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Archive for the ‘Integrated Services & Targeted Youth Support’ Category

Youth Cabinet participate in Select Committee

Courtesy of violet yume

On Friday 4th November 2 young people from the West Sussex Youth cabinet participated in the Children and Young Peoples’ select committee. They were invited to talk about the proposed reductions in Youth Services and the impact on young people. As can be seen from the webcast I think that they contributed well to the debate, highlighting key points about targetting services, access to facilities and transport and the need to invest in young volunteers – who may not come from targeted communities.

West Sussex Youth and Development Service have been tasked with reducing its services by a further £2m by March 2012. This is on top of the reductions made last year. As I noted in my last post, we are just starting to get service delivery in shape having made the reductions last year so making more in the near future will be a real stretch. This appears to have been recognised and an alternative proposal has been submitted in the Select Committee papers to look at phasing the reductions over 2 years.

The Cabinet Member for Childrens Services, Peter Evans, is now considering the feedback and recommendations from the Committee who supported the phasing option as this will give the YSDS a better chance of engaging with communities and the voluntary sector to ensure better outcomes for young people. We hope to have the Cabinet Members decision in the next few weeks.

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Targeted Youth Support in West Sussex

As mentioned in my previous post we have restructured the Youth Support and Development Service (YSDS) to deliver primarily across Targeted Youth Support (TYS), Specialist Services and Early Intervention & Prevention whilst working to support other organisations to deliver more universal, generic youth work.

This week has seen the launch of our Targeted Youth Support pages on our Website and the start of TYS programmes across the county. With a new request for service process, forms and monitoring & evaluation this is a huge change of our service. After 3 days of key training for staff we have a rolling programme throughout the Autumn term to bring everyone up to date with the programmes on offer. Time will tell concerning the response to the programmes although we have already had a good uptake by many services.

In the meantime we are out to consultation concerning the future of the YSDS with another £2 million reductions due to be made in the next year! All in all changing and testing times for all!

 

Changes at West Sussex Youth Service

Well, it’s good to be back after not having sufficient time and energy to blog for quite some time. A lot has happened in the last 6 months, I was successful in reapplying for my post at the end of last year, (phew!) and then finished off my Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership, submitting at the beginning of the month and just hearing I’ve passed (phew again!). I’m now hoping that the time I spent on those areas can now be redirected into writing this blog again.

So to update….after last years work on reducing the size of the youth service we have now been re branded the West Sussex Youth and Development Service (YSDS). From January through to March we were busy interviewing and reorganising staff teams to deliver the new service.The Service is now based on 3 geographic areas, Northern, Western and Coastal.

Our Service Model has four areas:

1 We have now moved from delivering universal generic youth services across the county (the one night a week youth club type scenario) to mainly delivering these in the areas of most need. We haven’t completely stopped work in this area though as we are working to support the voluntary sector to take up the delivery of universal services with local communities setting themselves up to deliver youth clubs in their area aka The Big Society!

2 We will focus on Early Intervention and Prevention. This is the delivery of open access, universal type services aimed at young people who live in areas of deprivation and groups of young people who experience societal disadvantage (young people with disabilities, who identify as LGBT, who may have a disability, who are looked after, NEET, young carers etc) Our Information Shops fall into this category although they also cross over into our Targeted Work.

3 The bulk of our service will be Targeted Youth Services (TYS). These will tend to be groupwork programmes targeted at the young people most in need of our services. They will be requested by either the young people themselves, parents, carers, teachers, schools – anyone as long as they fill in a form. Programmes will focus on addressing issues such as Self Esteem, Anger management, Risk Taking, Consequential Thinking etc, be outcome and impact led and be delivered through a variety of methods (arts, outdoor education etc). This will also include the individual work delivered through our Intensive Personal Advisors who will continue to deliver one to one work with young people who have multiple issues.

4 Specialist Services – This is where most of our youth offending work is delivered and is where we  have statutory duties. (Court Ordered work, careers support for LDD young people)

Developing the New World!

It always felt as though there wasn’t enough time in the day to do the day job and now the day job has increased and developed. The pressure is still on to restructure services and reduce costs within the financial year.

It is an interesting and challenging time to be managing staff as there are so many uncertainties and concerns which all take time to process.
Voluntary redundancy (VR) interviews have been had and the VR window has now closed. Staff are now waiting the news as to whether they have been successful in their applications and what that means for those who have decided to remain. Will they have to go through a selection process for the new positions or have sufficient people opted for VR from their ‘ringfence’?

We are also heavily engaged in developing the new look service. With Take Over day the week before last it was a great time to talk to young people about their concerns and involvement in the new service. Take a look at how we did this on our Yourspace Website

A Brave New World?

Courtesy of Icelight

I initially wrote this in early September since when work has increased considerably however I thought it was still a useful reflection in these rapidly moving times.

“I’ve just returned from my holidays and started back at work and it’s all happening with a vengence! After numerous consultations (staff, user groups, other agencies and partners) and the proposals for the restructuring of the youth service facing the Council Select Committee twice we have now started statutory staff consultations. A great time of upheaval for all the staff who have worked tirelessly over the summer on a variety of youth programmes and continue to deliver excellent youth services.

Alongside the consultation we are developing sub projects around the new shape of the service. On the brink of the changes it is interesting to think about how much the service will actually change. In discussions with colleagues we felt that the new challenge, as well as supporting and working with everyone concerning the staff reductions, alterations in the delivery of services etc. will be in trying to think differently.

Having been presented with a new organisational structure I found myself automatically thinking “oh, that means that we will have x ” based on our current roles and responsibilities. I had to challenge myself to  look at other ways in which we could deliver our services and how new roles might work. I have recently had similar experiences with staff .”

…. New thinking is an ongoing challenge which we continue to work on at the moment at all levels. So the question is…..how much of a “new world” will there be?!?

From CDRP to Yurts!

Driving hectically round the county mulling over how diverse my job is I thought I’d give you a bit of a taste of what I’m up to in the lead up to the summer holidays.

I started off in the office dealing with emails, responding to some press comments, sorting out staffing issues, recruitment, advertising…..I’m sure you know the kind of stuff. Then it was off down the coast to a Crime Disorder and Reduction Partnership – Communications meeting (CDRP) where we were discussing the way in which the partnership communicates what it’s doing to the public. Part of the discussion focused on young people and an idea or two started to germinate around how we might be able to support young people to talk about their communities and what has changed using video blogs and putting them online.I also learnt that you can now get hand held gadgets that you can use for questionnaires and it all happens electronically…..now how much time does that save?!?!?!

Following this meeting it was back in the car again for an hours drive across country to our campsite. Stedham is a beautiful place (you can see some of it on the video) where we (West Sussex County Council, managed through the Youth Service) have a great low impact campsite. Through external funding we are running some targeted summer camps. One week will be focussing on Young Carers and the other will be Children in Care. Due to the uncertainty over the British weather and concerns about having a lot of wet young people we have brought some new Yurts (large Mongolian tents) to use as bases for the differing groups as required. They look like they will really add to our group work but don’t take my word for it….have a look and see what you think!

Inspire India – Staff Selection Weekend

I’ve finally got the chance to write about the amazing residential weekend we had a couple of weekends ago. As I mentioned in a recent post, we’re putting together a targeted youth support programme for young people which includes an overseas experience in India run in conjunction with Raleigh. To that end we were up really nice and early the other weekend to meet at Cobnor to put a group of 14 staff from across West Sussex County Council through their paces. Our aim – to find 5 people who could lead, facilitate and develop the group of 30 young people that will be taking part in the programme. Here is a snippet of what they went through.

The weekend was a great success and we found our 5 staff. Other unexpected outcomes was the positivity everyone experienced working across different services. We had people from the Youth Offending Service, Family Link workers, Social Workers, Voluntary Youth Services and more and they all fed back that they had enjoyed the chance to work together as a team on practical tasks during which they got to know and understand work with young people from a different perspective. Definately food for thought as we move forward with integrated services! It’s the young peoples Taster Weekend next and then that’s me done for a while on residentials……..hopefully I can then refocus on the day job!!

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