Creating positive

What is the Empowerment Approach?

LATEST NEWSYael Breuer interviews Kit Messenger

Yael Breuer speaks to Kit Messenger, co-founder of Changing Chances CIC, an organisation that is on a mission to improve the life chances of children and young people, especially those who struggle at home, in the classroom, and beyond. 

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Empowering young people to build positive futures

Our programmes offer fresh, evidence-based approaches and tools for adults who support young people, especially those who are struggling.

The Empowerment Approach

The Empowerment Approach is an innovative, research-based approach to support children and young people who are anxious or withdrawn; who struggle with unhelpful and risky behaviour; or who find school a challenge. The approach offers a proven alternative to the traditional control-based methods of managing behaviour.

Practical strategies based on the latest research

The Empowerment Approach is built on what the latest neuroscience tells us about the factors that sit behind behaviour that is unhelpful to the child and to those around them. It is informed by our understanding of neurodiversity and the impact of attachment and trauma on behaviour difficulties. It is underpinned by therapeutic approaches.

The approach also sets out a very practical methodology for addressing children’s difficulties on a day-to-day basis. It is underpinned by strong relationships between adults and young people. Relationships characterised by positive communication; mutual respect and listening to understand the young person’s experience.

Developing skills

The Empowerment Approach supports the development of pro-social skills for all children and young people. It also creates a targeted support structure for young people with high levels of difficulty, including those who:

Be curious, not furious about behaviour

Listen to understand, not listen to respond

  • Have difficulty keeping to agreed boundaries.
  • Demonstrate social, emotional or mental health difficulties which may lead to unwanted behaviours and challenging relationships.
  • Experience difficulties in following instructions and regulating emotions.
  • Struggle to manage time, organise equipment and get started on tasks.

Young people at the centre

The approach places young people’s self-awareness at its heart. It provides practical strategies and tools to support children to truly understand their difficulties and to move from responses driven by emotion towards positive self-control.

Innovative resources

The Empowerment Approach is supported by our innovative tools; specially-designed resources and visual aids. Training participants can access our toolkit of resources for use with children and young people is also available to purchase.

“I think that the way this approach takes the blame away from the child, and actually praises their brains for getting them safely through life makes a monumental change to them and to us.” Parent

“For the first time in eight years, I have some hope for one particular young person’s long-term outcome.  I now believe we can support her to make positive changes, and that’s an incredibly powerful feeling.” Foster Carer