Skip to main content
Language Translation
Language Translation requires Additional Cookies enabled

The Project

Positive Directions – The Pilot Project

When creating our framework, we ensured that we were led by the needs and experience of young people. When we spoke with children and young people, they told us:

  • Don’t label me as MAD
  • Don’t label me as BAD
  • Connect me to my community so I can do things that make me happy 
  • Ensure the people working with me don’t judge me, and are kind and approachable


Our objectives:

  • Using a non-medical model of Trauma-Informed approaches - acknowledging the relationship between people's life experiences and the development of mental health difficulties, avoiding pathologizing or labelling children and young people’s behaviours
  • Recognition that behaviour when understood in the context of trauma is normal 
  • Encouraging a Children and young people lead ‘think family’ model
  • Promoting a system-wide, strengths based, youth work lead model supported by universal and enhanced social prescribing offers
  • Looking beyond the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) framework, recognising that misapplication of ACE theory can be maladaptive and deficit-based
  • Viewing trauma through an intersectional lens, recognising that each experience is unique to the individual, and understanding what life is really like for the child and young person
  • Challenging victim blaming and shaming narratives in professional and community contexts


Proposed outcomes:

  • Decrease in the number of CYPs entering or returning to care 
  • Reduction in school exclusions/refusals
  • Reduction in the number of incidents of serious youth violence linked to gang involvement/affiliation
  • Reduction in hospital admissions due to mental health crisis/self-injurious behaviour 
  • Increased confidence of practitioners in being able to identify and respond to trauma
  • Reduction in the number of children and young people returning to custodial settings and increase in GP registration leaving Secure Estate
  • Decrease in the number of young people from refugee/asylum seeking families becoming gang affiliated and involved

There are two test and learn pilot services in place until March 2025 adopting this new way of working with a small cohort of young people aged 10-18 open to Edge of Care Team (Coventry Children’s Services) and Youth Justice and FAST in Warwickshire Children’s services.