What we've found out

Our findings throughout the two years are that Sadly over 65% of these young people had fallen through the net and had received no help in their primary years when they had been severely bullied or had significant emotional events at home, a loss, or the increasing problem of family break ups.

We had young people that had severe child protection issues where they were left at home without parents and emotionally neglected. Alcoholic parents who were violent towards young people and they were exposed to severe domestic violence. 

An example of a case at present is where we are dealing with a brother and sister who have been extremely physically and emotionally neglected and psychologically abused and have now just lost their mother to alcoholism. We are supporting the father and the children. The 15-year-old is in the middle of his exams and is developing huge anger issues.  Refocus is working in partnership with the school to support this family to deal with this emotional turmoil.

We also have discovered a higher proportion of domestic violence in Eastern European and African communities that are leading young people to gang culture and crime. Primarily due to neglect at home and loneliness.

Many young people referred to us have been in similar situations where they are angry, shut down and in return create a cycle of behaviour that they are unable to break free from. Some of the issues young people had for many years and they had only been referred to us at the ages of 15 and 16 years old.

Over 30% of the issues we are dealing with are losses and family breakups that lead young people to become violent and unable to cope.

The problems identified then get transferred into ongoing problems, a reputation for being naughty and a continuation of negative behaviour as a way of coping that then leads to crime, violence, exclusions, and mental health problems, such as self-harm and anorexia with both boys and girls.

The young people that have been referred to us over the past 2 years are suggested by the schools, social services and probation to be the least helped and the most problematic. 

35% of the young people had already seen a counsellor before Refocus and yet felt that they had never had this type of support and felt they learnt so much about themselves and they were able to help themselves with problems they didn't know they had.