To consider and discuss a report from the Head of Democratic Services that presents further information on the new youth work delivery model, informed by the findings of the youth work review, as well as a shared vision for future youth work in Leeds.
The Head of Democratic Services submitted a report that presented further information on the new youth work delivery model, informed by the findings of the youth work review, as well as a shared vision for future youth work in Leeds.
The following were in attendance:
- Councillor Mary Harland, Executive Member for Communities
- Councillor Fiona Venner, Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships
- Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education
- Sal Tariq, Director of Children and Families
- Ruth Terry, Chief Officer Social Work
The Director of Children and Families introduced the report, highlighting the need for a clear vision and recognition of the impact of youth workers on the lives of young people across the city. Members were advised that there are three strands set out within the future vision - a core offer of universal youth work undertaken by youth work services within the local authority, additional third sector provision for greater demand, and a small grant scheme for smaller organisations with alternative reach.
Members discussed a number of matters, including:
· Communications. Members acknowledged the need to maximise opportunities to improve communications with young people about services and schemes available and sought clarity on plans for future communications and engagement with young people. Linked to this, Members were advised that a comprehensive communication strategy will be developed as part of the action plan.
· Small grant scheme. Members were supportive of a more exploratory approach to the smaller grants scheme and requested examples of more diverse projects. Members were advised that ad-hoc flexible projects to date have included support for addressing youth violence and resilience programmes for young women and girls.
· Quality assurance. It was reported that a number of support functions had been identified as essential to the effectiveness and sustainability of the agreed model of delivery of youth work, with particular reference made to the importance of having a robust quality assurance process for all youth work provision.
· Mapping of existing provision. It was noted that a thorough mapping exercise of local authority and community run building assets would be undertaken. Members therefore requested that this information be shared with the Board in due course.
· Sharing best practice. Members recognised the success of a range of projects delivered by community organisations and queried the approach taken to sharing best practice. Members were advised that the first city wide youth work conference was held in 2020 and will now continue on an annual basis as an opportunity to celebrate and learn from the range of services and providers in Leeds.
· Provision for travelling communities. In response to a query, Members were advised that Gypsy and Roma Travellers are supported predominantly by the Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange (GATE), as well as intervention from council youth work teams on an ad hoc basis in response to new encampments in the city.
· Timescales for implementation of the new model. Members sought assurances that services are on track to meet the timescales for implementation set out in the report. The Director confirmed that he was confident that the new model would be fully implemented by April 2022. The Board therefore suggested that it would be timely for a further update to be brought back to scrutiny in March 2022.
RECOMMENDED – That the contents of the report, along with Members comments, be noted.