Glasgow & West Scotland

Project for 'dangerous' young people saved from closure

Unidentified teenage boy Image copyright Getty Images

A group working with some Scotland's most dangerous young people has been saved from closure.

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

In July, the service, based at Strathclyde University, revealed it it would no longer be hosted there and a new location would need to be found.

But the children's charity Kibble has agreed to take over until April 2020.

The IVY project was set up by the University of Strathclyde's Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) and funded by the Scottish government's youth justice team.

Its job is to promote best practice in forensic mental health risk assessment and management for young people who present a serious risk of harm to others.

Image copyright CYCJ
Image caption The closure of IVY was announced on its webpage in July

IVY, which has the only dedicated team of its kind in the UK, has provided support for over 220 children and young people referred by 31 Scottish local authorities during its six years of existence.

CYCJ recently announced that IVY would close at the end of October, a decision they regretted but which was unavoidable, given the highly specialised nature of the service.

It has now been agreed that the service will transition to Kibble on 1 November.

The charity will run the service on an interim basis until the current year's Scottish government funding ends on 31 March 2020.

Kibble is a national charity specialising in the care of young people who have experienced trauma.

'Absolutely vital'

Kibble's chief executive Jim Gillespie said: "IVY is a perfect fit with Kibble's vision, ethos and expertise and we are excited at the prospect of delivering, and indeed expanding, the service in partnership with the Scottish government and CYCJ.

"It is imperative that this well-respected project should continue, and I would like to thank the Scottish government for its continued support of the service.

"All young people currently involved in the service will continue to be supported. Uncertainty over IVY's future had led to a moratorium on referrals, however I can reassure Scottish local authorities that in the near future we will again be accepting new referrals.

"It is absolutely vital that all young people who need the IVY service are able to access it without delay."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The service is currently based at the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice at Strathclyde University

Fiona Dyer, interim director of the CYCJ and IVY service manager, said she was delighted at the continuation of the service.

She said: "This is a very positive move. Dedicated work has been under way for a considerable length of time to find a suitable base that allows this valuable service to continue to meet the needs of vulnerable, marginalised and maligned young people in the hope that they can be supported to achieve better outcomes for them and those around them."

The Scottish government's minister for children and young people, Maree Todd, said: "This announcement will provide reassurance to parents, carers and local authorities that IVY's services will continue in the short term, with Kibble's efforts ensuring a smooth transition and uninterrupted care for the young people."

She said discussions would continue around the future direction of the project with the shared vision of prioritising the young people's welfare.

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