Government launches review of youth work guidance

By Joanne Parkes

| 10 July 2019

A review of the statutory guidance for council youth service provision has been launched by the government.

Civil society minister said the review would focus on services to reduce social isolation among young people

Civil society minister Mims Davies announced the review which is intended to focus on the "positive role local authorities can play" in the way they secure and offer services for young people.

The news has been welcomed by the Local Government Association (LGA) as well as the National Youth Agency, which is hosting nine regional events to gather sector views.

Davies said she hoped the review would "provide greater clarity" around the government's expectations of councils, "including the value added by good youth work".

There will be a focus on tackling social isolation in youth people, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as young carers, added the minister.

The minister added that many authorities have already adapted new models for delivering a broader range of quality services.

"We need to ensure young people have the opportunities to develop new skills and have fun outside the classroom," she continued. 

"We know access to youth workers and youth services transforms people's lives and in some instances keep them safe.

"We do want new guidance that is fit for purpose and offers the potential to form new and lasting partnerships that benefit our young people now and in the future."

NYA chief executive Leigh Middleton, said: "As the national body for youth work we are delighted to support this government review and guidance on what is considered a sufficient level of youth work to help secure quality services and activities for young people. 

"If we are to do right by our young people they need access to good quality advice and support from professional youth workers and skilled volunteers."

Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the LGA's children and young people board, said: "In challenging financial circumstances, councils have worked hard to make sure that those most in need have been able to get support to reach their full potential and make a good transition to adulthood.

"However, provision has changed significantly in recent years, as have some of the main issues facing young people. 

"We look forward to working with the government on this review, which is a good opportunity to take stock of youth services across the country and look at how councils, central government and partners can work together to make sure that every young person is able to thrive."

The review process will begin with a series of sector led roundtables, including the Youth Voice Steering Group which was set up following the publication of the Civil Society Strategy, the LGA and the National Advisory Board of the NYA.

A public call for evidence is due to open for eight weeks over the summer, from late July to September. 

Until the call for evidence begins, enquiries are invited to: guidancereview@culture.gov.uk.

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