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National Youth Agency report urges the deployment of youth workers on the streets to help prevent gang violence.

A new report has been released by the National Youth Agency advocating the use of ‘On Road’ youth workers to help reduce violence among young people.

The report outlines how an ‘On Road’ worker would have the flexibility to work with young people at evenings and weekends informally helping them to develop strategies with young people to keep them safe in violent communities and help divert them away from crime.

On Road workers would combine their youth work skills with an understanding of criminology, to support young people in communities affected by gang violence with the approach having the following key benefits:

Language and Behaviour – being able to understand the changing face of youth cultures and being able to adapt in any settings.

Dress Code - Understanding that clothing is symbolic and depending on the individuals/groups engaged, can be a barrier or used to gain access.

Having relevant knowledge (Agenda, Grassroots, Geography, History, Interventions and Boundaries).

Having real credibility.

Having Social Capital.

Gender – be able to recognise that gender roles are important when addressing young men or women that are victims/perpetrators of youth criminality

Legislation and Policies - Safeguarding and Risk Assessment – having an understanding of the importance of following and creating polices aimed at ensuring the safety of both the professional and young people.

Managing Conflict – having an acknowledgement that when working in environments that are violent or have been impacted by gangs, there could be significant community conflicts.

Read the full report here.