Why Foundation4Life Was Formed
Often parents, teachers, social workers, police, youth work practitioners, and others involved with young offenders find that they are unable to engage with hard to reach and disaffected teenagers and are often more likely to be influenced by their peers. Evidence has shown when it comes to respecting attitudes and codes of behaviour, young people will engage, IF they believe that you are suitably qualified and experienced to talk about a subject matter. They also look up to ex-offenders/ gang members who they see as role models. The telling advantage they have is that they have inhabited the world many of the young people aspire to as part of modern youth culture.
Having “walked the walk” they can empathise with teenagers’ craving for respect. Importantly the young people see the facilitators as suitably qualified to challenge their attitude, behaviour and issues discussed because of their background and experience. In the United States, projects involving ex-offenders/ gang leaders taking the anti-crime message to the streets have proven extremely effective. Ironically, this is the only industry where the experience of ex-offenders is in fact an asset.
The idea of setting up F4L came about as a result of the huge demand for the services of F4L’s lead consultants/ trainers; Gifford Sutherland and Denzle Howell, former lead co-ordinators (over 4 years collectively) on the ‘Coldingley Crime Diversion Scheme’ (CCDS).