What each child needs, no matter who they are, is a reliable, mentor who helps them develop a creativeconstructive interest chosen by the young person. This mentor can be put in place even before a child goes to school, allowing prevention of social problems at their roots.
I am now 63 and have been been volunteering to support young people all my adult life through a trust I founded.I have seen young people transformed.
Sharing a single activity with a non-judgemental adult outside home and school allows the young person to feel heard and respected.
Teachers and parents are in a position of authority and too close to children, especially teenagers, for them to listen and respond. This why mentors are vital not only to prevent truanting, but also crime, drug-taking and alcoholism. An hour a week can make this change. The chosen interest acts as a fulcrum around which the child's life can evolve.
Margie McGregor, "Creative inspirations" West Wing. Hordley House, Wootton Woodstock, Oxon