Holistic and young person centred approach to NEET prevention
Merton’s My Futures Team tell Young Merton Together about their approach to supporting vulnerable young people to secure positive futures:
The My Futures team supports young people aged 14-19 in the borough who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or who are at risk of becoming NEET. We support young people holistically, aiming to understand their individual needs and circumstances in order to provide the right support to unlock their potential. The young person’s views and ideas are at the centre of our work as this will maximise their potential for engagement and the achievement of positive outcome.
The young people that we work with often have poor mental health including anxiety, school phobia, behaviour problems and severe depression, have experienced neglect, have Special Education Needs and Disabilities, are involved in offending behaviour, have low school or college attendance or have been or are excluded from school or college.
Owing to this complexity and range of need we offer young people a range of support options including one to one and group work sessions and a summer holiday programme of activities and new opportunities aimed at inspiring, educating and building connections with support workers and peers - out of the 27 young people who attended during the 2019 summer programme, only one young person did not have an Education, Training or Employment destination for September 2019.
We use a variety of tools to support each young person, including the signs of safety model to measure the risk around each case and the wider family, and genograms to explore the underlying reasons behind disengagement. This runs alongside the planning and implementation of sustained long term placements into education, training and employment.
Follow this link to find out how ‘ Sandra’ who had been NEET for six months, was supported by the team to tackle the anxiety and low mood which prevented her from engaging in further education. She has now been in college since September and has a part time job.
Our team is based in secondary schools across the borough and in the community, and includes a SEN and disabilities specialist keyworker, a Youth Offending Team specialist keyworker and a counsellor. We identify those in need of support through a tracking process and via referrals from staff and partners across the borough, including schools, who work with children and young people.
In addition we work in partnership with Merton’s Towards Employment programme which links young people with work, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and London Universities widening Participations teams, running workshops to break down the barriers for disadvantaged young people gaining access to University.
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