The SOS+ Service delivers a series of intensive weekly preventative sessions to children and young people identified as being at increased risk of being exploited and drawn into gangs, county lines and serious youth violence. The overarching aim is to ensure that children and young people increase their knowledge and understanding of all aspects of this lifestyle, are equipped to think critically, are able to assess risk and make better life choices.
Our extended sessions are tailored for smaller groups of up to 10 learners - taking the content of our assembly session and delving deeper into each of the outcomes. They are typically delivered on a basis of one-hour-per-week over a period of five to six weeks, allowing the facilitator the opportunity to work more intensively with each of the learners in the group.
The objectives of the assembly sessions are to ensure that children and young people have improved understanding of all aspects of gang involvement, exploitation and violence including:
- Push and pull factors; consequences and realities; the glamorising role of social media, music; popular youth culture, stereotypes, negative role models; how and where to get help.
- Improved engagement, attendance and attainment at school: entry into education, training and employment.
The resulting mind set shift and confidence makes them more resilient to the risks of becoming involved in gangs, exploitation and violence through:
- Improved thinking skills - more able to challenge and question, assess risk and employ critical thinking skills.
- Improved social skills - more able to withstand peer pressure, resolve conflicts, ask for help and form positive relationships with peers, parents and authority figures.
- Improved mental wellbeing - better sense of responsibility, maturity, self-worth, hope, positive self-identity.
- Being more emotionally resilient and better able to understand triggers.
Our extended sessions are specifically tailored to be age appropriate and trauma -informed, with programmes for Secondary schools, Pupil Referral Units and Alternative Education Providers.
Some of the topics that may be covered in the extended sessions include:
- Grooming and exploitation
- County lines
- Involvement in gangs
- Serious youth violence and knife crime
- Realities of prison