The PFCC’s ‘RISE’ project, changing young people’s lives

Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT) and Barnardo’s RISE practitioners met at Cumbria Constabulary HQ on Tuesday 18 July to reflect on the successes of the RISE project, as the pilot completes its first year.


The Child Centred Policing team with Cumbria Constabulary have identified that 65.5% of children completing the programme, have not come back to police attention in any way. From 1st April 2022-31 March 2023, 57 young people have been referred to the RISE programme, a countywide early intervention child mentor scheme, aimed at targeting young people with increased risk of entering the Criminal Justice System. Collectively, they have received 322 mentoring sessions and 98 sessions supporting their families.


Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), Peter McCall commissioned Barnardo’s £289,000 over two years, to deliver the RISE project, an early intervention 1- 2- 1 scheme, for young people displaying risk taking behaviours. The RISE practitioners provide safe, non-judgmental support during confidential meetings, with the aim of developing skills and knowledge on how to make better life choices as young people.


Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DPFCC) Mike Johnson comments: “It’s really positive that parents, practitioners and professionals from several services, have identified significant positive changes in the young people who have been supported by the RISE programme over the last year.


“It’s clear that the RISE practitioners understand how vital it is to work with everyone involved, including the young person’s school, signposting to specialist support services, as well as working together with the child’s family.


“The RISE programme puts the young person at the heart of solving the problem. The support is individually tailored to each young person’s needs.  It empowers them and ensures that the child’s voice is heard.”


Hannah Wilkinson, RISE Team Manager comments: “The first year of RISE has been a great success. The team is embedded within the Child Centred Policing teams across the county, working collaboratively to identify the children and young people who require support.


“At the heart of Barnardo’s support is providing children with a trusted relationship and a safe space to explore their thoughts, feelings and wishes, as well as helping empower the child to reach their full potential. RISE also understands the importance of working with families and the child’s wider network to meet their holistic needs.”


Inspector Neil Parkin works in the constabulary’s Child Centre Policing Team. He said: “These results show the huge success of this programme and is testament to both the skill and hard work of those involved and the willingness of the children to take part.


“The mentoring of these young people has positively helped them. It will have an overwhelmingly good impact on their lives now and in the future, including schooling, employment and, crucially, staying clear of the criminal justice system.


“It helps the children and their families make healthy decisions, improve relationships, prevent further risk of harm and reduces offending behaviour.”



Case Study Two– ‘P’, age 12 from Carlisle

Following a call out to the home, the Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT) raised significant concern in relation to the behaviour of ‘P’, who was struggling with anger control and displaying violence towards a family member. Attendance at school was a concern, due to claims of being bullied and problems with all of the teachers. ‘P’ had previously threatened to self-harm, holding a knife to their own throat and saying they wanted to die. The parent had attempted numerous times, unsuccessfully, to seek support from the school and GP. Mental health conditions were suspected.

The RISE team, made contact with ‘P’ initially within the family home, with sessions later progressing into the school setting. They facilitated open conversations, ensuring ‘P’ felt valued and listened too, placing ‘P’ at the heart of the intervention. RISE practitioner assisted ‘P’ to form a strong alliance with the school, and the ability to view school as a ‘safe’ space, resulting in a high attendance rate.

By understanding the dynamics of the family relationships, circumstances within the home and wider networks, the RISE practitioner identified triggers to ‘P’ risk taking behaviour. These were shared with support services to ensure the correct level of help was offered to the family, thereby reducing risk and improving safety for the family collectively. These included:

  • Referral to Children’s Service – family now open on Child & Family assessment.
  • Liaise & Diversion assessment screening completed (ASD/Speech and Language) – Resulting in a referral been submitted to CAHMS for further assessment.
  • 2 Food Bank referrals
  • Cost of living crisis fund – supporting with Gas & Electric cost and Food shopping voucher.

Parent speaks of positive changes in ‘P’s behaviour within the home and school.




Case Study Two – ‘J’, aged 9 from Coniston

The Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT) made a referral to the RISE team, following concerns around ‘J’ managing his anger. He was reported to be showing aggressive/violent behaviour; lashing out, hitting family members and throwing household items. ‘J’ pushed mum, who was heavily pregnant and there were worries that ‘J’ was becoming increasingly violent.


At the beginning of the RISE support sessions, ‘J’ did not take responsibility for his actions but was aware that something needed to change.  After working with RISE practitioner, ‘J’ grew more self-aware, taking on board the responsibility of his actions. Events such as family break ups were unpicked and how past traumas may be affecting him. Sessions were tailored around building resilience and coping strategies for ‘J’ to manage his thoughts and feelings.

RISE supported mum also, working together to ensure risks were reduced and safety was improved at home. RISE practitioner also built a positive relationship with school and was able to check-in with teachers around ‘J’s behaviour and choices. School made the decision to contribute to an ADHD referral, put in with mum, through the GP.


By the end of the RISE support, ‘J’ was taking responsibility for his own actions and was also implementing a lot of strategies independently, both at home and in school. Mum also commented that she had seen a huge difference in the way ‘J’ was responding to things and how resilient he was becoming. Awaiting results from assessment for ADHD.



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