Considering various studies like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our experience over the last 18 years and interviews with young people, we have categorised four key areas each young person needs to satisfy to at least a basic level

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Shelter, Food, Safety and Communication

At a very fundamental level, each child needs to feel safe have access to nutritional food, have a place they can call home and the ability to communicate in English to a basic level. These are the fundamental building blocks to a stable child. These are the basic needs for a child to be able to Stand Up without fear.

Common symptoms associated to a lack of these needs are aggression, looking unhealthy, stealing and selfishness.

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Family, Friends, Social network and Confidence

Once a child has the basic needs to survive, these building blocks support a child’s basic development. Feeling a sense of belonging and love is at the core of happiness and compassion – these are part of what makes us human. Having the confidence to approach people and situations supports a child’s path to resilience and social integration. Also creating a social network which may be family, friends, teachers and local shops or beyond supports a child’s understanding of the environment and how to navigate through it.

Common symptoms associated to a lack of these needs are shyness, gang membership, extremism and unrealistic expectations


Skills, Aspiration, Positivity and Control

In order for a young person to earn a stake in society, he or she will need to develop an aspiration for something, which could be a motivation or admiration. This may start off as an interest in sport and lead to a aspiration for a profession. A key part of this is exposure to opportunities so young people can find some they want rather than picking the best of a bad bunch.

Gaining a sense of control and having a positive outlook are both important parts of ensuring this need develop successfully. Generally, this is underpinned by a solid skill development

Common symptoms associated to a lack of these needs are depression, use of drugs, persistent scepticism and NEET (not in education, employment or training)


Education, Employment, Satisfaction and Leadership

Gaining a sense of achievement is important at every stage of a young person’s life. Although, education and employment are mainstream benchmarks for achievement, it is important to know that these are not the only benchmarks. Our research have shown that each young person has a unique idea of what success looks like. The relevance here is ensuring young people have a real chance to reach success and acknowledgement of that success. Gaining a feeling of achievement and satisfaction supports assigning and achieving future successes.

Common symptoms associated to a lack of these needs are dropping out of EET (education, employment or training), depression, deteriorating behaviour and loss of motivation

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