Youth Court Protocol – what’s new?: The MA Youth Court Protocol was originally developed in 2003 as additional guidance for magistrates on the practices and processes of the youth justice system, but it has evolved to be a useful resource for all those who come into contact with the youth court.
Poor white boys are the new oppressed: Trevor Phillips, ex-head of the Commission for Racial Equality, writes a fascinating article on how recent statistics shows “every chance that while the Sikh teenager will one day turn into a highly skilled doctor, the grime-music obsessed African sixth-former will become a pin-striped lawyer, and that mathematics-nut Chinese GCSE student will end up a tech entrepreneur, the best that your average working-class white boy can hope for is a part-time job in an Amazon warehouse.”
Links from the world of children’s and youth ministry:
How do we help young people to pray?: Joel Goodlet has written a great blog on the need to stop sending out the invitation to ‘try prayer’ and find a way instead to encourage our young people to devote themselves to prayer.
The Annual Bullying Survey 2017: the fifth and largest edition of our yearly benchmark of bullying in the United Kingdom. Ditch the Label, the anti-bullying charity, surveyed over 10,000 young people aged 12-20 in partnership with schools and colleges from across the country.
A new peer-reviewed study of multiple “sexual and reproductive health” educational programs in several countries finds no evidence of improved health outcomes in any program studied.
According to the authors of the study, “School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents,” published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, “There is little evidence that educational curriculum-based programs alone are effective in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents.”
The study’s authors reviewed eight studies that examined sex-education programs in schools in Africa, Latin America and Europe with a total of 55,157 participants, and performed randomized controlled trials on their data. They found the programs had no measurable impact on the rate of sexually-transmitted diseases among participants or rates of pregnancy.
“In these trials, the educational programs evaluated had no demonstrable effect on the prevalence of HIV or other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections),” the authors write, noting that in addition to HIV infection they also looked at results regarding herpes and syphilis. “There was also no apparent effect on the number of young women who were pregnant at the end of the trial,” they add.
The authors note that many studies of adolescent sex-education programs measure the programs’ effectiveness by examining their “effects on knowledge or self-reported behavior” rather than “biological outcomes” such as the rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases among program participants. In examining biological outcomes, the authors could find no benefit from such programs.
The findings of the study are consonant with other studies of “comprehensive” sex-education programs that show them to be ineffective or even counterproductive, particularly in comparison with abstinence-only programs.
Key findings about children and young people writing in 2015 from the Literacy Trust, based on a survey of 32,569 children and young people aged 8 to 18, include:
Fewer children and young people enjoyed writing in 2015 compared with the previous year, with enjoyment levels dropping from 49.3% in 2014 to 44.8% in 2015.
Fewer children and young people wrote something daily outside class in 2015 than in 2014, with daily writing levels decreasing from 27.2% in 2014 to 20.7% in 2015. Daily writing levels also continue to be in stark contrast to daily reading levels, which have increased dramatically over the past couple of years.
When asked whether they ever write something that they don’t share with anyone else, nearly half (46.8%) of children and young people said they did.
Technology-based formats, such as text messages (68.6%), messages on social networking sites (44.3%) and instant messages (46.2%) continue to dominate the writing that children and young people engaged in outside class in 2015. Notes (3%), letters (25.8%) and lyrics (24.6%) are the most frequently written non-technology formats. With the exception of poems, most formats of writing have again decreased in 2015.
Attitudes towards writing have remained unchanged in 2015.
It leaves me reflecting on how we encourage journaling with teenagers in the church.
It’s encouraging to see that 46.8% of children and young people write things that they don’t share with anyone else, but with daily writing outside the classroom dropping substantially from 27.2% in 2014 to 20.7% in 2015 I think we need to look at how we recommend technology-based formats of journaling.
The Smart Talk is a website that helps parents and kids come up with a set of mobile phone rules together, and creates a handy agreement you can print out. This tool is more than a simple checklist; it’s meant to start conversations between parents and their child.
The Daily Express reports that British millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, believe they no longer live in a Christian country despite thinking religion plays an important role in people’s lives.
A total of 41 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said Britain has “no specific religious identity” in a ComRes poll published to launch the new Faith Research Centre in Westminster. In contrast, of those aged 65 and over, 74 per cent believe Britain is a Christian country while only 20 per cent think the country has no specific religious identity.
Katie Harrison, director of the new Faith Research Centre at ComRes, the public policy research consultancy, said:
“In some of the questions we asked, adults aged between 18-24 and adults aged 65 plus answered at opposite ends of the scale, indicating marked differences between generations in perceptions of religion and belief.
“This is consistent with some of the projects we’ve recently been commissioned to carry out.
“We’re seeing a strong interest in understanding the attitudes and needs of people in their 20s, especially in our faith research work.”
A few people recently tweeted about Hadley Freeman’s article in the Guardian on how ‘I was not good at being a teenager. But I do have some advice.’ For anyone working with young people it’s well worth a read.
It concludes with three pieces of wisdom: “But I do have three pieces of advice for making it pass a little more painlessly.
First, create something. Write, draw, bake, knit, make a magazine, design a video game – whatever, it doesn’t matter, as long as it comes from you. Just make something that wasn’t there before, so you can look at it and say, “That came out of my brain, my fingers, me. Without me, that would not exist.” One of the best ways to learn who you are internally is to find out what kind of mark you can make externally.
Second, do things just for you. I’m sure you’re sick of condescending oldsters like me wagging their fingers at you about “the selfie generation”, which is just our way of trying to say how worried we are about you coming of age at a time when your worthiness is measured in likes. But try to do as much as possible just for yourself, not external validation: make something and don’t Instagram it. Go to a gig on your own, and don’t Facebook it. Validate yourself.
Finally, remember that you are currently wearing teenager goggles. This means that everything you are experiencing is being refracted through the crazy hazy hormonal moshpit in your head, as well as the various injustices that come with that time of life when you’re not sure if you’re an adult or a child and no one else is, either”
The Home Office have launched a range of papers recently on the theme of domestic violence and abuse.
The changes to the definition of domestic raise awareness that young people in the 16 to 17 age group can also be victims of domestic violence and abuse.
By including this age group the government hopes to encourage young people to come forward and get the support they need, through a helpline or specialist service.
A young people’s panel will be set up by the NSPCC. The panel will consist of up to 5 members between the age of 16 and 22, who will work with the government on domestic violence policy and wider work to fight violence against women and girls.
We’ve all been the new kid: When we teach young people to value each person as God does, their perspective changes. How much better would it be for our first time visitors if we took away some of the guesswork at a first session and ensured experienced young people helped them.
We laid out lots of fruit, juices, and other types of drinks for the young people to add into their glass. When they had the ingredients they wanted they went to one of two blenders and blended their drink with crushed ice.
The group had lots of fun in their Christmas jumpers.