IN honour of BC Youth Week (May 1-7) the Surrey RCMP is recognizing an important milestone, the 25th year anniversary of the Surrey RCMP Youth Intervention Program (YIP).
The Youth Intervention Program has been supporting young people in the community since 1995. Full time counsellors work with youth and their families to help divert them away from the criminal justice system through counselling, family support and referrals.
Referrals to the program are made by Surrey RCMP officers who encounter youth during their calls for service. In 2019 alone YIP received over 220 new referrals. While they’re not meeting face-to-face right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, YIP Counsellors continue to provide support to youth and families by phone.
“Our Youth Intervention Program staff are able to offer assistance to youth who, for a variety of reasons, have made some poor decisions early on,” says Amanda Peters, Intervention Services Manager. “YIP Counsellors look beyond the crime to try and understand the underlying issues behind the actions, and how we can help encourage better choices moving forward.”
The Youth Intervention Program is one of Surrey RCMP`s longest running youth diversion programs, and part of an overarching strategy to help steer youth away from activities which place them at a high risk for criminality and to promote good choices for kids at a young age.
A full list of Surrey RCMP Youth Programs are available on their website, they include:
· Family and Youth Resource Support Team (FYRST) pairs police officers with counsellors who work together to offer mobile assistance to youth in grades 4-7 and their families.
· Parent Helpline provides guidance for parents/guardians who believe their child is involved or at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity through a dedicated phone line.
· WRAP Program offers wraparound support for youth exhibiting signs of gang involvement in partnership with the Surrey School District.
· Restorative Justice gives youth an opportunity to account for their actions outside of the formal court process.
· Project Lavender and Shattering the Image school presentations were created by Surrey RCMP officers in collaboration with the Surrey School District to share information with youth on how choices can have a profound impact on their lives.