30/04/2020

‘On-road’ support workers are vital in preventing violence among young people

Youth crime is becoming more prevalent in our community; the number of primary school children in pupil referral units in England has more than doubled since 2011. With the cuts to schools and youth services, the younger generation is in search of stimulation and sadly, crime is one of the first options they stumble upon.

The national crisis is affecting communities across the country, and youth workers everywhere are keen to help stop the surge in youth crime. According to a recent report from the National Youth Agency, placing ‘on-road’ support workers for young people in communities affected by gang violence is vital to preventing violence among youngsters.

The ‘on-road’ approach refers to a less structured and informal practice of youth work which is particularly effective in engaging young people that live antisocial lifestyles or live in high-crime environments.

Report author Craig Pinkney, a criminologist and youth sector specialist urges youth workers to “work with young people on the frontline.” He highlights the importance of youth workers adopting the on-road method as a means to “engage with young people around the issues of gangs and violence in such spaces.”

Pinkney also notes that youth workers in this sector can safeguard their credibility within communities by ensuring they have an understanding of young people’s lives. This understanding can only come by immersing themselves into their environments, including their language, behaviour and dress code.

The National Youth Agency reports further comments on the need for more ‘on-road’ professionals stating, “those in this specialist role are able to forge relationships with young people by gaining their acceptance, approval and permission.”

Are you interested in a career working with youths and communities?

Making a difference in the youth of the day only benefits society in the future. The University of Bolton offers a range of studies focusing on this industry, giving you the skills and knowledge needed to help others. Browse our courses for more information.

 

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