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Project supports vulnerable young people with complex needs

A project supporting young people with complex social, emotional and behavioural needs has benefitted from £280,000 funding from the Scottish government.

Child and youth care charity Kibble has supported more than 270 children and young people since it was established in 2013. Kibble provides a multi-disciplinary approach to 12-18 year olds who present a serious risk of harm to themselves or others through their Interventions for Vulnerable Youth project (IVY).

Depressed Boy Studying At Home

Children’s Minister Clare Haughey said: “It is vital that children and young people with such complex needs get the support they need. I am pleased that we have committed to funding IVY in 2021-22 so the service can continue to provide expert help.”

IVY is a nationwide service providing psychological and social work support to young people exhibiting high risk behaviours and psychological distress.

Dr Helen Bratton, Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Interventions for Vulnerable Youth Project who took up the role in 2020, explained that as the project is hosted by Kibble and sits out with statutory bodies such as the NHS or social work, innovative and flexible approaches can be used to help young people, their families and those who work with them.

“IVY has a team of highly skilled psychologists and social workers with extensive expertise in working with young people who present with high risk challenging behaviours. IVY is a free to access service which provides three tiers of input including consultation, structured professional judgement risk assessment and direct psychological interventions,” she said.

“Our approach is trauma-informed and integrative, taking into consideration the young person and the systems surrounding them. IVY is able to undertake comprehensive risk assessment and formulation for high risk cases to inform risk management for the responsible organisation.  In a small number of cases IVY will undertake direct psychological interventions with young people or the staff groups who work with them. Ultimately, IVY aims to offer a service to promote a psychologically informed understanding of a young person’s difficulties to improve the outcomes for the child, and to enhance and encourage understanding from a trauma-informed approach of the adversities faced by vulnerable young people,” added Dr Bratton.

Kibble and IVY clinical director Dan Johnson said: “The pandemic has made it harder for services to reach those children and young people who need it most. With funding from the Scottish government, IVY can continue to help young people and families access the right kind of support at the right time.”

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