We learn what we live – the story of LINX
The Hampton Trust developed LINX in 2006 primarily through research that identified a gap in provision for young people who were showing signs of escalating violence and had experienced adverse childhoods associated with domestic abuse. The 1995 CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect. It informed the LINX intervention as a framework to enable young people to make the link (x) between their trauma experience, feelings and behaviour. Twenty-five years on this study is as relevant today as it was then. Further studies have confirmed that prolonged exposure to stress in childhood disrupts healthy brain development, manifesting as emotional and conduct problems in childhood, and risk-taking/criminal behaviour in adulthood. The Welsh ACEs Study (Public Health Wales NHS Trust, 2015) reported that compared with people with no ACEs, those with 4+ ACEs were: 14 times more likely to be a victim of violence in the last 12 months, 15 times more likely to be a perpetrator of violence in the last 12 months and 20 times more likely to have been incarcerated in their lives.
During 2006 – 2014 delivery of LINX across Devon, Gloucestershire, Isle of Wight and Hampshire in partnership with youth offending teams provided opportunities to engage young offenders and test LINX as an interactive group work programme. We have now been working in the arena of addressing ACE in young people for the last 14 years and have a proven track record in engaging children and young people via group and individual work. Over the years, LINX has developed from a programme initially targeting young offenders to now encompass disengaged and disruptive young people both at risk of school exclusion and entering the criminal justice system.
ACE trained and Trauma Informed Practitioners use LINX to identify ‘protective factors’ (sometimes referred to as buffers) for young people and this can reduce the risk of repeat offending and risk taking behaviour by providing alternative solutions. By addressing ACE and building resilience in this cohort LINX can help more children and young people reach their full potential and reduce crime and victimisation.
We currently deliver LINX in Basingstoke in community and school settings.
We also deliver LINX in schools in Southampton. If you have funding and are interesting in having LINX in your school please contact us.