Support to help engage teenagers

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On the beat: Senior constable Karren Bye

On the beat: Senior constable Karren Bye, of Mosgiel.

I recently dealt with members of the public including parents and grandparents who are charged with looking after teenage children – let’s top at 18 years here because women may say their husbands could fit this category.

Whether they are dealing with behaviour spiralling out of control ending up in the court system or teenagers not getting out of bed or wanting to engage in any form of training or education, let’s agree – they have to be doing something, no matter whether the reasons stem from genetics, environment or perhaps could just be their personality.

I understand parents’ frustrations at having to try to deal with their youths refusing to engage; what do you do when your child refuses to go to school after they turn 16?

It’s a matter of finding the right fit for their needs.

Bribery only goes a certain way and is not a long-term resolution.

I agree though that sometimes school isn’t for everyone, but it’s a matter of finding something they can or will engage in that is of interest to them.

I recently had dealings with a social service agency who advised me there is a support service for people to go to for support around engagement and further training, education or employment if their youth is not engaging in mainstream education.

The initial agency to ring is Youth Service on 0800 887-005, and from there they will organise a meeting with the young person (16-18 years) to find out firstly whether they meet the agency’s criteria for the needs and support required – for example they may be disengaged in school or have mental health issues that require extra support.

Youth Service will then provide or refer the young person to the most suitable or appropriate agency depending on individual needs.

This could include supporting the young person to get into or engage in training or some form of education or simply to get them out of bed in the morning. Or it could include specialty support around mental health, for example, counselling.

Have a great week.