Youth Support Services in Wales

Summary

This report is in response to a request in the Cabinet Secretary’s annual remit letter to Estyn for 2017-2018, in which the Welsh Government asked Estyn to undertake a survey of services for young people in Wales. It also forms part of wider thematic work undertaken jointly by Inspection Wales. Each inspection, audit, and regulatory body in Wales will report on the support being given to young people from different services. Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) will report on arrangements to support the transition between child and adult services. Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) will focus on the effectiveness of local authority services and arrangements for children who are looked after and care leavers. The Wales Audit Office (WAO) will examine the Welsh Government’s strategic approach to improving the wellbeing of young people aged 16-24 with a view to identifying key lessons for the future.
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Recommendations

Local authorities should:

  • R1 Consult meaningfully with young people, so that they can influence the planning for and evaluation of the services available to them at a local level
  • R2 Provide safe spaces for young people in local areas so that they have access to services, and activities, which support their development as individuals, and as members of their local community
  • R3 Make sure that strategic plans have clear priorities informed by local intelligence for services that support young people
  • R4 Make sure that local authority departments and other bodies work in partnership to provide services for young people, which address their needs

Providers should:

  • R5 Make sure that their services enable young people to identify for themselves their interests, goals, and needs
  • R6 Work in partnership at a local and regional level to improve access to the range of services for young people
  • R7 Make sure that professional youth work standards and principles are used by workers in all youth support service projects

The Welsh Government should:

  • R8 Provide the policy basis through which youth work, as a way of working with young people, becomes embedded in all services
  • R9 Clarify the use of the terminology ‘youth work’, ‘youth service,’ and ‘youth support services’ in Wales in order to provide a universally understood language for policy development and delivery
  • R10 Establish ways of holding local authorities and their partners to account for the quality, range and types of youth support services they provide in their area
  • R11 Include the qualification, training and ongoing development of youth workers in the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales