Courtesy of Gaetan Lee
Part of why life has been so busy recently has been the sudden upsurge in the number of vacancies and having to get to grips, yet again, with a recruitment system that has changed. As a County we’ve now moved from Job Descriptions and person specs to just the one role profile which has meant rewriting some of our previous info and then going through the whole interview request systems. However, with ads having gone out, shortlisting done, it’s finally interview week for a new Duke of Edinburgh, Outdoor Education and Accreditation Manager as the person who has been doing the job for the past 5 years has moved to another role within the service. She has helped to develop and move forward our work in all areas over the past few years and is still very involved in moving forward our vision of Outdoor Education so don’t go too far!!!
The other posts we are interviewing for are new ones called Postivite Activities for Children Co-ordinators and are stretching our boundaries by being focussed on developing activity programmes for targeted children aged 8-13yrs. I think these will be very exciting and will definately start to fill a gap in our provision whilst also raising interesting questions about Integrated Services and our target age group! (More on that in another post!)
So – here’s to a good and hopefully successful interview week!!
This time a West Sussex County Council one. The main aim of it was to look at Assessment Frameworks and see how we undertake our needs analysis when looking at families, children and young people. Overall it was a good day however as we all align more closely with (or indeed become) integrated services it is interesting to see and listen to the language used and the different professional basis that individuals are working from. For instance today there was a lot of talk and discussion about multi agency working and working together however the language used was still very much from a Social Services background which doesn’t always resonate with people from other settings.
The South East Youth Partnership (SEYP) is the similar to the Regional Youth Work Units found across the country. Rather than hold a lot of conferences the SEYP has gone for more of a seminar model where we have input from various key agencies and then have time to network and work more informally with colleagues throughout the region in various workshops.
This particular seminar was looking at the Youth Taskforce and also it’s relevance to Targeted Youth Support. There was an interesting talk from Ian Brady from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) about how the Youth Taskforce came about out of the Respect Taskforce.
I struggle at times with some of the way the Youth Taskforce and its work is described as the language used is very enforcement, almost punitive led and appears to take little account of the relationships with young people and the way in which youth workers work with them.
However, what was clear was a commitment to see how we can work together to resolve the various issues that face vulnerable young people. Ian Brady was definately listening and open to discussion. Whilst we had challenges for him he also gave some back to us. For some of us we outlined the difficulties of trying to work in facilities that had been contracted out (ie leisure centres) where they did not always want to work with challenging young people, or provide their facilities at the time that we needed them to do so. One of his challenges to us was about knowing when and where our facilities were open and did these include Friday and Saturday evenings?
There were also interesting inputs from the Government Office of the South East (GOSE) and the youth policy team there. This led on to some more open and frank discussions about Targeted Youth Support and how far different organisations had got to in developing this work.
Having felt that we were progressing quite slowly in this area it was useful to see that other organisations were mostly at the same stage as we are. Everyone seems to be trying to resolve issues to do with identifying which are the young people we should be targeting, whether to always use the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) , what are the best interventions for what outcomes, how we support young peoples transistion from specialist services back into universal services and how we actually do all this.
Overall the day was really helpful in networking and sharing practice with colleagues, clarifying what the issues are and how we might move forward on them (as well as an overview of government policy). I am still thinking it all over so I will post more once I have them straighter in my mind! In the meantime – the next seminar is in December, on health and I would recommend them to anyone as good thinking time and an opportunity to meet and discuss with colleagues.
Hello again – it’s been a while but work has been hectic. As I’ve said previously I’m always amazed at how much we get up to in our jobs and how we manage to balance it all. Last week was a typical example – as well as day time work covering supervisions, meetings (and more meetings) around NEETS, Service Level Agreements, Condom distribution, Sex and Relationships education, joint working with Children and Family centres, looking at some potential overseas work in India and senior management discussions I was also out for three evenings meeting with some of our voluntary youth centres management committees, going to an AGM for West Sussex Council for Voluntary Youth Services and attending a Duke of Edinburghs Award presentation. At all of these meetings there were interesting discussions and follow up points to be be taken forward……it’s just managing my time to ensure that the ideas do get taken forward.
One of my best meetings / discussions last week was inpromptu and happened after one of the evening meetings. We have a lot of youth issues in one of our rural villages at the moment. Periodically these issues raise their head, everyone gets steamed up (particularly the parish council), we have to do member reports and feedback and then they will settle for a little while only to rise again some short distance into the future as the real issues have never been addressed. This has been happening off and on for the past 3 years.
WoW! I can’t get over how varied my job can be. Had lots of different discussions and developments today but I will just blog ones I’m pondering.
One of my responsibilities is Outdoor Education. In West Sussex there are 3 Outdoor Activity Centres and a Camp Site. At the moment we are looking to develop work with the outdoor centres, schools, and the youth wings to support the transition for vulnerable children moving up from year 6 to year 7.
This will hopefully start after the summer half term and will broadly be in three phases. Phase one will be about working across all services to develop the group and start some activities with them, phase two will be some form of outdoor experiences over the summer (a bit like a Junior Activity Club), and then phase three is when they start the autumn term and will involve sessions in the Youth Wing, and hopefully some form of peer mentoring. Although this is not necessarily targetting our 13-19 age range there are a number of spin offs.
Firstly there is the major need for integrated working with a range of different partners and services. Then there will be the involvement of young volunteers in running the outdoor activities. At Cobnor Activities Centre a really good volunteer training scheme has been set up to encourage young people to gain outdoor qualifications and then work with children on the summr camps. This has been very successful and developed some of our youth work with the older age range.
I’m also hoping that another spin off is to start encouraging staff and other services in working out how we are going to identify the ‘vulnerable’ young people which can also inform some of the Targeted Youth Support work I will be involved in. So all in all I think that this will be an interesting piece of work with lots of potential.
PS – Thanks DK for talking me though an easier way of posting images……it hasn’t taken me hours this time!!!!
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! (more…)