This project is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union
The KEY (Kerry Empowering Youth) service is a divisional Youth Diversion Programme consisting of 13 Youth Justice Workers and 1 Co-ordinator. KDYS partners with An Garda Siochana and the Department of Justice to ensure this service is available for all young people in the Kerry Garda Division.
Youth Justice work involves working with young people involved in, or at risk of being involved in, crime and anti-social behaviour to help them make positive life choices. The KEY service works with young people across Kerry, and project workers engage with young people individually, either in the home, school or community setting – depending on where suits the young person. Youth justice project workers advocate for the young people and liaise with other agencies in the young person’s life to support engagement in appropriate support services.
The service also has a remit for early intervention work with children aged 8-11 years old. Following research, a specific intervention for this age group was developed. A number of different approaches are utilised within the work, depending on the young person’s need i.e., Trauma Informed approach, Motivational Interviewing, Restorative Practices and Dialectic Behavioural Therapy. The programme operates by a referral system and young people are screened to assess suitability for the service.