On Tuesday last week I went to ‘Transforming Youth Services’, a stakeholder consultation on the future of the statutory Youth Service in West Sussex. Our council like most others, have to make cuts across a number of services in order to reduce spending and meet targets. In West Sussex, the reduction needed in the Youth Service is Â£2million – around 20% of the current budget, so there are some significant changes needed. The suggestions are outlined below.
Youth services are made up of three areas:
- The Youth Service: providing activities and opportunities for all young people e.g. through youth centres and information shops.
- Connexions: providing information, advice and guidance with choices about education, employment and training for all young people aged 13- 19 (25 for those with special needs)
- Youth Offending Service: works to prevent youth offending, reduce re- offending, provides support services and mentoring schemes.
We want to bring these three areas together into the â€˜Integrated Youth Support and Development Serviceâ€™ (IYSDS) and we need to save Â£2m. We propose to move money from â€˜universalâ€™ services (services open to everyone) and do more targeted services for young people who are at â€˜riskâ€™. (For example for young people who are â€˜looked afterâ€ or teenage parents). We plan to work closely with voluntary and community groups, which will help us to continue to reach as many young people as possible.
There is a full review now available online here including a survey to register your views on the changes. The council are very keen to fully consult and hear everyone’s views before decisions are finally made, so if you are local please take time to complete the survey. You can also email thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another note, the event also gave me the opportunity to finally meet the brilliant Hilary Mason (strategic lead on Targeted Youth Support and Curriculum Development) face-to-face!
Image Credit: Scissors, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from mikep1979