Inclusion as Prevention: South Lanarkshire 

System reform

Action for Children, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice, South Lanarkshire Council  and  Big  Lottery Scotland. 

Inclusion as Prevention  is a system change initiative that seeks to collaboratively re-shape the design and delivery of preventative services with children and young people who are at risk of or involved in offending. The inter-agency partnership - involving social work, education, police and the voluntary sector - are working to shift practice from reactive and crisis driven approaches, and instead identify and intervene at an earlier point in the lives of children who are at risk of becoming involved in future offending.   

The initiative will use robust data of need, co-production approaches and improvement methodologies to design and test interventions and service responses to improve outcomes. We will use rapid cycle design and testing cycles over a  five-year  period.    


 The need

There is a growing body of evidence and awareness that children involved in a pattern of offending, or who are involved in more serious offences, are nearly always vulnerable, victimised and traumatised young people. Children who are involved in serious offending or frequent offending  almost always  have experienced trauma. The current system of preventative interventions and supports are not reaching the right children.

Our response

Over the five years of the project life, we will work with our partners in the community, local government and national organisations  to identify  the right groups of children and young people, and their families. We will explore  with them what happens when we focus the system on including people. We will design and agree a suitable evaluation approach with the partnership; undertake quantitative and qualitative data collection; and use this data to inform key decisions over the project’s life.


Work to date

  •  Partnership model agreed  

  •  Trust, permission and resources  from organisational leaders to allow staff to take up different roles, working in new ways  

  •  Initial  monitoring and evaluation draft completed  

  •  Data sharing agreements in place   

What next?  

  •  On-going support to the project partners  

  •  Collect data using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how the project is bringing about change over the life of the project  

  • Content analysis providing key findings to help shape and direct the  ongoing  project  

    Our work started in December 2018 and will conclude in November 2023.