Making Youth Work Work: A Toolkit - Background & Introduction
The ways in which youth work is offered to young people are changing. The Government wants to encourage voluntary organisations to play an increased role in providing for young people in communities, and wants private sector organisations to make funding available through sponsorship. Local authorities will also deliver elements of youth work, and many of them have now established multi-disciplinary teams at area or locality level, with youth work as part of a broader range of services to young people.
These changes take place in the context of substantial cuts in national and local government budgets, which means that resources for youth work will be even more stretched than at present. There is strong evidence that the quality of the youth work with which young people engage matters, in terms of helping them to develop skills, confidence and knowledge, increase their resilience and raise their aspirations and achievements. All of us involved in youth work, whether we are providers, commissioners or strategic planners need to ensure that the youth work we provide is of the highest possible quality.
This toolkit draws together models of assuring quality in youth work from across the South West and beyond. You can use it in many different ways. It is divided into sections, and each section has a brief introduction followed by a range of models and formats which are used successfully in youth work organisations. You are welcome to use these formats in your organisations, but please credit the organisation which has provided them.
It would also be great to hear of any models you use yourselves which you would be happy for us to add to the toolkit: please send any comments or contributions to email@example.com
In 2010, OFSTED published a report identifying the common characteristics of local authorities judged to be outstanding in their approach to children and young people’s services. Many of the sections in this toolkit relate to the features identified as providing the basis for excellent outcomes for children and young people. These include:
• Sustained and consistent approach to practice, driving improvement in services
• Effective use of information about performance and progress with a focus on the needs of children and young people and the services provided
• The engagement of children, young people, families and communities influences and improves services
• Strong effective partnerships
• High expectations of and aspirations for children and young people, demonstrated in challenging targets and a continuing drive to improve performance
• Commitment to enabling all children and young people to succeed with a focus on those who most need support and encouragement
• Strong emphasis on early intervention and prevention, translated into action in how resources are allocated, with support designed around individuals.
Youth work has an important role to play in enabling young people to succeed, and these features should be built into quality assurance mechanisms for youth work delivery.
To see Section 1 of the Toolkit, click here