“You know what? There are people in bad homes, those kids, we grab them quick, they have nothing to do. We give them a little job to do, send them off, make our money, make their money – everyone is eating right.” – a drug dealer who spoke to the BBC.
This is very interesting article
It highlights quite clearly one of many measurable impacts of this government’s so called ‘austerity’
Those of us who work with vulnerable young people have been saying this would happen since the moment the funding cuts started to hit youth services and education. Youth work is not a luxury or a babysitting service for lazy parents, it’s a vital part of social and emotional development for many young people and if youth workers don’t fill those roles then other people will with disastrous consequences.
It’s not just about missing out on friendship and fun activities, for some young people it’s about finding yourself drawn into the world of drug running or modern slavery/trafficking and exploitation – grooming and criminality because there’s nothing and no one around who can show you an alternative.
It doesn’t even make financial sense to cut these services – so we’ve saved some money now, but at the cost of running lives and costing society a fortune in Police, health and prison services in years to come – not to mention the children’s services & intervention workers (foster carers, youth justice workers, social workers, specialist teachers, counsellors..) that are going to be needed for their children – the teams of professionals needed to support them through their damaged childhoods into broken and unstable adulthood…and the cycle goes around..
Those of us who teach in the SEBD sector know that the chances are our kids will have kids as damaged as they are and we don’t have the resources to break the cycle and the money it costs apart from anything else.
It’s not austerity – it’s punishing underprivileged people and it’s costing us money to boot.