The original Risk-Avert programme was launched as a pilot project in Essex during 2013. It is a co-developed project between The Training Effect and Essex County Council. Since the original cohort of 10 schools Risk-Avert has expanded to multiple local authority areas and will be engaging with over 10,000 young people during the 2016/17 academic year.
Risk-Avert is built on the principle that we need to look beyond young people's presenting behaviour, moving away from asking what are young people doing? to instead asking why are they doing this?
Sounds simple but many interventions targeted at risk-taking behaviour focus only on the behaviour (e.g. substance misuse) and the possible consequences (e.g. addiction, health) resulting in a limited ability to modify and change behaviour.
The reasons why young people engage in risk-taking behaviours are complex; in fact they are very complex. Often they have nothing to do with knowledge of the related risks of the behaviour.
Ask yourself, do children at the end of primary education already know the risks related to the Internet? And what about smoking?
In our experience the answer is yes. The vast majority of children will already know the risks (albeit sometimes broadly) and have been given significant information related to staying safe.
Do any of your children leave primary school without knowing the risks of smoking? Then why is it that some will go on to become regular smokers?