New Dingle Foundation Programme Builds Resilience

Published: Mon 26 Jun 2017 10:48 AM
Report Shows New Dingle Foundation Programme Builds Resilience, Social Competence And Engagement
Monday, 26th June 2017
The Graeme Dingle Foundation is launching its latest research and evaluation report at Parliament tomorrow, which confirms the effectiveness of its newest programme, MYND Sibling.
The programme, aimed at the vulnerable younger siblings of youth offenders, focuses on life-skills development designed to reduce the likelihood of ‘copy-cat’ delinquency and offending behaviour.
The report says that the siblings, who generally have an older brother involved with the youth justice or criminal system, are exposed to many risk factors including poverty, family dysfunction and underprivileged communities.
Stephen Boxer, Manager of MYND, a Graeme Dingle Foundation programme says the MYND Sibling evaluation report proves that the two pilot programmes (run consecutively in 2015 and 2016) are having a positive impact.
“The new MYND Sibling Programme attempts to mitigate the many risk factors faced by these children by providing positive role modeling, encouraging healthy relationships with parents and caregivers, teaching life skills, and providing real access to invaluable community services.
“We selected the participants in consultation with NZ Police, Child Youth and Family Services and the MYND staff, based on their knowledge of youth offenders and their families. They took part in weekly sessions, and over several months, were able to demonstrate improved resilience, social competence and engagement at school,” he says.
“We did note some variations between younger and older participants, with the younger children showing a greater degree of development and adaptability over the same time period. For us, this confirms the pressing need to continue the valuable work of this programme, and ensure we engage as early as possible,” says Boxer.
The report says that participation in organised extra-curricular activities (including Church Youth Groups, sports clubs and Kapa Haka groups) greatly improved sibling confidence, with the added bonus of meaning there was less spare time to be influenced by negative peer groups or become involved in ‘risky behaviours’.
Boxer says that poor English language and communication skills came up as a red flag in the research, heavily impacting relationships and engagement by siblings with teachers and peers.
Sir Graeme Dingle, co-founder of the organization, says that the new MYND Sibling programme provides a critical piece of the puzzle in terms of giving all young people in New Zealand the chance to be the best that they can be.
“We have spent more than 20 years trying to improve New Zealand’s negative youth statistics, and we have a goal of transforming the lives of 50,000 of our young people by 2050.
“MYND and MYND Sibling is a huge part of that picture: it’s a whole lot cheaper and more effective to build a fence at the top of the cliff (surrounding a happier and more resilient community), than it is to continually send ambulances to the bottom,” says Sir Graeme.
The MYND Sibling programme aligns with the Ministry of Social Development’s priorities for Vulnerable Children, and the launch event will be hosted at Parliament by Associate Minister for Children, Hon. Alfred Ngaro.

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