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Risk-Avert helps young people

Risk-Avert is an evidence based, independently evaluated school based programme that identifies young people vulnerable to multiple risk-taking behaviours and offers universal and targeted intervention.

Risk-Avert supports young people in schools to make positive choices that can help them navigate life and avoid situations and behaviours that may be harmful to their health or well-being.

Everyone takes risks in life, they are crucial to healthy development. Risk-Avert explores different ways of helping young people understand and manage risk and make positive choices.

The short video to the right will provide you with an overview of how the Risk-Avert programme is implemented and evaluated within schools.

Schools across the UK are now implementing the programme and seeing the benefits of the Risk-Avert approach.

Risk-Avert achieves results

Risk-Avert is now delivered to over 60 schools in seven local authorities, this year over 11,000 young people will take part.

The programme:

  • Improves outcomes for young people participating in the targeted programme in relation to their emotional well-being, resilience and self-efficacy.
  • Clearly identifies young people at risk of a range of risk-taking behaviours - many of these being unknown to the school, without Risk-Avert they may not have been offered support.
  • Works when school staff deliver – 94% of young people say they liked that their teachers delivered the programme.
  • Improves relationships between teachers and pupils -76% of young people report an improved relationship with teachers as a result of the programme. 
  • Offers an innovative approach to tackling the full range of risk-taking behaviours.
  • Enables local authorities and schools to better target resources – the extent of risk-taking in the year group is clearly defined; allowing resources to be targeted where they are needed most and on the most prevalent behaviour.

How does it work?

  • Risk-Avert provides a targeted early intervention and prevention approach to young people engaged in, or at risk of, behaviours which harm health and social functioning.
  • This is achieved through surveying an entire school year age group for risk-taking behaviours. A risk profile is generated for each child and across the year group. Identified young people are invited to attend a targeted 6-session intervention.
  • A full range of PSHE resources are provided to schools and survey data is used to deliver social norms based interventions across the whole year group.
  • The targeted programme offers a six session life skills intervention focused on risk taking, adolescent brain development, critical thinking and deploying skills and strategies to avoid or manage risks.
  • After each cohort completes the programme valid and reliable measures are used to ascertain improvements. This work is led by leading independent academics.

How we evaluate

Risk-Avert benefits from a dual process evaluation. Working with independent academics we evaluate the impact of the programme using quantitative and qualitative methods each academic year.

This is focused on the outcomes and benefits of the programme for schools and young people. We use valid and reliable measures and measure the progress of students pre and post delivery. 

In addition we have a PHD studentship in partnership with the school of health and human sciences at the University of Essex. This work began during the 2015/16 academic year and is a fully funded three year project.

The work of our PHD student is focused on the validity and reliability of the Risk-Avert screening tool and the longitudinal impact of the programme.

What we measure

We measure three key domains for young people, these are:

  • Self-Efficacy 
  • Resilience 
  • Emotional Health

These measures are completed pre and post by young people completing the targeted elements of the Risk-Avert programme. 

In addition qualitative focus groups are completed with selected schools and school staff complete pre and post measures themselves. 

For more information on how we evaluate the programme and the outcomes that Risk-Avert can deliver for your school or local area please get in touch.