A&E youth workers help thousands of children to keep safe from violence - The Solihull Observer

A&E youth workers help thousands of children to keep safe from violence

Solihull Editorial 2nd Mar, 2024   0

THOUSANDS of children and young people have been offered a help to keep themselves safe from violence by trained youth workers placed in hospitals across the region.

The specialists have been located at Accident and Emergency units across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley and Wolverhampton providing support those admitted with violence related injuries; some of which are life threatening.

At this point, the youth workers aim to guide children and young people out of violent situations when they are potentially at their most vulnerable.

They provide one-to-one support, mentoring, and other practical help based on what the child or young person needs.

This is followed up by the offer of continued support, including for their families.

The project has supported 388 young people in Coventry and Wolverhampton, 466 in Dudley and a further 1,622 in Birmingham.

These children and young people were admitted with injuries relating to assault, sexual violence, domestic abuse, mental health related violence, vehicle related injuries, to name just a few. The youngest child supported was just nine years old.

These projects have been funded by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership (WMVRP) and Community Safety Partnerships since 2019, the year the VRP launched.

It is delivered by St Giles in Coventry, Dudley and Wolverhampton and by Redthread in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said: “Many young people will not go to the police after being involved in violence, but are likely to go to the hospital. This is a key moment, where they can access support.

“Our youth workers are there to provide bespoke support for young people when they need it most, when they are likely to be feeling incredibly isolated and vulnerable. These are key moments when, with the right support, they can be diverted away from a life of violence.”

The WMVRP is a multi-agency unit that includes local authorities, education, health, youth, faith and community groups as well as the police, and was launched in late 2019 to help organisations work together effectively to tackle the root causes of violence.


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