.
Protective Behaviours is a practical and down to earth approach to personal safety. It is based upon two premises; 'we all have a right to feel safe all the time' and 'there is nothing so awful or small that we can't talk about it with someone.' Protective Behaviours originated in the 1970's when it was noticed that many young people lack the skills to protect themselves from abuse - physical, sexual or emotional - and may suffer in silence rather than seek help. Protective Behaviours offers young people strategies for regaining their confidence and staying safe. It helps them to identify and draw upon their support networks, respond positively to challenges and take appropriate risks so that they can lead adventurous and enjoyable lives. You can read more on the Protective Behaviours Consortium website.
Restorative justice offers a creative approach for addressing the harm caused by crime and conflict. Restorative justice is founded upon a set of principles and values that underpin all aspects of the work of SAFE! Any involvement by young people in SAFE! is voluntary. SAFE! aims to be inclusive, offering support based upon individual need and circumstances. SAFE! is impartial and avoids taking sides, and will work with any young person - including those who cause harm - recognising that many young people who commit crime have themselves been victimised. Most young people value help from an adult who will listen respectfully, be honest and consistent, and have faith that the young person can find the strength within to move forward in their recovery. The restorative approach is non-judgmental, and where appropriate it can offer a safe process for addressing harm through communication between the young person referred to SAFE! and the person or people who harmed them. In some situations a carefully facilitated restorative conversation may be the only way for the young person to receive answers to burning questions that may be haunting them - why did this happen? Why me? Will it happen again? You can read more on the Restorative Justice Council's website.