Assessing Needs: Youth Offer
MAKING YOUTH WORK WORK: A TOOLKIT
SECTION 1 - Young People's Needs are Assessed and Met
Needs assessment for youth work can be very complex. We know that for both young people and adults, somewhere for young people to go and something (interesting) to do are usually high priorities in all communities. We also know that young people from disadvantaged communities, or who struggle to fit into formal education can gain an enormous amount from getting involved in youth work projects. So we need to be confident that precious resources for youth work are being used in ways that will have the most benefit to the young people who need them most.
This section contains Firm Foundations, a NYA publication which is based on work undertaken by our South West Quality Assurance Network, and provides templates for determining different aspects of young people’s needs, including the use of community profiles to match needs and services.
Also included are a paper on issues to consider in resource allocation and models for resource allocation developed in South West local authorities.
Model of Resource Allocation
Draft Resource Allocation for Youth Work in Bristol
SECTION 2 - The offer to young people is rich and varied
This section aims to show what should be included in the youth work offer to young people. In any area there are likely to be a number of voluntary youth organisations as well as the local authority. In order to use resources effectively it will be important that all those providers are adding something unique and different to the overall offer to young people. The documents enclosed all cover aspects of the youth work offer.
The Regional Youth Work Unit’s ‘Standards for Youth Work in the Youth Offer’ is the result of discussion with the South West Strategic Leads for Youth Work and sets a baseline for expectations for youth work at area level. Similarly, the RYWU’s Guidance for Commissioning Youth Work sets out expectations for commissioners and providers. The Draft Standards for Positive Activities produced by Department of Children, Schools and Families in March 2010 lays out their expectations of the overall offer of positive activities (it should be noted that this document was produced before the 2010 election, and may no longer reflect the views of the Government).
We also include some locally produced models, showing how some local authorities have approached establishing their youth work offer to young people. Cornwall and Somerset have produced written Youth Offers to explain to young people and others what they can expect. Bournemouth has produced a very useful set of expectations for its full-time and part-time youth centres, while Somerset has produced standards for work with groups of young people, and for managing young people’s transitions between elements of integrated youth support services.
To see Section 3 of the Toolkit, click here