Inspiring Change,Transforming LivesLE CHÉILE STRATEGY 2015 - 2018SUMMARY

Le Chéile is funded by the Irish Youth Justice Service through the Probation Service, as partof Ireland’s European Structural and Investment Funds Programmes 2014-2020, which isco-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union. Our Restorative Justice Projectreceives joint funding from the Probation Service and Limerick City and County Council.

ContentsForeword 1Message From Our CEO 2Who We Are 3Our Vision, Our Mission, Our Values 4The Le Chéile Approach 5What We Do 6The Effectiveness Of Mentoring 7Strategy 2015-2018 8The Policy and Legal Context 12

ForewordI’m delighted to introduce Le Chéile’s Strategy for 2015-2018, ‘InspiringChange, Transforming Lives,’ which sets out our aims for the futureand highlights our priorities for what Le Chéile wishes to achieve as anorganisation.2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Le Chéile, and provides us with anopportunity to reflect with pride on all we’ve achieved over the past decade- expanding from one youth mentoring pilot project to 8 projects providinga wide range of youth and parent mentoring, tailored family support options, and an innovativerestorative justice project. We now look to the future, setting ambitious goals to ensure that theyoung people and families with whom we work receive the best services.Le Chéile’s strengths lie in its dedication to best practice approaches to working with youngpeople, and the volunteers and staff who carry out this work. The fact that mentors are volunteersis highlighted time and time again by the young people and parents as a factor that makes LeChéile so effective. This strategy reflects this – outlining our commitment of continuing servicedevelopment and also ensuring that the volunteers are supported and valued in their work.This strategy embodies Le Chéile’s commitment to young people who offend and affirms our beliefthat their previous actions do not determine their future. With the right supports young peoplecan make positive changes in their lives, inspiring new opportunities and reducing offendingbehaviour.Denise MacDermottChairperson“I enjoygetting something to doand talking to Mike [Mentor].Being involved in mentoring keepsme from hanging around thestreets.”Young Person1

Message from our CEOWelcome to Inspiring Change, Transforming Lives. Le Cheile’s newstrategy has been compiled following extensive consultation with youngpeople and parents who have used our services as well as volunteers, staff,Board members, the Probation Service, the Irish Youth Justice Service andagencies and individuals who have an interest in youth justice issues.We know from research and from experience that youth offending is relatedto social and economic disadvantage as well as family circumstances,however we believe that young people can be supported to make positive changes in their lives.Le Chéile works to make positive changes in the lives of young people who offend and theirfamilies, through the provision of Mentoring, Family Support and Restorative Justice Services. Ourslogan is ‘Change a life’.Inspiring Change, Transforming Lives is ambitious and challenging and focuses on 3 key areas• Improving the quality and effectiveness of what we do;• Expanding our services and reaching more young people and their families in morelocations;• Communicating better who we are and what we do.The annual cost to the State of one young offender in detention in 2013 was €314,000. Workingconstructively with young people involved in or at risk of offending is beneficial for young people,their families, their communities as well as the economic benefit to society of reducing crime andyouth detention rates.Finally I want to acknowledge the volunteers, the Board and staff of Le Chéile who have greatlycontributed to the development of this strategy and who will be instrumental in its implementation.Together we are committed to enhancing our services so as to achieve better outcomes for theyoung people, their families and their communities.Anne ConroyCEO2

Our VisionFor every young person at risk –the right supports at the right time,to make the most of their lives.Our MissionLe Chéile is a community-basedvolunteer mentoring and familysupport service, which works withyoung people involved in or atrisk of offending.Our ValuesWe listen – respect – empower.We are non-judgemental and believe inthe potential of every young person.We work collaboratively with youngpeople, families and other agencies.We use a restorative practice ethos.We deliver quality services.4

The Le Chéile ApproachWhile youth offending is related to social and economic disadvantage as well as family circumstances,we believe that all young people can be supported to make positives changes in their lives.At the heart of our work is the young person, and also their family. We support young people andfamilies to help address offending behaviour. We don’t give up on our young people. Mentoringhelps people make different choices and changes lives. The needs of the young person determinethe focus of the mentoring. For a young person at risk of offending, or who has offended, it is avital support.Our services are provided by Le Chéile mentors - volunteers drawn from communities acrossthe country, who work one to one with young people and with parents. Our mentors bring lifeexperience, skills and a wholehearted belief in the capacity of young people to change. The youngpeople and parents with whom we work tell us that it makes a difference that the mentors arevolunteers and give their time and effort on a voluntary basis. Involving local communities inworking with young people who offend helps build a more inclusive and safer society.We believe a restorative approach is an effective way of working with young people. We believe inworking with people rather than doing things for them. It is about offering high levels of support,encouraging acceptance of responsibility and setting clear boundaries.Le Chéile works in collaboration with other agencies so that young people and families get the bestopportunities and support to make positive changes in their lives.“My mentor always kept methinking about my goals. Even whenI messed up. She made me want to have abetter life when I listened to her stories abouttravelling all over the world. It was good to havesomeone outside your own family and friends totalk to every week. She never gave up on me.That helped when things were bad.”Young Person5

What We DoYouth Mentoring• Youth Mentoring is a one-to-onerelationship-based support whichprovides a positive role model to a youngperson. Mentors help young peopleimprove their self-esteem, working onrelationships and communications skills,and addressing anti-social behaviour.“It’s matched totheir specific needs. It goesat their pace, rather than theyoung person having to fit intothe service.”Probation OfficerFamily supportParent Mentoring• Parent mentoring helps parents develop their ownparenting skills and gives support with parenting issues. Parent mentoring gives anon-judgemental time and space outside the family home to parents under pressure.Parenting Programmes• Le Chéile provides a range of parenting programmes and can link parents to locally availableparenting programmes such as Parenting Plus, Strengthening Families Programme, andNon-Violent Resistance parenting programme for parents experiencing child to parentviolence.Family Support Interventions• Family Support Interventions are tailored supports designed for each individual family’sneeds and complement the mentoring sessions. Family Support Interventions aimto improve communications within the family and promote the importance of familyrelationships. Examples might include family mediation or a family meal.Strengthening Families Programme• Le Chéile coordinates and funds StrengtheningFamilies Programme (SFP) on behalf of the ProbationService, providing support and advice to local steeringcommittees. SFP is an evidence-based whole familyskills training programme, designed to work withhigh stress families, including families with drug andalcohol issues.Restorative Justice• Restorative Justice works with people who have beenaffected by crime (offenders, victims, families and communities)to repair the harm caused. We use a number of different approaches,tailor-made to the needs of the young person and the victims.“I learned aboutthe consequences of mybehaviour and how otherpeople feel.”Young Person, who took part inRestorative Justice Project6

The Effectiveness Of MentoringLe Chéile is committed to using programmes and approaches which have been proven to result inbetter outcomes for young people and their families.International research 2 has found that mentoring of young people who have offended has positiveeffects on at least one of the following: crime, behaviour, attitude, alcohol and drugs, school andrelationships. Mentoring has greatest impact on the factors which contribute to crime such assubstance abuse and school attendance, rather than crime itself.Le Chéile fulfils all the criteria for effective mentoring as set out in the research referred to above:P Mentoring interventions and leisure-time programmes are combined;P Mentoring is long-lasting, intense, and at least a year in duration;P Includes a personal and committed relationship with an adult;P Stresses the importance of the young person’s psychological and social development;P Includes parental involvement;P Volunteer mentoring best if there are professionals who provide screening, training,matching, support and supervision of volunteers.A recent Irish study 3 of over 14,000 young people aged 12-25 found that the presence of ‘onegood adult’ was a key indicator of how well a young person is connected, self-confident, futurelooking and can cope with problems. Having one good adult in a young person’s life is shown tobe important to the mental well being and confidence of all young people, from the time they startsecondary school to the time they are looking for their first job. Feedback from young people,parents and Young Persons Probation identified Le Chéile’s Mentors as fulfilling this role for manyof the young people referred to our services.“It’s thepotential to developa very different relationshipwith the young person. A Le Chéilementor does not focus on the negativebehaviours of the young person andthis can be a ‘breath of fresh air’ forthe young person.”Probation Officer2. The Effectiveness of Mentoring & Leisure-time Activities for Youth at Risk. The Danish Crime Prevention Council, 2012.3. Dooley, Barbara A., Fitzgerald, Amanda : My World Survey: National Study of Youth Mental Health in Ireland. Headstrongand UCD School of Psychology, 2012.7

Le Chéile Strategy 2015-2018OBJECTIVE 1Develop the quality and effectiveness of Le Chéile’s Mentoring and Family Support Services foryoung people at risk, in the justice system.Goals1.1 Develop the Le Chéile service model - Mentoring, Family Support and Restorative Justice– to be the leading model in the youth justice system.1.2 Work collaboratively with other agencies, promote understanding of the role of the LeChéile service model, identifying Le Chéile’s role in the delivery of effective, integratedservices in a family and community context.1.3 Achieve consistent delivery of Le Chéile services to excellent standards.Some actions by which we will achieve this will include:• Developing specialist mentoring (e.g. for young fathers, young people with mentalhealth needs);• Promoting aftercare and community supports for young people and parents;• Supporting the delivery of SFP programmes nationally;• Increasing youth participation in Le Chéile;• Revising our outcomes and data collection tools to accurately measure outcomes;• Commissioning an independent evaluation of our mentoring service.“He alwayscomes back groundedand in good form.”“It was deadly,I really liked meeting up.I had fun and I learned a lot.Now I have lots of thingsto put on my CV.”Parent’s feedback aboutson who took part inmentoring.Young Person8

OBJECTIVE 2Provide greater access to Le Cheile services so that more young people may benefitGoals2.1 Provide the Le Chéile Mentoring, Family Support and Restorative Justice services in morelocations in line with available resources.2.2 Develop the referral arrangements with agencies working with young people in detentionand post-detention, supporting integration into the community.2.3 Increase the provision of Mentoring, Family Support and Restorative Justice for 18 to 21year olds, in line with Young Persons Probation strategy.2.4 Explore the opportunity and resource requirements to enable provision of Le ChéileMentoring services to young people (12+) involved in the justice system.Some actions by which we will achieve this will include:• Expanding the provision of Mentoring and Family Support services to locations with anidentified need;• Liaising with relevant agencies with a common interest to develop services for youngpeople involved in the justice system;• Delivering a mentoring service to young people and to parents of young people indetention;• Continuing to provide a quality Restorative Justice service for young people.“My mentorlikes me and helps meto think what to do bestwhen I’m upset.”Young Person“My mentor helped mestay positive, focused andgot me to problem solve formyself.”Parent, who took part inPerent Mentoring9

OBJECTIVE 3Develop Le Chéile to ensure the effective achievement of its mission and strategic objectivesGoals3.1 Develop a national volunteer recruitment strategy to attract a diverse range of people asmentors.3.2 Promote and develop the volunteer team at the centre of the Le Chéile service model.3.3 Ensure that the Le Chéile staff team is competent, resourced and supported to deliverquality services working with young people and families, the mentor team and partneragencies.3.4 Ensure that Le Chéile’s Governance & Management framework is accountable, transparentand compliant.3.5 Ensure a comprehensive financial management strategy is in place, which ensures that LeChéile is cost efficient and provides value for money.Some actions by which we will achieve this will include:• Ensuring our team of volunteers is diverse, with an increased number of male mentors,located in rural and urban locations which match the need for mentoring;• Promoting volunteering by young people who have successfully completed mentoring;• Continuing to develop the training support and engagement of volunteers within Le Chéile;• Adopting the Governance Code, implementing SORP accounting standards and meetingappropriate requirements of the Charity Regulator.“Someone who reallyunderstands my problems – it’sso easy to chat with my mentorbecause she gets me.”Parent, who took part inPerent Mentoring10

OBJECTIVE 4Communicate and promote the value of Le Cheile as a distinct and leading service in workingwith young people in the justice systemGoals4.1 Promote awareness and understanding of Le Chéile, its value and impact – with potentialvolunteers, referral and partner agencies, funders as well as the wider justice system andthe public.4.2 Ensure young people and parents/carers understand Le Chéile’s services and ethos.4.3 Ensure that the impact and learning from Le Chéile’s work is available to support thedevelopment of practice and policy in the youth justice area.Some actions by which we will achieve this will include:• Developing and implementing a communications plan;• Enhancing the range of information for young people and parents/carers about Le Chéile’sservices;• Sharing our experience of best practice and learning via external presentations andpublications;• Recruiting Le Chéile champions to support volunteer recruitment and a stronger Le Chéileprofile.“He cameback from the meeting veryemotional. He told me the victim’sstory and how sad it was, he felt it himself.I’d like to thank you, you did agreat job with him and I appreciate it.”Parent of young person,Restorative Justice project11

The Policy and Legal ContextThe development of this strategy has been informed by the following legal and policydocuments:• UN Convention on the Rights of the Child• Children Act 2001• Children First 2011• Tackling Youth Crime – Youth Justice Action Plan, 2014 – 2018 IYJS• Probation Service Restorative Justice Strategy 2013• Better Outcomes Better Futures 2014-2020. Department of Children and Youth Affairs• Victims Directive 2012/29/EU• Probation Service Strategic Plan 2015 to 201712

Le Chéile Mentoring & Youth Justice Support Services24 Tivoli Terrace SouthDún LaoghaireCo. Dublin01 214 4334info@lecheile.iewww.lecheile.ie@Le_CheileLeCheileYouthJustice12

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