Phew! What a mouthful!!
We’ve been interviewing for new staff the past couple of days and it’s made me think much more closely about the changes that are headed our way and also the ones that we are in the midst of as we undergo ‘transformation’!
To start with there is Connexions. As a Youth Service we have had responsiblity for the Intensive Personal Advisors from Connexions for a long time and have not really experienced some of the conflicts and difficulties other authorities have. They are part of the service and although having different responsibilities and roles to the youth work staff they have always attended our county staff meetings and been involved in the work that we deliver. However the two sets of staff have always worked more or less in parallell and we have not really planned together etc before. Nor have Team leaders for Connexions IST been responsible to the Senior Manager of a particular area.
This is all about to change! The line of accountability in a specific area will be through Senior Managers. Not just this but with the changes in responsibility for Connexions Services (the Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)) moving to the Local Authority we are now developing much closer relationships with our Provider who we have commissioned to deliver this work.
This, and other changes (working with and alongside the Integrated Support and Delivery areas), mean that the role and focus of Senior Manager is changing. Previously the responsibility was largely operational with countywide responsibilities for certain areas of work. There was a need for partnership working within this but never so great as it is now. The focus was very much on our service and how we maximised youth work for young people.
Whilst the focus is being retained there is much more emphasis on looking out of our service for ways in which we can achieve the same objective. Not just an emphasis but a compulsion. I think that in the long term this can only maximise our effectiveness. In the short term it is hectic, exciting, nerve wracking and uncertain. There’s a need to do some rapid learning and understanding of other services targets and delivery styles (in particular within the Social Services models), to promote and ensure that the Youth Service can share in some of these agendas but not get swallowed up in them, to develop new processes and tweak others and to explain this to other staff and support them in making some changes to the way in which they work.
There is a lot of fear and anxiety around all of this, not least because we, ourselves are not clear on the shape and form of the future which means that we are all living through a period of uncertainty. So, our challenge is in developing and structuring ourselves in the light of current changes, whilst also ensuring that colleagues are supported and excited about the developments ahead!
Just a small ask then!!!!!!