Are Young People at Risk?

Hope you all had an awesome week. I have a brilliant time down at the YoMo national youth conference. There was so much energy and passion for helping young people during the conference it was unbelievable. On my journey home from the conference I started thinking about this blog that I wanted to share with you.

In this week’s blog I want to talk about a term which I find is banded about very wrongly and that is the term ‘at risk.’ It’s a term which is a buzz word when it comes to young people and working with young people. So today I want to tell you all about what I feel the true meaning of ‘at risk’ is.

The one problem I have with many people is that they only see areas with huge crime levels and social problem as the areas to help. We need to start getting proactive. Youth work needs to be the prevention business not the cure. Just because you live in a nice area now doesn’t mean that it is going to be a nice area in a year’s time.

You never know what is going to happen if you don’t do something to help young people in the area and I want to keep it that way I don’t want to find out what would have happened if I didn’t do something. You know just because a young kid is doing great today and achieving many great things you don’t know what the future is going to hold for them unless you help them.

I hate it when people use the term at-risk for young people when the government says this demographic or kids in these situations are at risk. Every young person is at risk every day in this country if we don’t help them. Just because some young people’s problems are more obvious than others it doesn’t mean they don’t have any or that there problems are less important.

It’s like a few weeks ago I was watching the pride of Britain awards. Anyone catch it? I love that programme as it reminds us all that there are amazing young people doing amazing things all over Britain everyday that we never know bout. But the only way we are going to find these amazing young people or to help young people become amazing is by looking for them and supporting them. There are amazing kids in every city, town and village it’s just up for us to help them and find them.

The youth of today is at risk and it is up to us to make it a safer environment for young people and an environment which gives them the confidence and the motivation to succeed and achieve in life.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation

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