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Annual Report 2018/19

Update on need and young people in Lewisham

Youth First’s overarching aim is to help young people ‘develop their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals.’ To do so, we need to help address the 6 priority needs set out in Lewisham’s early help strategy. A summary of our research into these needs can be found below:

Parents and children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour

  • 284 victims of serious youth violence in Lewisham (2018)
  • Rate of first time entry into the youth justice system in 2017: 628 per 10k pop (2nd worst in London.

Children who have not been attending school regularly

  • Lewisham has the worst secondary permanent exclusions rate in London at 0.43%.
  • 9.9% of its pupils are characterised as persistently absent. (2016/17)

Children who need help: children of all ages who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a child protection plan

  • 2,528 recorded Child In Need*  episodes.
  • There were 327 subject to a CPP,
  • 482 children in care. (2017/18)

Families affected by domestic violence and abuse

  •  1245 (49%) Child in Need * episodes with "domestic violence" factor identified at the end of assessment. (2017/18)

Parents and children with a range of health problems

  • Projected number of 0-17 year olds in a household where an adult has moderate or higher mental ill-health symptom: 23,780 (2019)
  • % of obese children at Year 6 age: 23.58% (2016)

Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness

  • 22.7% % of children under 16 were in low income families. (2015)
  • 6% of young people over 16 classed as NEET. (2016)

In 2018/19 Youth First reached 5,526 (14%) of the 39,126 young people aged 8-19 in Lewisham borough.   We will use the above data to guide our future service design, including income generation activities, to ensure that we are providing the most effective support for those with the highest priority needs.


* Child in Need episodes are defined as referrals to Children’s Social Care that then resulted in some kind of further action, and were not simply closed after assessment.