Young Persons Practitioners’ Forums: November 2014

More than 100 practitioners from across Kent joined KCA’s Young Persons’ Service for the bi-annual Practitioners’ Forums.

The nature of the Young Persons’ Services’ work, means partnership working with agencies including councils, health professionals and those within education to name a few, are vital in supporting young people.

The forums are held to bring professionals from these areas together, giving them up-to-date information on trends, changes and KCA initiatives.

The morning sessions, held in Ebbsfleet and Whitstable last week, gave the practitioners five presentations.

After these, a question and answer session was held to allow people to clarify information and ask questions relating to their field of work.

Sessions included a welcome from KCA’s Kent services manager Steve Butler, who shared some interesting statistics and explained the 2015 merger between KCA and Addaction.
From April – September 2014, 156 treatments were started by young people, 99% of those exiting during this period were in a planned way. Of these, 36% were abstinent from substances.
The Young Persons’ Service have also seen over 3,000 young people for early interventions during the first two quarters.

A lively presentation was given by Matt Fagg on the effects of alcohol. He outlined some European and global statistics, along with details on how alcohol is used in sports advertising, the rise in young people being admitted to hospital with alcohol problems and perceptions by young people that alcohol is OK because it’s legal.

The third presentation was delivered by Kama McKenzie who is the Adfam Family Development co-ordinator for Kent who is supporting KCA’s Young Person service develop interventions.
She explained what the Family Intervention Project offers, who it’s for, how to make a referral and where she helps families across Kent.

Practitioners next saw an informative and topical presentation on e-cigarettes from Nick Hickmott, a young persons’ worker, who showed the forum what they look like and told them what they are, how they work and the potential problems with them for young people – mainly that they are as addictive as cigarettes because they still contain nicotine.
You can find out more about e-cigarettes here.

The forum’s final presentation was from Rick Bradley, KCA’s expert and lead on New/Novel Psychoactive Substances, including legal highs.
He gave a summary of the Home Office’s recent report on NPS, giving an overview of trends on a local, national and international level. Rick spoke about what legislation might be used in the future to try and curb the trade in legal highs and detailed what the possible consequences of this may be.

You can view all of the presentations here.

The next Practitioners’ Forums will be held in March 2015 – dates to be confirmed.

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