Project for dangerous young people to close over funding

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image captionThe service worked with those deemed at serious risk of harming others

A group working with some Scotland's most dangerous young people says it is to close because of a lack of funding.

The Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY) service provides psychological support for those aged 12-18 deemed a serious risk to others.

But a post on its website said the service, based at the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University, would close on 31 October.

IVY is thought to be the only dedicated team of its kind in the UK.

The post said the decision had been taken with regret.

It continued: "We appreciate that you will be concerned about what this means for these children and young people, which is why we are giving as much notice as is possible, so alternative services/support can be sought."

IVY said work had been ongoing for several months to locate the service within a new organisation as it was not sustainable due to the year by year funding arrangement.

'Temporary contracts'

Fiona Dyer, interim director, said: "Although we are extremely lucky to have dedicated and committed staff the service has been dependent on pro bono support from other agencies which has recently ceased.

"We were already working at a reduced capacity due to the difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff on temporary contracts due to the uncertainty this brings.

"As a result we can no longer offer a service that the young people, their families and professionals referring them deserve."

However, a spokesman for the Scottish government disputed the assertion that the closure of the service was as a result of funding.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe service was based at the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University

He said: "The Interventions for Vulnerable Youth project was introduced by the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice as a pilot in 2014 to promote best practice in forensic mental health risk assessment and management for young people who present a serious risk of harm to others.

"It is incorrect to suggest that the IVY pilot closure is due to a lack of funding. Funding was in place until the end of this financial year.

"We have supported this project since its introduction and will continue to support partners delivering IVY to seek alternative sustainable arrangements for this service in the future."

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