INCLUDEM Chief Exec speaks up for Scotland’s most challenging young people

IncludemScotland must not give up on its most challenging young people” is the message from Angela Morgan, Chief Executive of Scottish Charity Includem. She argues her case at a Howard League Lecture on Monday 12th March 2012 in Edinburgh.

In her lecture entitled “A Better Life: the case for not giving up on the most challenging young people”, Angela will speak of how “there is no ‘silver bullet’, and no neat and easy solutions to messy human problems. However, that doesn’t mean we should do nothing to help Scotland’s most challenging young people. From a preventative spend perspective, these are exactly the young people who are most likely to create substantial short, medium and long term costs to the public purse. The stakes are high – to the public purse, the individual young people and to communities.”

“We must plan and deliver services that are there at the times when young people are in the most desperate need, are most difficult and most at risk. It is crucial in these harsh economic times that organisations stay focused on improving the lives of young people, not on organisational needs.

At the lecture Angela will also launch a new hard hitting short-film, A Better Life, about Steven, referred to Includem aged 14 whilst in residential care. Steven was going off the rails and regularly involved in gang related violence fuelled by drugs and alcohol. Steven tells his story in his own words about the support he received from Includem. He talks about how he got his life back together and back home living with his mum, instead of the bleak alternative. ‘If I hadn’t had Includem I probably would have just ended up in Secure [care].

 To hear Steven’s story, please visit Includem’s YouTube Channel where the film will be available to view from Monday 12th March.

John Scott, Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform in Scotland, says:

We are delighted that Angela has agreed to speak in our lecture series. If a society can be judged by how it treats those in prison, it is equally true that it should be judged by how it approaches the problems of its most challenging young people. Scotland has a proud tradition of adopting a welfare approach through the Children’s Hearings System but we need to continue to do whatever we can to help young people in trouble, for their sake and the sake of society. Includem are an important part of the answer for many young people today and Angela’s talk is a welcome reminder of the challenges and the rewards for such important work.”