Risk-Avert was launched as a pilot project in Essex during the 2012/13 academic year. It is a co-developed project between The Training Effect and Essex County Council.
To learn more about the The Training Effect and the work we do to support health and well-being across the country please click here.
Since the original cohort of 10 schools Risk-Avert has expanded to multiple local authority areas and during the 2015/16 academic year 9,856 young people were engaged in the programme.
Risk-Avert is built on a belief that we need to look beyond young people's presenting behaviour, moving away from asking "What are young people doing?" to an approach asking "Why are they doing this?"
Sounds simple. But many interventions targeted at risk-taking behaviour focus only on the behaviour (e.g. Substance Misuse) and the possible consequences (e.g. Addiction, Health) resulting in a limited ability to modify and change behaviour.
The reasons why young people (and adults) engage in risk-taking behaviours are complex. In fact they are very complex. Often having little to do with our knowledge of the inherent risks of the behaviour.
Ask yourself, do young people already know the risks related to smoking before they experiment? or the Internet before they share a photo? In our experience the answer is yes. The majority of young people we work with already know the risks (albeit sometimes simplistically) related to a wide range of risk behaviours.
Our programme acknowledges and accepts that knowledge only represents one aspect of how we make decisions. We have developed a programme which looks at the additional factors which influence decision making and behaviour. We create an environment for young people which offers the greatest chance of behavioural change and positive outcomes.
To find out more about the programme and how you can bring Risk-Avert to your school or local authority area please get in touch.