Youth Work Strategy
This strategy builds upon the previous strategy 2016 - 2020, and supports the overall Council Plan, for the borough through to 2024, known as Play Your Part to Thrive and the Covid Recovery Plan known as Stronger Futures 2020 - 2024 which outline Council priorities, including several that our youth provision can support.
These include tackling the poverty emergency, growing the local economy, supporting children and young people to get the best start in life and achieve their full potential, and making our neighbourhoods even better places to call home. The Youth Service has evolved and developed to meet the changing needs of our young people and helps to keep them safe from harm. Youth work is an important service to offer, and youth workers have unique skills to positively engage our young people, including some of our most vulnerable. Youth work offers our young people somewhere to go and someone to talk to on their own terms and with their peer groups, or on a one to one level.
In March 2020 we went into a national lockdown and we had to quickly adapt our services to young people ensuring that our most vulnerable still received the support they needed including:
- Contact with all young people to assess any risks and carry out a welfare check.
- Daily or weekly one to one telephone and WhatsApp support .
- Weekly virtual groups to offer virtual youth services.
- Isolation activity packs provided to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
- One-to-one face to face sessions for our most vulnerable young people supporting their wellbeing, including supporting foster placements.
- (Once national regulations allowed) targeted outreach work took place to promote COVID19 safety messages including handing out face masks, hand gel, and bags and badges with safety messages.
- Food hampers and activity packs were delivered to our most vulnerable to promote Eat Well and Be Active strategy and promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
Our continued commitment to delivering high quality targeted youth work is underpinned by this strategy which has been informed by the 2021 Youth Work consultation and will ensure that we are providing the services that young people want. It sets out our priorities and how we are going to deliver them. We have learned a lot through the work we have done during covid, particularly in relation to how we have supported our most vulnerable young people and the principles of this will continue throughout this new strategy with a continued offer of one to one support. We will continue to foster multi-professional collaborative working.