Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Posts tagged ‘Integrated Services & Targeted Youth Support’

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!

 

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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)

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?!?

Random Post No.1 – Recruitment

Courtesy of Gaetan Lee

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!!

Youth Work 4 Health

This week I went to the Youth Work 4 Health conference held by the National Youth Agency in Brighton. It was an interesting day with a lot of discussion about how you can use the Youth Work 4 Health (YW4H) good practice guidelines within different youth settings. Youth Work 4 Health

Good youth work has always sought to improve the physical and emotional health of young people and many projects are working, directly or indirectly, on health issues. The aim of these Guidelines is to provide a tool to enable individual workers, youth service managers in the public and voluntary sectors, commissioning bodies and partners to assess the quality and effectiveness of this work.”
 
Stemming from the Healthy Schools agenda there has been the realisation that it is hard to apply the Healthy Schools standards to the wide variety of settings found in youth work and that consequently a new set of guidelines are needed. The people attending were from a wide range of backgrounds (Yout Offending Services, Drug and Alcohol Reduction Teams, Voluntary Sector, Housing Associations etc. ) which led to some interesting discussions about how youth services in all their guises often reach young people who are seen as ‘hard to reach’ by other agencies and that because of this how we worked with young people around health was important.

I was particularly interested to see how (more…)

South East Youth Partnership Youth Taskforce Seminar

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.

Youth TaskforceThis 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? TYS

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.

 

Work is busy!

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.

Finally……. (more…)

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