Linda Jack on

As the General Election dust settles, those of us who care about the future of the Youth Service cannot be anything other than anxious.

Russell Brand has clearly captured the imagination of many young people, my own children included. And I have to say there is quite a lot of what he says that I agree with, but in my view the danger is that by effectively encouraging even more young people to disenfranchise themselves, the law of unintended...

The news that parliament will have a veto on sending girls and younger boys to the new secure colleges is to be welcomed, but this comes hard on the heels of the revelation that Feltham Young Offenders Unit, one of the sites for the proposed new secure colleges, is considering drafting in police officers...

Of course, for me, the departure of Michael Gove has to be the highlight of the Tory reshuffle, but for the youth sector I guess the appointment of Brooks Newmark in place of Nick Hurd has to be the most significant change.  Reading about his interests it is clear he has had some contact and some understanding...

Last week you may have caught an interesting analysis on cuts to youth benefits from the BBC Politics Editor, Nick Robinson. An analysis which I was already pondering on given the Labour Party’s much heralded new policy to cut benefits to the under-21s, following hard on the heels of the Tories promising...

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The Debt Trap

15 May 2014

Many of us spend a good deal of our lives in debt. Mortgages, student loans, credit cards, but for most of us that debt is manageable. For those who face unmanageable debt, the situation is quite different. The link between debt and poor mental health is well documented – the impact of debt on children...

The news last week that Lord Tom McNally, former justice minister and current chair of the YJB, was making the case for raising the age of criminal responsibility, came as music to my ears. Raising the age from 10 to 12 would at least bring us into line with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child...

Jason Pandya-Wood sparked controversy last week when he appeared to blame the workforce for cuts in youth services. I have a certain amount of sympathy for his view. A few years ago at a CYP Now conference I crossed swords with Fiona Blacke on the issue of evidencing the impact of youth work. However,...

The publication of YMCA research into young people and the welfare system last week was disturbing. In particular the impact sanctions are having on already vulnerable young people, forced to go without food and other essentials. I personally fail to see how this helps anyone. Last autumn I was responsible...

For many years I was Youth Policy Adviser at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) later the Money Advice Service (MAS). Together with Fairbridge and Citizens Advice we developed training and resources for those working with vulnerable young people and over the course of the Young People and Money programme...