Children and Young People

As part of our charitable aims to provide a positive future for children and young people, our youth services focus on prevention with Detached Youth Work and Early Intervention – our family work funded by the Lt Col N L Cohen Charitable Trust.   We’re committed to providing services that ensure safer communities and to support victims of crime, however it has become increasingly important to offer services that prevent young people becoming involved in crime and behaviours that have a negative impact on their future.  During 2020 – despite the complexities of operating services during the COVID-19 pandemic – we began to develop partnerships with Youth Focus North East and Middlesbrough Borough Council in delivering innovative approaches to working with some of the town’s most difficult to reach families and young people.  These partnerships will develop further in the coming months, further embedding Prevention and Early Intervention in our portfolio of service delivery.

Detached Youth Work

Safer Communities’ approach and delivery is modelled on good youth practice, ethics and values.  Youth Work is a method of working that has young people’s needs and voice at the centre; it draws upon several sociological theories, ie the context of the young person’s upbringing, their cultural background, beliefs and understanding of the world and the psychological effects of their upbringing (trauma). 

Our detached youth work and targeted interventions  develop relationships and services that empower young people; it capitalises on their strengths to build their skills and attributes, and that increases their understanding of themselves, thus allowing for better outcomes and lifestyle choice for their future.

We focus on areas across Middlesbrough where young people have been identified as being at risk of anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, exploitation and low school attendance (vulnerabilities).  We offer specific programmes for young people involved in or on the cusp of becoming involved in serious youth violence i.e. knife crime, gang involvement and criminal exploitation.

Family Interventions

With funding from the Colonel N L Cohen Trust, we have two youth workers (Family Practitioners) co-located with Middlesbrough Council’s Early Help Team to create an innovative Trauma Informed Partnership, our specific remit is to engage with those young people and their families who have previously rejected support; being reluctant to engage with statutory services.  It has been recognised that Safer Communities a voluntary sector organisation, can play a significant role in engaging those young people and families who are ‘hard to reach’ as we are able to removes fears; barriers and at times the stigma of being involved with statutory services.  By offering a model of both youth work practice and trauma informed practice we engage children, young people and families in a relational trauma informed manner which understands that how children, young people and families react to current circumstances and is based on either historic or current traumatic experiences that often leads to fright/flight/freeze/flop responses.

Our workers understand the principles of brain development and how people react to stress and trauma so that workers remain empathic, consistent and boundaried to support families to self-regulation and move forward.  It is now standard practice that our youth working staff receive training in this model of working to complement their youth work practice.

Social Action

Safer Communities delivered the National Citizen Service programme, funded by the NCS Trust from 2010 until 2019. Our staff are fully trained in delivering social action projects. Social action is about people coming together to help improve their lives and solve problems that are important in their communities. It can broadly be defined as practical action in the service of others. Police Cadets were involved in a number of social action projects including arranging dementia friendly cinema trips.

Cleveland Police Cadets

Safer Communities ran the Cleveland Police Cadets programme until 2021; staff supported a team of volunteers to provide 120 young people aged 13 – 17 opportunities to take part in key community activities and force wide competitions.

Phone: 01642 664440



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