Youth Support

Achieving great outcomes…

Support and encouragement, provided through the Safer Mid Canterbury Youth Support Programme, has helped George* to thrive.

He was aged just 15 when he was referred to Youth Justice Services, following a record of offending in the community, and time spent at different schools and locations. When Youth Justice Worker Brad Raukawa started working with George, he knew that understanding and trust – delivered in a “firm, kind and accepting manner” – would be vital for the future of their relationship.

“Standing up in court and responding to the Judge with ‘Yes, Your Honour, I believe this young man has what it takes to stop offending,’ inspires change in a young person as they see someone believes in them,” Brad says.

To help George stop offending and stay busy, a system of support was put in place. Soon, he returned to education, and attended regular gym sessions and boxing classes. He also completed all 50 hours of his community service through a creative and productive work experience.

Adjusting to a schedule and timetable took some time but Brad says, “Consistent communication, and a little motivation, helped to keep George well on track and he exceeded the plan we had set for him.”

A highlight for Brad was watching George graduate from the Blue Light leadership camp at Burnham. “I was able to be part of the support crowd on graduation day, which seemed to mean a lot to him. It was amazing to see the joy and shift in all the young people who attended that day.”

Returning home with extra confidence and new skills, George was ready to complete the rest of the work ordered by the court, including digging holes, moving mulch, gardening and cleaning. Brad says George has now been discharged from court, having completed all his orders and obtained a certificate from police.

“George has now re-engaged with whānau and education, feeling fit and healthy, mentally and emotionally. It’s a great outcome.”

*Names and photos have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals.