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Doctors and schools to spot 1,000 children at risk of turning to crime



About 1,000 children as young as 10 will be identified as at risk of becoming criminals and subject to intensive one-to-one mentoring and training, under plans unveiled yesterday.

Schools, social workers and doctors will be asked to identify pupils whose behaviour is threatening to become criminal and they will be assigned a mentor - described by ministers yesterday as "an assertive as·ser·tive  
adj.
Inclined to bold or confident assertion; aggressively self-assured.



as·sertive·ly adv.
 and persistent key worker" - and made to sign contracts promising to mend their ways.

The move is part of a £218m three-year package aimed at intervening early enough to stop children adopting criminal behaviour. Ministers said the measures would be "non-negotiable" for children and families about which authorities have concerns. If they don't commit to the programme "they will face the consequences" and possible legal sanctions Sanctions is the plural of sanction. Depending on context, a sanction can be either a punishment or a permission. The word is a contronym.

Sanctions involving countries:
 such as asbos, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the Department for Children, Schools and Families The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) is a British government department created on 28 June 2007 on the disbanding of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). It is responsible for all issues affecting people up to the age of 19 including education. .

Ed Balls, the children's secretary, said: "Recognising these problems doesn't condone condone v. 1) to forgive, support, and/or overlook moral or legal failures of another without protest, with the result that it appears that such breaches of moral or legal duties are acceptable.  bad behaviour - nor is help a soft option. In the end, where young people and families don't accept help to change their behaviour then the right thing to do is to use antisocial behaviour orders antisocial behaviour order
Noun

a civil order made against a troublesome individual which restricts his or her activities or movements
 and individual support orders.

"Communities want lasting improvements and that means not only stopping bad behaviour when it occurs, but also changing it and intervening early to stop bad behaviour spiralling into future offending of·fend  
v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends

v.tr.
1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

2.
."

The "intensive intervention projects" - described by some as a "baby asbo" - will be tested in 20 areas. Local authorities will be asked to list 50 of their worst offending teenagers and children to bid for the money.

All agencies that come into contact with children in the pilot areas, including health workers, schools and social workers, will be asked to report suspicions about a child's behaviour, including persistent truancy and lack of parental support. Parents will be allowed to put their children forward if they feel they need professional support.

The youth taskforce action plan also sets out plans to extend existing family intervention projects and other schemes that support children and families in "behaviour change".

In addition, £23m will be invested in a youth capital fund, to provide better arts and sports facilities See:
  • List of Auto Racing tracks
  • List of indoor arenas
  • List of NASCAR race tracks
  • List of stadiums
  • Velodrome
  • List of tennis courts
 for young people in the most deprived areas. It will include a national award scheme that will "recognise and celebrate" children who turn their lives around and start contributing to their community.

The children's minister, Beverley Hughes, said: "We know that the best form of cure is prevention. We can spot early warning signs in young people and families where things are going wrong: poor parenting, lessons skipped, and complaints about behaviour.

"Intervening early and requiring young people and their parents to address the causes as well as the behaviour itself, will both prevent antisocial antisocial /an·ti·so·cial/ (-so´sh'l)
1. denoting behavior that violates the rights of others, societal mores, or the law.

2. denoting the specific personality traits seen in antisocial personality disorder.
 behaviour and deal with it more effectively where it does occur."

Martin Narey Martin Narey (b. 1955 in Middlesbrough) is Chief Executive of Barnardo's, the children's charity.

After graduating from Sheffield Polytechnic he started his career in the NHS before moving to HM Prison Service in 1982, where he worked as an assistant Governor, first in a
, chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's, said: "No one disputes that sanctions for bad behaviour are both necessary and appropriate. However, they are only one part of the story. We need to get underneath the root cause of that behaviour, which is often family breakdown, drug or alcohol misuse problems or low achievement at school. These aren't excuses, but they are problems which need addressing and all too often the most vulnerable, and also most challenging, teenagers aren't getting or aren't taking the help they need. Making sure they do is what they need and what communities need."

The shadow home affairs minister, James Brokenshire James Peter Brokenshire (b. 1968, Southend-on-Sea, Essex) is the Conservative Member of parliament for Hornchurch and Shadow Minister for Home Affairs.

He was educated at Davenant Foundation Grammar School, the University of Exeter, and City of London Polytechnic.
, said: "Yet again the government has decided to fiddle around at the edges. It is further evidence of their failure to face up to the reality of broken families, broken communities and a fractured country. If they think that parachuting in short-term help for 1,000 troubled kids is the answer to the problems on Britain's streets they are deluding themselves."

Teachers warned yesterday that the demise of the traditional family threatened the education of a generation of children. Increasing numbers of pupils from broken homes are turning up to school unable to concentrate because of the "emotional turmoil", they said.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is a trade union, teachers union and professional association, affiliated to the Trades Union Congress, in the United Kingdom representing educators from nursery and primary education to further education.  called on ministers to recognise the damage done to children's education by the lack of a stable home life.

Young offenders A young offender is a person of either gender who has been convicted or cautioned for a criminal offence. Criminal justice systems often deal with young offenders differently from adult offenders, but different countries apply the term 'young offender' to different age groups

· Truancy rates among pupils in England rose last year to their highest level since records began in 1997. Nearly 230,000 were classified as persistent absentees, missing more than 20% of school. A hardcore of truants - 6% of the school population - accounted for more than three-quarters of unauthorised absences.

· Nearly 10,000 asbos were issued between April 1999 and December 2005. Of these 3,997 were issued to 10 to 17-year-olds. Under-18s are significantly more likely to break the terms of their asbo than adults.

· There up to 3,000 children under 18 in custody for criminal offences at any one time.

· 95% of children have been the victim of a crime, including 72% who have been assaulted, according to a survey by the Howard League for Penal Reform The Howard League for Penal Reform is a London-based registered charity in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest penal reform organisation in the world, named after John Howard.  last year. Almost half had had property stolen at school and 56% had been threatened.
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Mar 19, 2008
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