CASCADE are delighted to have been commissioned by the Wales Violence Prevention Unit to undertake two evidence reviews: a mapping of the risk factors and interventions for the prevention of youth violence and implementing co-production in public services.
These reports outline evidence-based approaches and interventions for working with young people and the prevention of youth violence. Findings have helped to inform the Violence Prevention Unit’s priorities for 2021/22.
The prevention of youth violence report adopted the definition of youth violence as community and/or public space violence committed by young people under the age of 25. This included peer on peer violence, bullying and gang violence and where young people were involved as victims, perpetrators or witnesses. The report begins with an overview of the research evidence relating to the risk and protective factors for young people before presenting evidence from a systematic mapping and horizon scanning exercise of established and emerging interventions for the prevention of youth violence. Findings highlighted the need for a developmental approach to youth violence prevention which includes primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities at a both targeted and universal level. These findings support the need for a multi-agency collaborative approach to ensure young people are provided with the opportunities at the right time to either safely divert or prevent them from engaging in further acts of violence.
The report on implementing co-productive practice highlighted the direct and indirect benefits of engaging young people and valuing them as assets and creators of knowledge. Five levels of co-productive practice were identified: listening to the child’s voice, supporting the child to articulate their views, considering the child’s views, involving the child in decision making, and shared power and responsibility for decision making. This was facilitated by clarity around the purpose and aims of co-production, setting realistic expectations and ensuring that children and young people are provided with feedback as to outputs and outcomes. The evidence revealed that co-production can lead to improved, more efficient and better services where practitioners have greater knowledge and an understanding of children’s lives and needs.