A new crime prevention programme aimed at children aged 10 to 17 has been launched in Doncaster in a bid to target those at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.
Doncaster Children’s Services Trust celebrated the launch of EPIC - which stands for Encouraging Potential Inspiring Change – at an event at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The programme will target young people living in Doncaster who are at risk of getting involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
A spokesman for the trust said the programme includes a ‘whole family’ approach to working with young people and families.
Paul Moffat, chief executive of the Trust, said: “We value the young people of Doncaster and want to help them achieve their goals and take pride in the place they live.
“Team EPIC is just one of our innovative projects to support vulnerable young people. It will focus on those who need extra support to steer them away from the edge of criminality and move on to positive and successful futures.”
The new scheme will explore all the factors which may impact on young people, ranging from school and peer pressure to family challenges such as health and housing.
As well as supporting young people to overcome difficult issues, EPIC will offer opportunities to further develop their confidence.
The team will support young people in their creativity, enhance their existing skills and coach them in techniques to cope with difficult situations.
A trust spokesman said: “Sport, art, music and social enterprise will be used to inspire and then motivate young people to fulfil their potential.
“EPIC will also offer personal development sessions to help participants improve their decision-making skills and make positive life choices.”
EPIC takes referrals from police and all partner agencies across Doncaster who are working with 10 to 17-year-olds.
The programme comes after police revealed the number of crimes committed by young children in South Yorkshire had more than doubled in the last five years.
Doncaster Children’s Services Trust was set up in 2014 after Doncaster Council was stripped of its right to run its own children’s services following an independent review in which the Government deemed them to have a ‘legacy of failure’.
The Government initially began supervising Doncaster Council’s children’s services in 2009 following the deaths of seven children through abuse or neglect over five years.
Less than a year later a serious case review found the attacks in Edlington in which two young boys were tortured by two brothers, aged 11 and 12, had been ‘preventable’.
n For an EPIC referral form and further details contact 01302 736100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org