Previous engagement phase of review

Assessment of needs

This document has been prepared in order to be a basis of a variety of conversations with key stakeholders as part of the review of DCC’s Youth Service.  It is envisaged that all stakeholders will add to this document utilising their expert knowledge or both young people and local areas.

Alongside this document we have undertaken a mapping of provision exercise, which again will be added to by those with expertise in this area of work in Devon – not least young people themselves.

We would like to acknowledge the input of Public Health Analysts in the preparation of this document, including the section on the evidence base.

Read the Needs Assessment for Children and Young People in Devon.

 

15 comments on “Assessment of needs

  1. Beverley Weston |

    As Community Safety Sergeant for Exeter, East & Mid Devon I value the work done by Devon Youth Service and know that a great deal of their work is hard to quantify- how do you assess what crimes have been prevented? How do you assess whether you have prevented a young person from making the wrong choices? It is difficult in these times of cuts to provide statistics to truly show the value of work undertaken in many areas- youth work being one of these. I am a strong believer in prevention and personally think that Devon Youth Services have opportunities to engage with young people that I and other officers may not. Young people need information to make informed choices. Devon Youth Service officers are approachable, fun and pretty neutral for young people. It would be a huge shame to lose services in any area as each is valuable in its own right. Whatever happens- their work to date is greatly appreciated.

  2. ben |

    I have to just back up Lisa’s comments regarding attendance figures at youth centres, but also think its important to add that the needs assessment notes the numbers of 0-24 yr olds in “wards” so its important that people remember that the youth service doesn’t work with 0-24yr olds the service works majority with 13-19 or 11-19 so figures showing the numbers of 13 -19 or 11-19 in an area would present a more balanced view of the reach of the service. also its important I note that the needs assessment refers to “wards” which in some cases in in correct. for example Crediton is not a ward. thanks

  3. ben |

    I think its important to note that the needs assessment seems to fail to note the unique-ness / difference in the offer that the Youth Service presents when compared with other offers to young people in their towns / localities. the vast majority of towns and localities have an array of activities for young people, however the vast majority of these fundamentally differ from the youth service offer. when looking at the local provision lists in each town or locality one could be forgiven for seeing a list of different clubs or groups for young people and assume that young people have plenty of opportunities, however as can be seen from other comments in this section the Youth Service offer is almost always a unique one in a town, an open access provision with activities and programmes built around the interests and needs of young people. no uniform, no yearly membership fee, just built around them, for them.

  4. Courtney Lobb |

    In okehampton we have 1 youth service for teenagers which is a place for us to meet up with our friends, get advice and support in a number of ways, the staff at our service provid a save and secure environment for young people in okehampton, with the support from the youth service we have managed to raise our own money for new sofas, tv’s ect we r able to cook meals of out choice on a weekly basis also we r getting involved in the local community to make the center a better place and the way we want it, this probably is the same case across Devon .I have a personal experience in the way the youth center has helped me and my friends for example before we started going to the center we wer getting in trouble with the police, getting involved with the wrong kind of people now we r in college and making something of our lives and with out the help of the staff we wouldn’t have the help we need to move on with our lives an become successful, happy, healthy and most off all being at this centre and having the support from the staff we are able to get our childhood back yet at the same time become a mature adult.

  5. Jake Pratt, 16, Honiton |

    Unless you have grown up on the streets of Honiton, you don’t know how much of a sanctuary this place can provide for young kids. You see on the news how kids are doing stupid things, well this is a place they can go to instead of doing that. The youth centre can provide a place where kids can come to, to have a good time with their mates and not get caught up with the darker side of things.

    (the email address is C/O – done during engagement process)

  6. Daryl Young, Anti Bullying Ambassador, 16, Honiton |

    Our Centre isn’t open for young people. It is also open for adults and people with difficulties and some of us young peole go to help in those nights. If you choose to close the youth club, there will be more kids on the streets and then you’ll complain that there will be more kids on the streets causing trouble and then you’ll blame us when in reality it’ll be your fault. Think about it long and hard – it will be your fault…

    Also if you haven’t been a kid in Honiton, you don’t understand that there is nothing to do and if you close the youth clubs more kids will be led to temptation to try drugs and again it will be your fault.

    Another thing, the youth club workers here work extremely hard for us kids to have a great time and if you choose to close youthy you will leave them unemployed and then you will complain about unemployment rate and again it will be your fault.

    Lastly even if you close clobs over the country and save money, just think of all the lives you could ruin, youth workers, and kids on the streets getting involved with gangs.

    Once again think about it long and hard as it will be your fault!

    (the email address is a C/O myself as Daryl wrote this during the consultation workshop)

  7. Aaron Piper |

    the youth service has always been a safe place for me to go when i was younger and now as a volunteer. I have learnt alot from this service and made great friends. I have seen alot of young people at the centre who would be on the street causing trouble if they didnt have any place to go. The staff know how to listen and without the youth clubs we will lose important help and guidance .the youth club is a safe place to talk about some of lifes big questions.

  8. Ben Feasey |

    I have worked with young people in a variety of ways but the youth service has always showed itself to be the most consistent. I work on the street team and would just like to say that although there is a place for targeted work, needs are individual. To try and design some linear hierarchy of needs won’t work. The only way to deliver a truly diverse and inclusive service is to be universal. Keeping sessions open for all young people to come and access their provision at any time, is the only way to stop the young people who would otherwise be ignored by targeted work, from becoming the next lot of targeted young people.
    The thing that has always made the youth service stand out is that it has always been a proactive service, youth workers do not wait for a young person to become ‘at risk’. We are educators and can deliver topics in ways that other agencgies can not. This can only be done through open access, generic work.

  9. Tom Mack |

    To Whom it may concern,

    I am a local policing and partnerships officer in South Molton with specific responsibility for all town related matters. I have been in post since for over six years now and therefore have experience of how the town was before and after this fabulous Youth facility was built.

    South Molton is a relatively small market town with limited facilities for young people. There has, however, been a great deal of time, money and effort by local people and organisations such as the Town council / Business association which have made it their goal to provide the best possible facilities and make South Molton the envy of other places. The central park regeneration project was testament to that.

    I am acutely aware that funding across all areas is being reduced and I see no reason why Devon Youth service should be exempt from that. All I would say, is that my view (which I know for a fact is echoed by many others both within and outside of our organisation) the ladies and gents as staff members have been brilliant for us in the town. They command respect from all the young people and are all really highly thought of. The facility is state of the art and whilst South Molton suffered with issues surrounding damage and graffiti when I first started, I am glad to say that this building nor surroundings have been targeted. I also know for a fact that the members of the town’s bowling club (situated directly next to the building) were very, very sceptical about the construction of the Youth resource centre as were residents. This was as a direct result of targeted abuse and items being thrown onto the bowling green whilst matches were on and gave an extremely poor impression of how we all wished for South Molton to be portrayed. I only spoke with members the other day and would say that the current ‘relationship’ between ‘both sides’ is the best that it has ever been. This is clearly as a direct result of staff efforts and the mere fact that this facility is available.

    I recall when the mobile van attended and was used to seeing a handful (at best) of people there, speaking to staff at any one time. For one reason and another, there was an obvious ‘stigma’ attached and people seemed to be labelled (in a negative way) if they were seen to go over there. I am sure that attendance sheets have been provided by staff for this review to show how the building has massively bucked this trend.

    I have offered to write this report after speaking with staff at the centre this evening (and having a lovely brew with homemade biscuits!), learning that the centre is currently under review.

    I, on behalf of all at South Molton local policing team wished to pass on my views as to how much benefit to the young people of the town this facility (and staff members) provide.

  10. Jenny Lindow |

    I am a Youth Worker and have been working with Young People for about 15 years in a variety of settings including targeted and universal settings. I would like to say that targeted work is a vital and crucial to some Young People at difficult periods of there life and those working in that role do a great job of engaging and working with those young people, however… There needs to be a process for reaching these Young People in the initial stages, support for them throughout the process and support after.

    Youth Work gives ALL young people the opportunity to discuss any issues, be challenged and find out if they have concerns or doubts. They can check these out with a professional Youth Worker who can guide and support them through any issues, often enabling the Young Person to resolve issues there and then or Youth Workers will signpost as required.

    Having worked with Connexions for a period of time, I have seen the model of targeted only work being not successful for all, with many Young People having a mistrust of statutory or ‘official’ workers. Youth Workers have the opportunity to build relationships with those Young People and give them the chance to develop their confidence and resilience in order to deal with issues.

    Once the piece if intensive targeted work is complete Youth Workers are again there to ensure that those Young People are able to pick up their lives again and develop social and personal skill just as any other Young Person should be able to. This was commented on at very recent training around Child Sex Exploitation, with many participants stating that the work of Youth Workers in an informal setting has been irreplaceable when helping get Young People’s live back on track.

    The needs of Young People is not just about fixing one problem, it is about having support at different stages in their lives and development. For some parents and family members will be enough for them, but for a large number Youth Work gives that extra support in an environment that does not give them a label and remind them of the issues, but an environment that allows them to mix with peers.

    Youth Work compliments, not replaces, targeted work.

  11. Anon |

    I do understand that DCC are faced with having to make massive budget cuts due to this governments totally unrealistic idea that communities can do more for themselves.

    However, what I don’t understand, or maybe I am just missing the point, is why this review doesn’t seem to suggest that youth centres are the ideal setting to deliver the early help strategy? Teenagers are probably one of the most misunderstood people in our society – as they go through huge changes in their teenage years, and become more independent, youth centres and the professional youth workers who they meet are perfectly placed to help young people through these changes and identify issues affecting them that others may not. The subtle relationship between youth workers and young people cannot be recreated elsewhere – parents don’t always notice and many teachers certainly don’t – however young people often open up to their youth worker. Surely there are hundreds of young people in Devon who fall into the need for early help but who aren’t “labelled” as targeted – does this mean DCC don’t care about these young people? Without somewhere for teenagers to go then all I can see is more and more complaints about anti-social behaviour just because groups of young people will end up meeting in the streets and parks more often.
    Young people need a safe environment to meet and learn important social skills with the guidance of professionally trained youth workers when they need it.

  12. lisa rutter |

    I do not consider it appropriate to publish attendance figures at DCC Youth Centres. The snap shot figures do not take into account circumstances that can effect attendance numbers, ie periods of closure due to refurbishment or sessions closed due to staff sickness and staff shortages. Attendance figures are also reliant on financial capacity and staffing levels, not the need and demand of local young people.

  13. Katie Hales |

    As a Youth worker who feels passionate about young people, I feel sad about the future for them.Young people who we work with need a consistent ,professional youth worker enabling them to reach their goals in life ,many of our young people are under privilged in so many ways that their youth club night is possibly their best night of the week ….we need to remember that young people are the future and lots of the young people we work with require support and building up their self esteem and giving them the opportunities of trying out various skills such as cookery award ,life skills home budgeting D of E awards outward bound courses all the inclusion projects that take place which enable fantastic results giving the young people the tools and confidence to get out there I argue that this needs a trained ,sensitive youth worker to work in this space in Devon.
    young people and families are all under pressure through all aspects of living currently we do lighten the load slightly we aim to have fun and our meet & greet during our sessions we need to smile and develop all aspects of good ,clear communication I see all young people we come into contact with us on a journey we need to dip in and out supporting where and when is appropriate and needed the rural pockets of east Devon are forgotten but many have extreme need .. our holisitc approach to this work is good. Its vital we support the voluntary sector and as a support worker in this DCC role I clearly understand the needs of the voluntary workers they are alone out there many are folding due to lack of support through committees and parent helpers they do a fantastic job in the field however they need support and safe guarding these clubs needs to be monitored and regular contact maintained!!
    I ask that you respect the youth workers and look at all out angles of work in the youth service … young people must have their say ..

  14. Andy Doherty |

    Nothing about a need to protect the environment, nothing about resource consumption and environmental sustainability. Nothing about how the economic model that this nation and indeed most nations in the world follow has a negative impact on our young people and adults, families, communities, etc.
    Nothing about how the economic model of which Devon County Council is part of is not creating jobs in the UK and is both unsustainable and attributing to widespread depression, a lack of hope, disillusion and consequently problems relating to drugs, alcohol, relationships, abuse, broken homes across the society is a whole.

    It’s little wonder the Youth Service now must become a reactive entity, a targeted service.
    Changes to youth work will not solve these problems, what is needed is a seismic shift in economic, political, cultural and environmental thinking.
    That’s very unlikely when power is held by a cabinet of billionaires and Counties such as Devon are governed by a Tory clique who seek to maintain the status quo that is taking us backwards.
    Employment statistics under this government are misleading, a part-time or zero hours contract does not provide a stable future.
    Young people have little chance of a university education as they will be saddled with a 50 thousand pound debt.
    Even without this financially crippling start in life few young people and older people can afford to get on the housing ladder.
    Rents are sky high, utilities are all privatized which means household bills are not in line with local salaries for the majority or what benefits are given
    Transport is also privatized and add to how much pay we take home at the end of the day.
    Profit is the priority in the UK, lining the pockets of the wealthy minority. Valuing people is not a real concern of politicians, providing people with good, efficient services which are value for money are not on the radar of housing developers, rail entrepreneurs or he companies vying to replace the NHS.

    Many youth workers share these views, those in the youth service would and could voice their concerns as advocates, campaigning with and for young people. Yet their hands are tied as council workers and indeed by being part of the state itself.

    Reviews such as this are a waste of time, the decision about what to do with the youth service has probably already been passed in Westminster. It’s just tokenism. A review of our whole society is what is needed.

  15. Andy Doherty |

    Nothing about a need to protect the environment, nothing about resource consumption and environmental sustainability. Nothing about how the economic model that this nation and indeed most nations in the world follow has a negative impact on our young people and adults, families, communities, etc.
    Nothing about how the economic model of which Devon County Council is part of is not creating jobs in the UK and is both unsustainable and attributing to widespread depression, a lack of hope, disillusion and consequently problems relating to drugs, alcohol, relationships, abuse, broken homes across the society is a whole.

    It’s little wonder the Youth Service now must become a reactive entity, a targeted service.
    Changes to youth work will not solve these problems, what is needed is a seismic shift in economic, political, cultural and environmental thinking.
    That’s very unlikely when power is held by a cabinet of billionaires and Counties such as Devon are governed by a Tory clique who seek to maintain the status quo that is taking us backwards.
    Employment statistics under this government are misleading, a part-time or zero hours contract does not provide a stable future.
    Young people have little chance of a university education as they will be saddled with a 50 thousand pound debt.
    Even without this financially crippling start in life few young people and older people can afford to get on the housing ladder.
    Rents are sky high, utilities are all privatized which means household bills are not in line with local salaries for the majority or what benefits are given
    Transport is also privatized and add to how much pay we take home at the end of the day.
    Profit is the priority in the UK, lining the pockets of the wealthy minority. Valuing people is not a real concern of politicians, providing people with good, efficient services which are value for money are on the radar of housing developers, rail entrepreneurs or he companies vying to replace the NHS.

    Many youth workers share these views, those in the youth service would and could voice their concerns as advocates, campaigning with and for young people. Yet their hands are tied as council workers and indeed by being part of the state itself.

    Reviews such as this are a waste of time, the decision about what to do with the youth service has probably already been passed in Westminster. It’s just tokenism. A review of our whole society is what is needed.