Refer a Child to the
Your Choice Programme
Your Choice is a programme that uses ideas from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to support children aged 11-17 affected by extra-familial violence and related harms. Funded by the government and Youth Endowment Fund, the project is being rolled out across London. Over the next three years, three services within Lambeth will be trained in the Your Choice programme.
What is the programme trying to achieve?
The sessions aim to help the child to better understand themselves and equip them with coping strategies. CBT is goal oriented, with a focus on problem solving and modifications to cognitive processes, behaviour and emotional reactions to enable young people to achieve their goals. Young people will be supported to explore their personal values (during a critical stage in the formation of their identity) and consider how they can influence and guide behaviour. It is hoped that these sessions will empower the child and disrupt patterns of behaviour that may otherwise impact on their future goals.
The Your Choice CBT tools and techniques are not intended to be a standalone to ‘fix’ the child or to make them solely responsible for their circumstances and responses to them. These are specific techniques aimed at helping the child understand and manage their responses to their internal triggers and external stressors. This does not negate the importance of work with and understanding of the child’s history, family context, peers, neighbourhood, educational experience or wider structural factors which impinge upon behaviour, experience and outcomes. In this way Your Choice is one part of Lambeth’s wider response, to better support the child and enable positive change with them.
Your Choice is built on evidence (such as Power the Fight's report Therapeutic Interventions for Peace) about the cultural competency of therapeutic professionals and how this can be addressed to better support Black children.
How is the Your Choice programme delivered to children?
The Your Choice techniques are used by practitioners who are working directly with children. They include tools and techniques to help children identify thought patterns, triggers and outcomes of thoughts. The programme asks for three contacts per week over a 12-week period.
Who should be referred for a Your Choice intervention?
Any child/young person aged 11-17 who is at medium to high risk of serious violence. Their participation in the Your Choice programme is based on their consent. Download this young-person designed flyer to talk it through with the child you're working with.
Make a referral
Discuss the programme with the child and their parent/carer. You can use this flyer designed by a young person. When you're ready, complete the short referral form. You will be invited to attend a Your Choice Panel (happens every Tuesday at 9.15am) where you can discuss the child you're working with in more detail.