Community: Devon-wide

Date Submitted: Mon, 19 May 2014 10:35:20 +0000
Name: Jenny Lindow
Service(s): Children and families
Review(s): Youth service
Asset interested in: Any youth facilities
Service interested in: No
Proposal Details: Proposal – A universal and targeted approach. Background - This proposal has been developed through the engagement and consultation period of Devon Youth Service. It has incorporated staff members, young people, community members and other professionals ideas and views on the important preventative impact that youth work has on young people’s lives as well as the vital targeted work one-to-one or group sessions with hard to reach young people. Devon County Council have recognised and valued Devon Youth Services Youth Workers professional skills and abilities at engaging small and large groups of hard to reach and universal young people enabling them to develop personal and social skills in order to develop the ability to make positive choices about their lives. In order for much of this work to be successful it is based on the core values of Youth Work of a voluntary, professional and non-judgemental relationship. Much of the current role of a Youth Worker is based on universal provision within open access sessions. Many ‘targeted’ young people attend these sessions regularly and build the relationship outlined above with their Youth Worker. Some of these young people will and do need more one-to-one, needs specific work with an intensive manner in order for them to gain extra support. To understand this model it is important to understand how targeted or hard to reach young people may be feeling about outside agencies. Having worked in a targeted only environment I and my colleagues have seen and worked with many young people that have been moved from professional service to professional service from an early age with their opinions not counting on what happens to them leading to a mistrust of agencies and workers alike. Most of the struggle when first meeting a young person who has been referred is getting them to rebuild this trust and understand your role. This can take anything from a couple of meetings up to three or four months, with some young people never engaging at all. The universal and targeted approach enables youth work to continue good universal and preventative practice building a positive reputation of the community youth worker AS WELL as giving targeted young people the opportunity to access more specialist support. It will (in many cases) enable a positive relationship to build quicker with young people understanding that the youth worker is not ‘just another social worker’, but someone who works with young people across the board taking the stigma and negative connotations away from the intensive role. It will also enable young people to self refer or signpost friends and allow youth workers to pick up on early needs through recognising signs and symptoms at an early stage. Outline The model is based on a reduced Youth Service working with partner agencies including Youth Offending Team, Schools, CAHMS, Police and Social Workers in order to deliver targeted work within the 12 remaining community Youth Centres across Devon. The Youth Centres will be utilised by partner agencies as areas to meet with their cases for one-to-one work, as is currently good practice, with the added benefit of working with a Youth Worker to deliver targeted group work experiences, such as Chances or Inclusion work. Partners can also deliver specialist knowledge within universal sessions or project specific work. Community groups will still be able to access the Centres for a charge enabling the buildings to thrive and develop strong links and status in their community. Each Centre will have a core team of: • 1full-time Area Youth Worker • 1full-time Senior Youth Support Worker • 1 full-time equivalent Youth Support Worker to be split over universal sessions dependant on area need • 1 part-time administrator The role of the AYW, supported by the SYSW will be to manage the buildings and staff; support local area youth work by developing outreach projects, training and support; deliver universal service. Their role as a community youth worker will be to build strong links with Town Councils etc. to look at funding streams to provide further universal services. 30-40% of their role will be dedicated to targeted one-to-one caseload work with the universal provision enabling the professional relationship to form more effectively and thereby creating more trusting and efficient process for the young person to participate in. This targeted work will incorporate the basic youth work principles and include needs assessments; creating group opportunities and signposting as required. Youth Workers to will work as advocates for young people during the DAF or TAC process working with partner agencies to ensure the voice of the young person is heard, as well as challenging the young person to enable them to make positive choices within their lives. The management team will manage the AYW; support the development of partner agencies and multi-agency work and support smaller community groups to develop youth work opportunities. They will consist of: • 1 Senior Manager • 1 Team Leader • 4 Senior Area Youth Workers The team would also still include the Participation and REACH team roles. External income will be sourced through the delivery of specialist group work, such as Inclusion work within schools, hiring of rooms within the buildings and support from community groups, e.g. Town Councils.