Divert Following the resounding success of ARC and the demand for a similar service for a younger age group, YSS was awarded further funding from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to work with young people aged 13-16 years old. This service, called Divert, started in August 2017. What is Divert? Divert is similar to ARC but caters for 13-16 year olds who are in, or at risk of being involved in, the Criminal Justice System across West Mercia. It is also a diversionary project aimed at young people who are displaying anti-social behaviour, have started to disengage or who are feeling lost and alone. It is particularly important to prevent minor issues becoming major issues further down the line. Divert uses skilled YSS keyworkers and Volunteer Mentors to provide one to one support to young people who are referred to the project, helping them to access community based activities and other appropriate services. How does Divert help? There are a number of ways a young person can get involved with Divert, including self-referral, with many referrals coming from schools. The first step is to meet with a Divert keyworker to discuss what it is going on in their life and what they want to achieve. The keyworker will then help them get to where they want to go by creating a Smart Action Plan to help them achieve their goals. The keyworker will ensure the young person has access to all the relevant support services available in the community, and can refer the young person to the appropriate agency should specialist support be required. Divert keyworkers will meet the young person in the community, at flexible times including evenings and weekends, usually once a week. The face-to-face contact is supplemented by regular telephone and text contact. Generally a young person is with Divert for approximately 12 weeks. As well as working directly with a Divert Keyworker, each young person can also be allocated a Volunteer Mentor to provide ongoing motivation and support. The mentor will help them to decide what activities they would like to be involved in and what outcomes they want to achieve, for example gaining better social relationships, improving educational attainment and addressing concerns that impact on the young persons life. What difference does Divert make? Hear what real people have to say: They are very pleased with the progress Chloe is making with Divert in such a short space of time. Much Wenlock School JH said that he really has benefited from the support he has received and has enjoyed working with his keyworker. He said he knows that he wouldn’t still be at the school now without the help and may well have been in trouble with the police I wouldn't have come in to school today if my keyworker hadn't been coming. I couldn't wait for my keyworker to come back from their holiday because they really listen to me. I've had the school counsellor and other workers but my keyworker is different and really listens. JD – Shropshire To read a case study please click here. Want to get involved?Become a volunteer If you are interested in becoming a Divert volunteer mentor please download our Divert Volunteer Mentor Role Description here and Volunteer Application form here. Make a referral If you would like to refer a young person to Divert or are aged 13–16 and want to know if Divert is for you, please email [email protected] or call 07584 706 394.