The proposal is that Devon County Council’s Youth Service provision moves from being an open access, universal facility to become a service providing targeted support for those young people most in need. This would mean that DCC would no longer need to manage and run any of the current local youth centres.
The proposed new model for the Youth Service focuses on targeted support for those most in need. We would back this up by offering support to voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver universal services for all young people.
This proposal is based on three areas of activity:
There is clear evidence that young people benefit from age appropriate information, advice and guidance. Other local authorities have told us that information, advice, guidance is crucial to ensure young people are able to access available services. This will include more effective communication using a range of channels to make sure that young people are well-informed about services for them.
We will demonstrate our commitment to Principle 7: A partnership strategy and action plan should be developed to secure a robust information, advice and guidance strategy for young people aged 11-19 in Devon, by using our resources to support a robust countywide pathway for young people around information, advice and guidance.
Principle 6 says we need to continue to listen to young people throughout the remodelling process. Any new services should be designed and commissioned to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and responded to. We will maintain resources which support participation and ensure young people’s voices are heard. This will mean continuing to support the UK Youth Parliament, the Children in Care Council and the Fostering and Adoption voice work. Robust targets will be set for these services which will be monitored by a governance framework.
Alongside the work around participation, we propose retaining the Local Youth Network; which ensures that young people are able to award small grants to organisations working with young people. Bids are prepared by young people and decisions around funding are made by young people. This work should be secured and considered as part of the consultation process.
We are committed to ensuring that the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh award is available to young people in Devon, in particular those young people who can benefit most from participation. We are proposing that we move to a cost neutral model, with funding ring-fenced in the Local Youth Network budget for those young people that could not otherwise afford to participate. This approach is in line with Principle 8: We should undertake a review of all potential income-generating activities with the aim of making activities at the least cost neutral.
Principle 3 says Third Sector organisations, such as charities and voluntary groups,should be supported to deliver services to young people including, where appropriate, support with planning and funding so that they can directly deliver services. We propose that partnership working with other organisations, for example the police and schools, should be pursued to ensure that all relevant organisations are contributing to services for young people. This is also in line with Principle 9 Ensure that partnership working is undertaken throughout to secure added value; and Principle 10 Ensure that the work of Devon Youth Service is generating income in a mature, consistent and sustainable way –gaining support from partners who have an interest in the work we do.
These proposed changes provide an opportunity for local community and voluntary sector organisations to build on the significant role they already play in supporting and providing activities for young people.
During this consultation phase we are looking to work with a number of local communities as pathfinders to develop a new offer for young people.
There is also a significant number of individual organisations working with young people, and there are clear opportunities for us to develop more formal relationships with these to support the new vision for youth services in Devon.
If your organisation expresses an interest in developing a service we can work with you to support you in this as appropriate. This may include looking at the use of a current DCC building.