Breaking The Cycle of Disadvantage

February 7, 2020

At Youth Off The Streets we understand that it can be far more effective to intervene in a person’s life early on that it is to try and break down a lifetime of trauma they have experienced. Trauma has detrimental effects on a person that can last a lifetime and this is why we provide early intervention to young people at risk by guiding them to lead positive lives.

Without early intervention, our young people are at risk to experience the same cycles of disadvantage their family and parents have faced. Research has shown those that are exposed to domestic violence as children are more likely to engage in domestic violence as adults[1].

Young people need to feel safe and supported to reach their full potential and by applying a trauma informed care approach we can work towards guiding young people to a better future.

Joanna Nicholson School Manager at our Redfern School, Key College works with many students who have experienced trauma and says careful attention and consideration must be placed on her student’s behaviour to uncover what they might be trying to express.

“People that have been through trauma in their lives may experience ‘toxic stress’ making them believe they are under threat in everyday situations, even if they are not. This can greatly change the behaviour of students in the classroom and is why it is crucial to examine our student’s behaviour. We must then ask ourselves: why are they behaving in this way?”

Through this trauma informed approach our young people can learn to understand the complex natures of their own trauma and seek the necessary support in order to transform their lives.

Father Chris Riley has always said ‘there is no such thing as a bad child. There are only bad circumstances, situations, environments and families.’ It’s for this reason we believe that every young person has the right to the opportunities to reach their full potential, no matter their circumstance.

We are constantly amazed at what our young people can achieve with the right guidance. We will continue providing early intervention in order to break the cycle of disadvantage many young people still face.

[1] Whitfield, C., Anda, R., Dube, S., and Felitti, V. (2003). “Violent childhood experiences and the risk of intimate partner violence as adults.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(12).

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