Interview With these children. So what is early intervention look…

Hands joining together

Interview
With these children. So what is early intervention look like? Stephen Boxer is with the Graeme Dingle Foundation, is worked with youth offenders, has helped transform the lives of many rangatahi as young as eight years old. Welcome, Steven. Thanks very much for being with us this morning. And practical terms, what is the early intervention with young offenders mean? Explain what it might mean day to day for a young person and their family. Madina. Yeah. So it means having the right people with the right level of training, delivering our programme that is responsive and relevant. Now, all of the programmes on the Graeme Dingle Foundation are researched and proven to work now for our youth offenders programme, which is called Mind Engagement, is face to face up to 20 hours a week, so it’s intensive specially trained youth workers. They operate with groups of one to three. So very targeted, very intensive, and we start our day with a bit of exercise of movement, playing a bit of basketball with the local park, exercising at the gym, going for a walk. And what this does is help detox the system, wake up the body and really prepares the brain to start learning. Now, a big part of our programme is teaching certain life skills modules. Now we have 11 total and each group will vary dependent on what the priority is for them, so they could be learning how to avoid negative peer pressure and gang associations, well, the negative impacts of alcohol and methamphetamine. But everyone learns about the stars. This is the Stop Think Act reflect. So what cognitive, behavioural therapy tool that we’ve developed, which has been proven to be a very effective and steering young people away from making poor decisions, which does lead to crime? What’s your the afternoon? Sorry, go ahead. And I’m intrigued on him more. I’m just going to say just, you know, painting their picture. So the afternoon may be another life skills session or an activity to allow the youth work to provide some situational or targeted mentoring. Now, while this is happening, this work going on behind the scenes, working with the farmer and working with the family to coordinate other support services. So it does take a lot of patience and a lot of level of professionalism to be part of those on the front line. What’s your success rate like? Because we’re seeing or hearing a lot more about youth offenders now and this kind of spike in ram raids and joy rides and stolen cars? So what’s your hit rate? Why aren’t we able to get to more kids and make this programme work? Well, I’ve been doing this work for 25 years and specialising in the youth justice arena for the last 21, so we’ve been around a long time. And you know, there is never a shortage of work that we need to be able to do, but it always comes down to resourcing always comes down to getting those programmes that are selected who know what they’re doing as well. Yeah. So how much more do you need and where does it need to come from? Hmm. Well, if we’re working at the youth offending area or that end now, that’s one end of the scale. We need to be driving it back the other way. So we need to be looking at those early intervention, those prevention programmes No, I developed another programme called CBT, which works with eight to 12 year olds. So back in 2010, I became really disheartened and seeing the same family names coming through our youth offenders programme. So I did a hacker and asked the question Why are we waiting until they turn 15 or 16 before we get involved and try to undo all the negative things they now? Think is okay and normal? So about 95 per cent of those young people we see on our youth the Finnish programme have dropped out of education by Intermedia School, so 11 a 12 years old, but that starts much earlier. Now, once this happens, they start looking for other peer groups like them. So usually their older siblings or associates that are offending or part of a neighbourhood gang And what are some of the misconceptions even about these kids that are addressed, particularly these younger ones that you’ve been working with and their Kiwi target programme? Well, they misunderstood and often not heard. Now they live in survival mode a lot of the time because of what is going on in their home. They often do not have any positive role models and not learning the tools they need to develop and grow. They become stereotypes is often being a problem or marginalised and just forgotten. But unfortunately, the gangs pick up on this and they create a recruitment ground for the next generation And you’ve worked in this field for a long time saving. You’ve seen that transformation. What’s that? I mean, you’ve talked about resourcing, but just help me with something that we can take to the government that we can push on the show. One tangible thing that we need to help people like you get that early intervention to young and New Zealanders before they end up driving cars, stolen cars through shop windows. Well, you know what? The sector needs to be brave. It needs to have the courage to invest early, but invest in research driven, proven, sustainable, incredible organisations like the Graeme Dingle Foundation. This is about investment to run the marathon, not to run the sprint So we’ve been we’ve trialled extensively in Counties Manukau since 2015. We’re ready to scale it up and we’re ready to expand it to other regions, but it can only happen if we can find the funding and resource to support it. Now, do we really want to live in a country that resides the fate of our children to the justice system? And I’ve always said if you have the ability to help others, then you have a moral obligation to do just that. Awesome. Hey, thank you so much for your time. Stephen Boxer from the Graeme Dingle Foundation and thank you very much for your mahi as well, Stephen. It is nine minutes past eight Tova O’Brien today. If him and I mean, you heard it there, we’ve heard the stories tot turned criminals ram raiding storefronts, looting malls, kids as young as seven, putting shop owners on edge. We’ve been talking to people like Steven to try and find solution, and today we’re also talking to a charitable talking about a charitable trust that is chipping away at a wave of youth crime, one school at a time, providing low life coaching to all children at an Upper Hutt primary school, with hopes that the mentorship can expand country wide, Jade Nicholas was staring down a bad path until she became one of the first students to join the I Have a Dream programme in 2003. Welcome, Jade. Thank you very much for joining us. Could you start by telling me about your circumstances before you entered the programme? together? Good morning. Thanks for having me So I can actually remember that file, to be honest. But your life before the programme, you just blanked it. I’m sorry. Actually, I don’t want I love the pretty good life. I had a very I have a very big family, very supportive parents. I don’t feel like I was really missing out on much before the programme. So yeah, but I definitely think that the programme added to my life and a lot of ways. So, yeah, so how did it add to your life I think it just gave me opportunities that maybe my parents couldn’t have given me themselves such as, you know, meeting a lot of new people and going to a lot of places. We did a lot of activities, a lot of camps, things, yeah, things like that. And do you think it kind of materially changed your life? Do you have any thoughts about where you might be now if it wasn’t for that mentorship I definitely think my life would have been different in some ways. It just allowed not only myself, but a lot of others to aspire to, be more and to do more and to get out there. And yeah, really push ourselves Yeah, and you’re doing mentorship now as well, supporting children. How tough is it for you to see these recent media reports emerging? All of these, kids that have slipped through the cracks Well, it is hard. knowing that I didn’t. I had, you know, a lot of opportunities growing up with the programme. So I think if we had more of these programmes, that would definitely help a lot of

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