The consultation ran from 3 February and closed on 27 April 2014. There were 8 public meetings, 8 young people meetings and further opportunities to engage through the website and ad-hoc sessions.
The general message received was that any reductions to the current provision be it centre based or outreach/mobile, will have a negative impact on young people in Devon. A move to DCC providing a targeted only model means youth work will end, young people will become stigmatised and, as worked with only by referral, many will fall through the net. There is insufficient capacity in the community to step up and there are concerns of the professionalism and safeguarding standards of some volunteers. Centres may end up being used for non young people purposes and they have invested time and money into them.
As the consultation period progressed however, it became clear that many taking part began to understand and accept that resources are constrained so different ways of working are needed. Headline suggestions include keeping a smaller service with a specific targeted and open access offer delivered in less centres and outreach/mobile units, possibly where staff can be bought in; the retention of a professional support network to assist the development of the community and voluntary sector; broader outcome based partnership working across Devon as we are all in this together; and reconsidering the timing to ensure a smooth transition to new arrangements which young people want to have a say in. These are all in keeping with the 10 principles.
Some of the headline findings from public meetings and young people meetings can be found here:
This website was open for comment on 3 February, we have received: