The VIP team from Leicestershire Cares visited VIP team at the Royal Infirmary to have a better understanding of the internal processes by which we receive our referrals. The Violence Intervention Project. The VIP project has been commissioned by the Violence Reduction Network as part of The Reach Custody Project, which is funded by the Home Office. The Reach Custody Project aims to support young people aged 11-25 who have been in custody or hospital and have a recent history of a violent offence or carrying a weapon. The aim of the project is to engage with young people at their reachable moment which often occurs when they are in custody or in hospital, and provide them with options to help deter them from re-offending.
Abi Harris, the Deputy Team Leader for the Violence Intervention Project (VIP) provided a write up below:
“The VIP was launched to tackle the increase in youth violence and knife crime in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland with the aims to break the cycle of violence and reduce the overall numbers of violence that were being reported.
The VIP process as it stands today looks like the following; there are two teams of VIP Workers, one team is based in Accident and Emergency, and the second team is based in Euston street police custody, the VIP Workers engage young people who have been involved in serious violence between the ages of 11-25 in brief interventions whilst they are in what is known as the “reachable moment” which is where they are still in hospital or custody. During this time, we discuss the young person’s current status including mental health, education/employment, housing, social life etc, and offer safety advice around this as well as the offer to engage with us out in the community. If the young person accepts our offer of support via the VIP, then we complete an assessment following their discharge from hospital or release from custody to begin the support process."
VIP Workers can also advocate for their clients by speaking with other involved professionals, attend meetings/appointments with them to provide comfort and ease anxiety as well as offer peer mentorship in times of need when they require someone to talk to regarding their experiences of interpersonal violence. As we are a wrap-around service, we aim to open and close our clients within a 3-month time period after having built up a multi-faceted web of support around them to reduce the risk of re-involvement in violence and therefore, reduce A&E admissions and representation within police custody.Abi Harris- Deputy Team Leader for the Violence Intervention Project
Given that Leicestershire Cares is the ETE provider of choice, we felt it was important for us to have a clear idea of the process experienced by participants when they meet with our referral partners. This has strengthened our understanding of the importance of contacting young people promptly referred to the VIP project at Leicestershire Cares. In line with our Power to Change model, we work with VIP participants in a joined up and holistic way that is rooted in building effective partnerships.
To read about our Power to Change approach, click on the link below:
For more information about the VIP Project click the link below:
Youth Justice Project Development Manager