Introducing the TRM website…

I’m delighted to introduce you to a new website – www.TraumaRecoveryModel.com 

Myself and my colleague, Dr Tricia Skuse, have finally set up an online place for our model, The TRM.

TRM diagram - white with text large@2x

For those of you who work with troubled young people, in whatever field, this is for you…

To visit the site click here. There’s space for you to enter your email if you want to subscribe for future updates.

Enjoy!

"Jonny" signature...

 

Risk? What risk?…

“Risk” is one of those words. It gets used a lot. Often without much explanation.

Risks ahead - signpost...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/DNY59

Children and young people are often spoken of as being “at risk,” or as “posing risks” to others.

But what do we mean by these terms?

What is “risk?”

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Harmful sexual behaviour in adolescents – key books…

When I meet someone who’s an expert in their field, I often ask this question: “What single book would you recommend to someone who wants an overview of this subject?”

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Sashkinw

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Sashkinw

Occasionally-when there are no experts available!-I’m asked the same question. One of the subjects that crops up more than most is harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) in children and young people…

Good reading on HSB…

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Speech, language & communication problems in youth justice…

Many young people in the youth justice system have speech, language and communication problems. To help them, we need to discover which ones have and which ones haven’t. That’s where “The Box” comes in…

The Box

Image ©RCSLT

This is a guest post by Dr. Aprilmay Kitchener of Siarad Da – supporting professionals to improve their understanding and skills to better manage people with challenging behaviour and social communication difficulties and disabilities.

“The Box” – help or hinderance?…

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Jacob Dowdle’s custard pie…

Photo courtesy ©iStockphoto

Photo courtesy ©iStockphoto/Willsie

I’ve just heard the story of Jacob Dowdle’s expulsion from Altrincham Grammar School.

It made me angry. Angry in an incredulous kind of way.

Why? Because the story went on to explain that he had been arrested, charged with common assault and expelled from school.

His offence – pushing a custard pie into the face of a teacher, as a prank on the last day of school. Then I laughed!

Why charging and expulsion was the completely wrong response…

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Custody for kids: good & bad. Part 2…

Prison gates

Photo ©Jonny Matthew

In our last post on this subject, we looked at some of the system problems currently at play in the world of youth justice.

Specifically in the kind of secure provision for children who end up in custody.

We showed that closing beds in secure children’s homes is counter-productive. And that building a massive secure college makes no sense and has now, thankfully, been abandoned.

So what next?

A closer look at what the children’s custodial system must do if it is to succeed in its mission…

How to reduce re-offending by children leaving custody…

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Custody for kids: good and bad. Part 1…

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Nigel Spooner

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/Nigel Spooner

The latest youth justice statistics present both good and bad news.

Numbers in custody are down. But instances of restraint and self-harm have increased.

In these austere times, and in any other times, fewer kids in prison is a good thing. But each young person is a lot more than a unit cost to the state. They’re not “prisoners”, they’re not “inmates”; they’re not even “young offenders.”

They are children first, offenders second.

There are some lessons the government and the secure estate need to learn in order to better serve young people.

Lessons for the secure estate…

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In prison and in distress…

Image - girl worries

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/VeryOlive

Custody is a tough place to be. I guess some sections of the public may think that’s a good thing.

After all, prison is about punishment, right? Mmm.

A recent inspection report into Eastwood Park prison near Bristol highlighted the issue of self-harm.

So may be we should “listen” to the behaviour of those in custody before we make that judgment…

What behaviour tells us…

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Child first, offender second…

Why it matters...

Boy in handcuffs upset...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/AlexRaths

Having worked with “young offenders” for well over 20 years, I have one unshakeable conviction:

They are “young” first, and “offenders” second.

Why does this matter?

Because who we‘re dealing with, will impact on how we deal with them.

As those who work to aid recovery in troubled young people, how we view them is key to everything else we do…

Why does “child first, offender second”, matter?

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Gang membership & mental health…

“It’s a thug’s life!”

So said one of the lads I worked with in youth justice, when I asked about the violence he’d seen, suffered and taken part in.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Aestusx

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/Aestusx

Gang membership was part of the problem. We spent the next two years working to help him through it.

A recent study from Queen Mary, University of London has shown unprecedented levels of psychiatric illness among young men in gangs.

Here’s what they found…

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Troubled youth: re-writing the ending…

Once upon a time...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/CharlieAJA

One of the highlights of my week is watching a film with my son on the weekend. It’s great!

But every now and again, it isn’t. The film is predictable – we know what’s likely to happen next and can guess the end.

It struck me recently that working with troubled young people can be similar to this. But in a good way – we have a chance to change the ending, to make it unpredictable.

Many people (the press, Joe Public) respond to them by assuming that the end is set in stone. That these kids are destined to fail.

But it doesn’t have to be like that…

Re-writing the ending…

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