PROMOTING YOUNG PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AND ACCESS TO SERVICES
When we consider making changes to society and for BAME communities as a whole, it is vital that we consider individual and marginalised groups. It is crucial that we understand that it is only through promoting young people’s rights and access to services that we can change the reality both in the here and now, and in the future.
Central to this is a need to understand the problems and concerns faced by young people in today’s BAME communities.
Let’s shape the future through our support today.
Understanding young people’s rights and access to services
At Diversity Living Services we are concerned with increasing opportunities and reducing barriers so that BAME communities can be equal within UK society. This will only be possible when we make concerted efforts to understand and change how young people within BAME communities experience society, from educational opportunities and employment through to violence, their experience of the justice system and social support.
It is our responsibility to enable the next generation to take steps towards a fairer and more equal future where they can realise their potential.
Why do young people matter?
It is our young people that have the power to shape and change the future. The current reality for BAME communities is a landscape of inequality, exclusion and lack of knowledge. Whilst improvements in society have been made, we want to pick up the momentum and ensure a fairer society for all. To do this we need to look to the next generation.
We need to be on the side of our young people, helping raise awareness amongst them of their rights and opportunities. This will help them to take the steps towards contribution and autonomy.
Let’s start as we mean to go on.
The reality for BAME young people today
This aspect of our work is of paramount importance. Society today hinders our young people and places barriers in their way. Over time BAME young people experience inequality, reduced opportunities and increasingly poorer outcomes.
The data is concerning:
• Two-thirds of knife offenders are black or minority ethic . Black people are three times more likely to be arrested than white people . The Met Office use their Stop and Search powers more on young black people than any others .
• One in four black teenage boys convicted of homicide were given maximum jail sentences. Conversely no white teenager was sentenced to more than 10 years . Non-white ethnic groups are over-represented at most stages throughout the Criminal Justice System (CJS) .
• The unemployment rate of 16-24 non-whites is considerably higher than for the same age group of white individuals .
• “BME communities are over-concentrated in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Britain’s cities.”
• BME households are more likely than white ones to experience “housing stress such as overcrowding, poorer quality housing and fuel poverty.”
We need to do more so that young BAME people can reach maturity in an environment that promotes their wellbeing and equality. We need to tackle the complex issues of ‘black on black’ violence whilst simultaneously ensuring BAME young people experience a fairer Criminal Justice System.
Alongside this we need to continue to ensure that our young people benefit from equality of opportunity in terms of education. Society wide complex issues, which affect the educational attainments of BAME youth, must be addressed. We need to look at how education and upbringing in turn meets another layer of complexity in terms of careers advice and employment opportunities.
Our BAME young people matter to us all.
We cannot shy away from the reality that addressing the issues facing BAME young people is immensely complex. However, we aim to make tangible differences so that the future of BAME communities are not characterised by the same disparities we see today.
We aim to help, support and advise young BAME people particularly within the areas of:
• Youth violence
• Education, careers and opportunities
• Access to housing and reducing homelessness
• Social support
• The Criminal Justice System
To support our aims of improving the lives and outcomes of BAME young people we undertake a range of different actions including:
• Supporting young people and families: Promoting discussion and strategies to tackle youth violence and crime.
• Providing information and advice: Through improving access to information regarding careers and educational opportunities, we strive to enable every BAME young person to meet their potential. We inspire and help ignite aspirations.
• Support in employment: We help young people enter the world of employment positively and with equal rights.
• Support in social care and housing: We provide advice and guidance to BAME young people and their families to enable them to access services in social care and housing, and as such reduce the racial disparity in homelessness. Our advice services including housing and tenancy advice and support.
• Guidance and prevention: We help BAME youths within the Criminal Justice System to experience fairness and equality, whilst also working to prevent young people being involved in crime and entering the Youth Justice System. Part of this work is to tackle gangs and reduce reoffending.
• Listening, involving and advocating: We listen to and involve young people in various programmes to help them become valuable members of society as well as giving them a voice in the area they live in and issues which affect them.
• Provide knowledge: We educate children and young people to keep themselves safe in their communities. We also help to educate parents and families on the services available to them, as well as helping them to understand the issues surrounding crime in their community.
• Take early action: We will strive to take action at the earliest opportunity to support vulnerable young people.
Due to the complexity of the issues concerning young people’s rights and access to services we target some services at specific communities and sub-sections of those communities. We strive to provide support, advice and services through culturally appropriate ways using skilled services. We also work in a personalised way, seeking to support the individual in the way they need.
Our goals and aims are ambitious. We want to reduce negative outcomes such as homelessness, becoming victims of crime or entering the CJS. We also want to increase the opportunities, particularly in employment, for young people. We can only do this through enormous effort.
We will bring strength to our young people to help them build a better future.
Along with ambitious aims we have ambitious expected outcomes for our young people’s programme. We will work to see:
• Futures not failures: We expect to see young people supported to make the most of education and access suitable and sustainable employment alongside exiting offending lifestyles.
• Support not criticism: We will see, through counselling, guidance and support, a therapeutic approach towards supporting our young people rather than stigmatising them and determining their future to be both fixed and negative.
• Inclusion not exclusion: We will see evidence of our success through reducing the number of children and young people excluded from school, as well as increasing the numbers in employment or training.
• Safety not crime: Reducing the number of BAME youth offenders and perpetrators of violent crimes.
• Choice not limitations: Working with families we will open the doors of opportunity through information and advice, enabling them to feel empowered in their communities.
• Futures not backgrounds: We will see young people with exciting and sustainable futures where they are safe, fulfilled and independent.
Diversity Living Services is accredited to UN in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Diversity Living Services is a registered Company and Charity (England and Wales) Registered Company No: 4459816 * Registered Charity No: 1098916