Foundation North Case Study

Springboard was identified by Foundation North in 2015 as “an effective, well-regarded organisation having an impact on its local community.”
Foundation North developed an investment plan which included some compelling outcomes from Springboard’s work. For example, Police in the Rodney area saw Springboard’s work as the primary contributor to the significant reduction of youth crime in Rodney in recent years. In addition a significant decrease in Youth Justice referrals in North Rodney from 336 in 2008-2009 to 134 in 2012-2013 was attributed by Oranga Tamariki (formerly Child, Youth and Family) directly to Springboard’s intervention programmes. Foundations North’s decision to invest in Springboard through the Foundation’s Catalysts for Change programme was driven by the potential for its model to be strengthened and made available to other communities in the region to support youth at risk. (Which has developed into the Ahi Network initiative).

The Springboard Approach

Springboard’s holistic and integrated approach employs the proven components of effective interventions: multi-dimensional family and community-based programmes that fully encompass the needs of at-risk youth and the swift deployment of these to head off ‘risk factors’. Using multi-systemic interventions, the Springboard Model places the young person at the centre of a web of supportive family and community members, targeting their entire social eco-system.

Critical Timing – The Teenage Years

Recent research supports the remarkable changes that take place in the teenage brain and allow us to view adolescence in a much more positive light, it may even cause more to want to come alongside our young people as a trusted guide through a turbulent stage of development.

This stage of development is a key focal point for Springboard, as the teenage years represent a critical opportunity to intervene, champion and develop pathways to success which will lead into adulthood.

It is also at this crucial stage of development that our young people are introduced to the greatest amount of risk taking behaviours and social influences.  Peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, driving, sexual relationships – all come crashing in on our teens at a time when they really don’t have the ability or strategies in place to make the best of decisions.

It is for this reason that teens need adults in their lives who are involved, interested, and able to show how much their future wellbeing matters. They need a balance of support and monitoring that enables them find their own way but also guides them as they navigate this transition to adulthood. By viewing adolescence through a lens of positive development, adults can reinforce the strengths and qualities that typify each young person’s unique pathway as they transition to become successful adults.

(Text adapted from UNICEF article: )

* Medical Reviewers: Sather, Rita, RN, Shelat, Amit, MD

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