Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Posts tagged ‘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!

 

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)

Youth Leadership

I’ve been thinking about Youth Leadership recently due to the work I’m involved in with Targeted Youth Support, especially  the Inspire India programme.

Courtesy of Jule Berlin

Courtesy of Jule Berlin

Having been involved with the group on two weekend residentials and over a mixture of evening meetings it’s become very obvious that there are young people engaged in the project who could be future ‘leaders’. This has also come through during their time overseas in India.

With the Inspire India weekend review and volunteer planning session approaching this weekend we have been discussing how we might provide more opportunities to develop these talents. We have a Junior Youth Leadership programme that runs for young people involved in youth centres across the county which has been developed and worked on by both young people and staff. We also have opportunities within the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, and through our participation team where young people can get involved with the Youth Cabinet and the 24 the locality forums set up for young people to assess bids by other young people for the Youth Opportunity Fund.

It’s timely to be thinking about this with the recent launch of the National Body for Youth Leadership which has branded itself as The Youth of Today. I’m wondering whether there is something more we could be doing, particularly with our Targeted groups, to help support and encourage them in developing their leadership skills, especially with their peers. There will be a new round of funding opening at the end of this month to support innovative Youth leadership programmes. What about you? How are you developing youth leaders? Do you have any special programmes or development opportunities? How do you target young people for this or do you aim your work at everyone? Any thoughts are welcome as usual!

Countdown to Inspire India overseas

We’re in the final run up to the overseas part of the Inspire India Programme. I talked about this Targeted Youth Support programme more fully back in February in this post. Last Monday I went up to London on a quick return visit to get the final visas for the last few members of the group. We’ve been really successful in keeping nearly all of the original group of young people who have made enormous efforts to get themselves ready for the experience. 30 young

West Sussex Youth Service Inspire India 2009

West Sussex Youth Service Inspire India 2009

people from across West Sussex have been involved in the taster weekend and then less than 4 weeks ago we had the Challenge Weekend residential where they were camping at our campsite in Stedham. During the weekend they hiked, cooked for themselves and learnt more about Indian Culture. Working with Staff from Raleigh and West Sussex Youth Service they tested out kit (rucksacks, water ‘bladders’, boots) and also got to know each other better.

Everyone has been preparing for going and on Monday we are having our kit check and ‘launch’ to wish the group good luck. The group will be checking in their kit and then turning up on Friday with their hand luggage ready to go! We had a last minute drop out yesterday (even though we have been taking to them all regularly and offering lots of support on the telephone and by text.) So we’re now just trying to sort out a last minute replacement with quick visa runs on Monday and vaccinations as required…..let’s hope they make the plane!

Netbooks have been brought and charging them solved, we hope! So, if you’re keen to keep up to date with the group and their adventures then please do tune into the West Sussex Inspire India Blog to find out how they’re getting on.

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!!

Inspire India Begins!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will have guessed by now that I am passionate about young peoples development through using International experiences.

To this end I have been putting together a year long Targeted Youth Support Programme with a bit of a difference, hopefully. Aimed at young people aged 16-19yrs who fall within our targeted groups and working across children and young peoples services in West Sussex the Inspire India Programme seeks to empower young people and support them to make choices and recognise their own skills & abilities. It will consist of six phases:-

Phase 1 – Recruitment of 30 young people and five staff from West Sussex
Phase 2 – Preparation and training of young people in all aspects of the programme
Phase 3 – Overseas Experience to India

Raleigh logoThis will be a 3-week experience delivered by Raleigh in conjunction with staff from West Sussex County Council. Key areas of the Overseas Experience will be:

•    Personal Development
•    Arts Programme (Cultural)
•    Global / Development Education
•    Community Volunteering Project
•    Adventure / Challenge Project

Phase 4 – Volunteering in the community post expedition

On return each young person will be supported to engage in a volunteering placement and gain accreditation for this through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. We hope to be working with Outset Youth Action, Locality Youth Forums and the European Voluntary Services scheme to access and support placements for young people from the programme. Alternatively the young people may want to lead and develop their own volunteering projects and would be supported to access funding to implement them. (eg. Vcashpoint, Youth Opportunity Fund etc).

Phase 5 – Follow Up and Review

This is a key aspect (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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