A Tale Of a Community HERO

Our Children Are The Next Generation Of Leaders And We Need To Nurture Them, Love Them, Inspire Them And Educate Them To Believe In Themselves… CLAUDINE DUBERRY

I am a married mother of 6 children, was born in the London Borough of Hackney during the 60’s. I studied and obtain qualifications in; Criminology and social policy- Youth Crime, Probation and Applied Criminology- Masters in Social work and Mental Health First Aid just to mention a few. These qualifications have contributed to, and set the career path that I would take in working with children, young people and families.

My career began as a residential social worker in the early 80’s in a children’s home in the London Borough of Hackney. After several different roles in the care sector, I went on to work as a remand social worker for a Local Authority, where I worked with children and young people who were involved in the criminal justice system, in court, in custody and the secure estate. After three years I left the Local Authority to manage a private mother and baby unit. Having seen the challenges faced by children and young people in education the criminal justice system and those who encounter social services Claudine decided to set up her own organisation called Taking Positive Steps in 2013 and has recently registered it as a charity with the charities commission (Registered Charity Number 1184764)

The organisation has several areas that it covers which includes; school exclusions, working with parents who are dealing with children and young people with challenging behaviours (school and social exclusion, county lines and serious youth violence) a prison programme that provides mentoring for lifers, training programmes which are delivered in schools and in the community and its community engagement, support and advice which is delivered through its parenting with purpose, WhatsApp group and its live debates which have become known as Real Talk with Taking Positive Steps.

Where there is no vision, there is no hope” – George Washington Carver


The mission of our ‘Unlawful group association’ initiative is to provide early intervention for children and young people involved in, or on the periphery of crime, by addressing some of the root causes which includes school and social exclusion, serious youth violence and family disharmony. Taking Positive Steps is the catalyst that fosters safer communities, by working in a conscientious manner with disaffected young people, their parents and our partner agencies. At Taking Positive Steps, we recognise that children and young people involved in anti-social behaviour and unlawful group association can often be hard to reach and engage with. This disconcerting behaviour is often attributed to stress, anger, frustration, rejection and or peer pressure. Nevertheless, we believe that positive change amongst this youth group can be obtained with positive collaboration, consistency and input from a team around the child, inclusive of parents, professionals and the community.

Far to often social workers don’t go that extra mile because someone else thinks it’s not worth it. At the end of the day we are public service providers and the life and welfare of “Every Child and Young Person Matters”

Many families have come to this realisation and are welcoming and receptive of the support services offered by Taking Positive Steps. One of the services that we offer, and the take-up is very high is our ‘NO More Exclusions’ mentoring and support for children, young people and parents. We support parents to challenge some of what can only be termed as barbaric practices of some schools when then insist on placing children and young people into internal isolation units with no regards for their missed education or their emotional or mental wellbeing.

“this practice must be challenged at every opportunity” and should be deemed as unlawful.

Our children are the next generation of leaders and we need to nurture them, love them, inspire them and educate them to believe in themselves.

Late Tupac Shakur “The system isn’t going to provide an education that will teach you how to over throw the system”

This means that we have to step up and educate our own against a system that doesn’t favour us and this is my motivation

The government need to re-think the mental, emotional and traumatic impact of school exclusions and the use of isolation units within schools. The government will not acknowledge that school exclusions are linked to serious youth violence. Recently quizzed on the use of isolation rooms, ex-education secretary Damian Hinds said they were not “unlawful” but he would expect it to be done in a “proportionate and constructive way”. What is “proportionate and constructive” and who has the power to decide? Notwithstanding this it was asked if a child taken out of a lesson to be put in isolation should be made to do something constructive “and not just left in a room to stare at the walls”, Hinds said it wasn’t for him to be “second-guessing” what teachers do. (Pippa Allen-Kinross, School Week January 2019)

I am inspired by Rosa Parks and can imagine that being me, refusing to give my seat up just because you think you’re entitled. I’m also inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. I aim to make everyone I connect with feel like they can beat whatever the challenge is that challenges them.

Posted in FEATURE, SRTV Featured.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.