Entry to Juconi Programme
Objective: To ensure that the most excluded children from violent families are included in our services.
What are the key elements of practice?
What we do and why:
Prepare a clear profile of the children we are targeting and clear target indicators. Many children facing poverty and social exclusion will benefit from access to services provided by this strategy. However, the majority of these children could be supported through other, less intensive approaches. It is only the most excluded, for whom no other approach provides a sustainable solution, who require the level of attention outlined in this two-triangle framework. Therefore, it is important that we have clear entry criteria, such as:
- Repeated violent and aggressive behaviour which might include self-harm.
- Resistance to participation in services on offer, or a history of dropping out of government and NGO programmes.
- Involvement in situations and behaviour which increase risk exposure to unacceptable levels – e.g. living on the streets or engagement in the most risky forms of street work, involvement in criminal activities, gangs, substance abuse and/or high risk sexual behaviour.
- Disturbed relationships and roles.
Maintain good links with other service providers (government and NGO) to allow referrals into Juconi of appropriate children, and referrals out of Juconi for children we have contacted who are not part of our target population but are still in need of some form of support.
Ensure that safety plans are created with each family member so that those at risk have an immediate way to get help and protection if this becomes necessary, and so that risks of repeated physical or sexual violence are ameliorated while more therapeutic approaches are followed.
Ensure policies and procedures remain in place so that staff members know when and how to take immediate action to protect a child, if necessary, and to deal with any life-critical basic needs (shelter, immediate health care needs). It is important to be aware of danger to children when working with those who live in violent families. Therapeutic interventions which seek to change the nature of interactions must always be viewed within an overall child protection framework. The therapeutic approach sits alongside the development and close monitoring of individual and family safety plans.
- Observation of the child in the place of contact, e.g. street, juvenile detention centre.
- Interaction with the child through games, conversations, art activities, etc.
- Observation of family relationships and interactions during home visits.