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These are the Principles – have your say

Have your say on these ten principles by answering the following questions:

  • Is this an important principle?
  • What are barriers preventing it from being followed?
  • What could it look like in action?

Embed key elements of the Youth Work Process

The key elements of the Youth Work Process should be embedded in all work going forward – be that delivered by Devon County Council or via commissioned services.

Develop a partnership action plan and guidance strategy

A partnership strategy and action plan be developed in order to secure a robust information, advice and guidance strategy for young people aged 11- 19 in Devon.

Any work with young people in Devon needs to state the impact on young people’s lives

Work undertaken with young people in Devon, both by in house provision and any work commissioned, will need, going forward, to both measure and report on the impact on young people’s lives.

Review potential income generating activities

A review of all potential income generating activities should be undertaken, with an aim to make activities at the least cost neutral.

Support third sector organisations to deliver relevant services

Third Sector organisations should be supported to deliver services to young people in relevant ways in order to secure the both maintenance and development of the offer to young people in Devon. This should include, where appropriate, transition planning and funding in order that they can directly deliver services.

Ensure that the work of Devon Youth Services is generating income, using assets and gaining the support from partners

Ensure that the work of Devon Youth Services is generating income in a mature, consistent and sustainable way – utilising assets and gaining the support from partners who have an interest in the work that they do

Access to specialist services for young people

Clear pathways between services should be established that allow young people to both access specialist services and step down from specialist services into supportive universal services when necessary. Services should be designed based on understood need across Devon.

Listen to young people to ensure their voices are both heard and responded to

Young People voices should continue to be heard throughout the remodelling of the youth service. Any new services should ensure that they are designed and commissioned in a way that ensure young people’s voices are both heard and responded to.

Always work in partnership to add value

Ensure that partnership working is undertaken throughout to secure added value

Develop criteria to look at the variety of buildings and sites for young people in communities

The consideration of the youth estate should not be undertaken in isolation. It should be part of Devon County Council’s wider estate rationalisation programme. It should look at a variety of mechanisms to secure buildings where the gap analysis demonstrates a need within a community. The criteria developed by stakeholders should inform all decision making.

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8 comments on “These are the Principles – have your say

  1. George |

    As I wrote in my last comment,
    “Ever since I’ve been able to I have been going to the John Tallack Centre in Cullompton. I’ve been volunteering 3 nights a week for most of that time and this is my 6th year as a volunteer.”

    So, I’m going to go through each of the principles, it might take a while!

    Embed key elements of the Youth Work Process
    The key elements of the Youth Work Process should be embedded in all work going forward – be that delivered by Devon County Council or via commissioned services.
    ——————————-
    From what I understand as a young person who has valued and in some ways been a part of Devon Youth Service, I would say that I envisage it to be extremely difficult to find any ‘partner organisation’ or ‘commissioned service’ which will operate with the same effectiveness in helping young people, skill and understanding of young people’s mind-set. The reason that Devon Youth Service works and is better than any ‘rival’ provision, is because of the perfect mix between professionalism, education and understanding friendship. For a young person needing to discuss delicate issues or in need of help, they go to DYS because they know they are professional in that their story will remain confidential, the youth workers are fully trained and are responsible for their care. I strongly believe that young people only feel comfortable in discussing the delicate issues present during every session in the youth centre, is because of the built up trust but more so the way in which youth workers act as a friend and will not judge young people on what they say, do or feel.
    In essence, the first principle is vitally important and I do not disregard that. Without the core ‘soul’ of youth work, future work would not be half as effective and would most probably end with upset young people and the service reverting to its current state.

    Develop a partnership action plan and guidance strategy
    A partnership strategy and action plan be developed in order to secure a robust information, advice and guidance strategy for young people aged 11- 19 in Devon.
    ——————————-
    Again, the principle is vitally important! It needs to be ensured and young people need to know that they are receiving the right information in the best way. When out sourcing services to other organisations it must be ensured that there is some form of screening or auditing (for want of a better word) that ensures young people are safe and that the organisation is providing a superb service which follows the ethics and core of DYS – without these it will not be effective.

    Any work with young people in Devon needs to state the impact on young people’s lives
    Work undertaken with young people in Devon, both by in house provision and any work commissioned, will need, going forward, to both measure and report on the impact on young people’s lives.
    ——————————-
    As you would expect, I only know a little about the safeguarding and confidentiality that goes on behind the youth work office doors. From what I do know I can’t imagine it would be that easy for the new provision to remain confidential about all young people at the same time as using young people’s statistics to prove that they are doing a good job! This principle is what you would usually expect from an organisation outsourcing its services but I don’t know how it would work alongside the idea of maintaining the core youth work values DYS operates under. This is due to the delicate nature of the statistics and the fact that I doubt young people would be as confident in discussing things with youth workers or members of staff if they know their story is to be told as proof.

    Review potential income generating activities
    A review of all potential income generating activities should be undertaken, with an aim to make activities at the least cost neutral.
    ——————————-
    I am sure that so long as the changes aren’t too severe and the relationship and bond with young people isn’t damaged, young people will be delighted to help with any activities which mean that their service is still valuable for them. I certainly would be! I am aware that lots of the income generating activities are barely covering costs as it is, so there may be difficulty in generating an income from the service. I would say that perhaps young people should not be used as a fundraiser, especially in the current state of the economy but none the less, generating income is vital and I’m sure it will help contribute to the running of the new service.

    Support third sector organisations to deliver relevant services
    Third Sector organisations should be supported to deliver services to young people in relevant ways in order to secure the both maintenance and development of the offer to young people in Devon. This should include, where appropriate, transition planning and funding in order that they can directly deliver services.
    ——————————-
    Perhaps ‘supported’ is not quite the right word. As a young person I would like to know that the new service is safe for me to use and is run with the core youth work values I am used to and feel safe with. I would say the remaining DYS or ‘form of’ should ‘oversee’ the actions of these organisations, ensuring young people are safe and revieving a good service which is in keeping with youth work values. From a more positive point of view, DYS works so well at the moment and if cuts must be made and part of the service must be handed over, it is important that this is done smoothly and professionally, keeping the values of DYS at the core.

    Ensure that the work of Devon Youth Services is generating income, using assets and gaining the support from partners
    Ensure that the work of Devon Youth Services is generating income in a mature, consistent and sustainable way – utilising assets and gaining the support from partners who have an interest in the work that they do.
    ——————————-

    Work with partners is a good way of getting funds for the new service or hopefully DYS! Perhaps my perception of this in action is a little too ‘colourful’ but this opens all kinds of opportunity for young people. Partners could work with young people in schemes involving work experience, job finding, crafts, catering, sport, the list is endless. Providing that partners are dealt with and operate within the core values of DYS, I envisage this will be hugely beneficial for young people, not just the new service’s funds!

    Access to specialist services for young people
    Clear pathways between services should be established that allow young people to both access specialist services and step down from specialist services into supportive universal services when necessary. Services should be designed based on understood need across Devon.
    ——————————-
    The reason young people attend ‘specialist services’ and they are so effective is due to the ‘universal services’. Without a youth centre for ‘troubled’ young people to join in with and feel inconspicuous yet supported, they would never volunteer to take part in so called ‘specialist services’. I feel strongly that young people don’t learn or alter their ways if they are forced, we must be able to understand the reasons and then make our own educated decision. This is why DYS works!
    DYS acts as a river, carrying young people across dangerous ground, into the sea, symbolising adulthood. Sometimes however, some young people get damaged by the dangerous ground and so are taken into a pond where they are helped by youth workers until they are ready to continue their journey downstream. Streams collect water and channel it into the rivers. Without streams, there would be no water in the rivers. In the same way, without youth centres, young people would not be helped by DYS and so would not reach the sea successfully. Is it not apparent then, that without lots of streams, less young people would travel to the sea. Most certainly ones in need would not reach the ponds, leaving them no hope for achieving a successful adult life.
    Decisions about need can only be made by someone with a good understanding of the area, the ‘rival’ provisions, the young people, their needs and most importantly, which organisations they would be happy with using and why they use DYS instead of them at the moment.

    Listen to young people to ensure their voices are both heard and responded to
    Young People voices should continue to be heard throughout the remodelling of the youth service. Any new services should ensure that they are designed and commissioned in a way that ensure young people’s voices are both heard and responded to.
    ——————————-
    As it is now apparent, SOME young people are happy to offer comments to save their centres. However, I am aware of all too many young people even within one centre who still aren’t aware of the review process. There are more however, who are, have something to say but are unable to, be it because of confidence, time or the availability and accessibility of events.
    I would also say that the way in which young people were ‘engaged’ in the process this time perhaps wasn’t that ‘engaging’. If in the future, young people’s comments are genuinely wanted as I sincerely hope they were this time, the way in which it is done should be looked at very carefully. If I may, I would suggest that the people with the best understanding of young people are the highly trained but much more importantly experienced and understanding DYS youth workers! Perhaps it might be a good idea to involve them and the young people themselves in planning and implementing a way to collect the comments and ideas of young people in the future!
    As a young person who has a huge loyalty and relationship with the work of DYS and whose life DYS makes up a large part, I am extremely connected to the service (in its current form I might add). I value it so highly that I, as many other young people are, am susceptible to feeling extremely hostile towards anyone who tries to take the service away! After experiencing the review process and having some strong thoughts towards it, I would warn the next process which aims to collect young people’s comments that young people like myself are extremely cautious and so the process must be well thought out!
    Throughout the process, naturally, I have been hugely suspicious of some of the statements and the way the review has worked. I fear that if I agree to a principle, I am agreeing to my understanding of it not the way it was meant to be understood by the person who wrote it. This ‘naivety’ could perhaps be used to advantage the ‘change makers’. In some cases, I would say it may not have been safe for me to agree as my words could have been twisted and used against me. In some instances I have felt I was being tricked into agreeing to something I didn’t agree with. I also felt that the ‘change makers’ perhaps didn’t want young peoples’ views and were pretending to collect them as part of a protocol they had to be seen to be following.
    Making writing less vague in the future would definitely cut down on this fear of mine. The reason I was suspicious was that some information provided by the ‘change makers’ was incorrect. It followed that if that information was wrongly understood, my comments could be too. The key thing is that this review matters more to young people than it does the ‘change makers’, they will still have jobs, whilst young people will suffer the changes. Working with youth workers and young people in the design of the next engagement will hopefully reduce this and I suppose that although this suspicion and hostility it is not necessarily needed, it is always going to be present when dealing with any issue that matters so much to so many!
    There is of course the likely hood that ‘change makers are working above board and are working for the good of young people’s future but I was bound to be cautious!

    Always work in partnership to add value
    Ensure that partnership working is undertaken throughout to secure added value
    ——————————-
    I am not quite sure of the meaning of this principle but will say that as long as work with other organisations does not mean DYS being handed over, I am for any work with new partners in the future.

    Develop criteria to look at the variety of buildings and sites for young people in communities
    The consideration of the youth estate should not be undertaken in isolation. It should be part of Devon County Council’s wider estate rationalisation programme. It should look at a variety of mechanisms to secure buildings where the gap analysis demonstrates a need within a community. The criteria developed by stakeholders should inform all decision making.
    ——————————-
    It is vital that whoever decides on the alternative rival provision that already exists and so the need for the centre to stay open, should understand the area and why young people don’t used current provision already, in almost every case there will be a strong reason. Whilst making these decisions, I would say that the most important thing to remember would be that in young people’s opinion, DYS is like no other organisation or service. Taking it away because there are other ‘similar’ organisations nearby would be short sighted in that young people value DYS’ centres because they are far better than any other organisation that rivals them. Of course, I would hate to speak for young people as a group but I am confident that I am saying what they think. I am sure the review process will cover that!

    After writing such a long statement about each of the principles (for it’s length I apologise) I feel that as long as any new provision follows the ‘core values of DYS and its youth work and doesn’t get too caught up in becoming a business and making money, it will serve its purpose well.

    It may even one day become held by me in almost as high esteem as Devon Youth Service is.

    Much of the new vision involves young people and I’m sure young people would be delighted to help with anything necessary to save their service. I’m sure this has been proven by the review process so far. However, I might perhaps warn ‘change makers’ that if the changes are too severe and result in the downfall of Devon Youth Service and all that goes with it, the loyalty but more importantly relationship any generic youth service may have with young people in the future, is sure to go with it.

  2. James CORBEN |

    I believe that of the ten principles the following seven are most important to the future development of youth services in Devon – the remaining three still being material and to be observed but of lesser importance in relation to the progress of services which should have meeting the needs and aspirations of young people as their primary objectives.
    (i) Embed key elements of the Youth Work Process
    (ii) Listen to young peop;e to ensure their voices are both heatd and responded to
    (iii) Any work with young people in Devon needs to state the impact on young people
    (iv() Always work in partnership to add value
    (V) Support third sector organisations to develop relevant services
    )vi) Develop a partnership action plan and guidance strategy
    (vii)Improve access to specialist services for young people and the development of clear pathways between services.
    I believe partnership work using and sharing the expertise and experience of workers in both statutory and third/voluntary sectors of the service to be key to its future development in the present and foreseeable economic climate. Indeed I was surprised to find that in the afternoon group I attended to validate the principles at Exeter, that so few people present seemed to recognise that we are moving into a new era for the development of public services- an era in which circumstances for the foreseeable future may well dictate that a growing number of local authorities withdraw completely from their role of provider or part-provider of non-mandatory services such as the Youth Service and become,at best, facilitators,
    For that reason alone I would suggest that the Review should attempt to present the County Council Cabinet with a comprehensive picture of youth work in the county not one based on present County Council provision . Surely an agreed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the total resources and expertise in the whole service and present gaps in total ;provision which could be produced by a representative group of professionals from the voluntary and statutory sectors of the service. would provide vital evidence for the Review which it currently lacks. . it might also provide a model for future partnership work!!

  3. Eleasha Lake |

    I feel the youth service is a huge value to young people including myself. There are many positive factors of the youth service and it brings out the positive determined side of people. I feel if the youth service was to be dismissed the negativity of young people will increase, also their future welling and confidence will disappear.

  4. paul allan |

    why hasn’t my contribution of last week been included??

    See below

    RESPONSE TO THE ‘DEVON YOUTH OFFER PRINCIPLES PAPER’

    This is my personal response based upon the knowledge and perspectives I have gained from: my previous full time career in public sector secondary/further education, adult education, youth and community services, which included a lot of joint working with the voluntary sector, for whom I have a great professional respect; my current part-time career in Higher Education as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, ‘Working with Young People’ courses – leading to JNC recognised qualifications for those seeking careers in the public or third sectors; and as Chair of Voluntary Organisations for Young People and Children (VOYC), Devon, previously Voluntary Youth Services, VYS (Devon) for the past six years.

    With regard to the principles that have been identified in the paper, all are very important and acceptable – and for me the youth work process, impact measurement and the active involvement of the Third Sector, especially so. The voice of young people is also especially important and I would very much hope and expect that the voice of as many young people in third sector provision has been enabled to be represented in this process thus far – and will continue to do so in the future – bearing in mind that proportionally there are very probably more young people in voluntary sector provision than public sector provision. It would also be appropriate to extend the principle with regard to a partnership strategy (for the development of advice and guidance for young people, 11-19) to be more inclusive of all (public and third sector) services and service providers for young people. I would also have liked an explicit principle about openness, respect and transparency in how we treat each other and do business together.

    Referring to the section on voluntary sector infrastructure support (8.2), there is one quotation that I believe very strongly should be declared invalid, that being the comment: “the voluntary sector does not want to do sexual health work, we are not qualified to do it and we simply want to run activities”. From my experience and perspective this is simply not true; indeed, there are many voluntary sector organisations in Devon and nationally who are very well qualified and motivated to undertake this and other ‘targeted’ work such as drugs/alcohol, youth offending and so on. I question and challenge the authority of the person making this contribution to speak on behalf of the voluntary sector – and the reasoning/motives of the authors of this report by including this statement. What is its purpose? It is a false and misleading message.

    I welcome the statement in 8.2, page 16, that a new commissioning specification for infrastructure support for the young people sector for 2013/14 will be developed and I would urge that this be done as a matter of urgency. I would imagine that VOYC Trustees would wish this to happen very soon and they would certainly wish to contribute their views to what that new specification should look like. In my view, it should include infrastructure support functions such as:

    1. How to assess, review and respond to local needs
    2. How to measure/evaluate the impacts of work with young people and develop appropriate quality assurance schemes
    3. How to identify the resources (not just money) that are currently available, how they can be better used/co ordinated and what new resources and funding can be found, e.g. contributions from other agencies and councils, grants, contracts, involvement of local groups.
    4. How to attract, recruit, train, support and develop volunteers and staff, including young people’s apprenticeship schemes
    5. How to provide advice, guidance and support to individuals and communities who wish to set up, develop or sustain provision for young people, including how to identify or retain buildings for young people services.
    6. How to set up, develop and sustain partnership working
    7. How to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and that they are enabled to contribute fully with regard to all of the above.

    VOYC, with its current partners (the CVS networks, the regional youth work unit, national bodies such as Children England and the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services – and many of the 200 VOYC member organisations) is very well placed to undertake these functions, given a commissioning brief that enables it to build capacity to do so.

    I am concerned about the negative message contained at the beginning of 8.5, Young People’s Voices – “I am concerned that commissioning out universal services will mean poor quality, broken promises and young people not having the support they want and need……” This seems to me to be a very prejudicial statement and overview – and not in the least bit objective. Again, I question the authority of the person to make such a statement; is it based upon limited (negative) experience and knowledge? I also question the motives of the authors of this report for including this statement. What message are you trying to convey? It is false and misleading as far as I am concerned. From my experience and perspective many ‘universal’ providers in the third sector such as scouts, faith and uniformed organisations, arts, cultural, outdoor education and sports organisations deliver well run quality services that are valued, admired and respected by all concerned. Many are also subject to their own and external quality assurance systems. Many are renowned national and international organisations (YMCA, Sail Training). I am certainly confident that these ‘universal’ providers, who also do a lot of targeted work, can be relied upon to undertake commissioning work for young people services. For these reasons, this statement should be declared invalid.

    With regard to section 9 – Key Messages, I note that a panel met to arrange the key messages thus far in this process, into themes. I would expect that in future, important exercises such as this should include involvement and contributions from the voluntary sector and any other relevant stakeholders, such as school and other agencies (Health Services?). This would also provide tangible evidence that the principles contained in this paper are being put into practice and the principle of openness and transparency is being adhered to.

    Section 10 – Feedback from Statistical Neighbours – could and should have contained more information to inform this process and discussion, especially the final paragraph regarding a clear model for undertaking impact assessment, learning about outsourcing and the impact this has had upon the third sector. Why withhold this valuable information, especially given the importance in the principles regarding measuring impact, the role and potential of the third sector and so on? This needs to be rectified at an early stage in order to provide tangible evidence that the principles in this paper are being put into practice.

    Overall, this is a useful paper – but what is now urgently needed is a ‘Functions and Responsibilities’ paper, i.e. who should do/be responsible for what and when and to whom – and with what levels of funding?

    When can we have this and who should produce this paper? Also, it is time to put the principles that are in this paper into practice. Who will provide an answer and within what time scale??

    Paul Allan
    November 2nd 2013.

    NB: These are my personal views and comments. The VOYC Board of Trustees will determine its collective response at its Board Meeting on Thursday 7 November.

  5. Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) |

    Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) has been active in engaging in the Devon Youth Service Review having submitted a first response to the review on 26th September 2013 and in attending a number of engagement events across the County.

    DeVA reiterates that the support and involvement of Third Sector Organisations is vital, that the Sector is a vibrant one and already plays a significant part in support the delivery of Youth Services in Devon.

    DeVA have considered the Principles which are clear and sensible and the value of these principles will be realised as we see how they are adopted in moving forward. We make comment on the following principles specifically:

    Principle: Develop a Partnership Strategy
    Principle: Work in Partnership
    We believe it is important that groups from the Third Sector are enabled to continue their contribution to planning where they are able and that, as DCC move to a more detailed planning stage, that the Third Sector are able to engage locally in the development of those plans. DeVA offers it’s support to DCC to engage Third Sector providers locally

    Principle: Measuring the impact on Youth People’s lives
    The Third Sector, across all disciplines, is adopting a more qualitative approach to monitoring and evaluation, as are all sectors but support must be invested in enabling the Sector to move forward with embedding measuring impact in their organisations.

    Principle: Supporting Third Sector Organisations to Deliver
    DeVA are pleased that this principle has been included by DCC and in our opinion support should be provided to assist groups in the following areas:
    1) probity of groups – ensuring they are well run and robust in their governance and quality standards
    2) sustainability – including advice of funding, volunteer recruitment and management and capacity building
    3) workforce development – for staff and volunteers
    4) specialist advice specific to working with young people – including safeguarding
    5) support to engage – facilitating continued engagement across the sectors

    DeVA partners offer their support to DCC to move forward with developing plans and engaging Third Sector Providers.

  6. PAUL ALLAN |

    RESPONSE TO THE ‘DEVON YOUTH OFFER PRINCIPLES PAPER’

    This is my personal response based upon the knowledge and perspectives I have gained from: my previous full time career in public sector secondary/further education, adult education, youth and community services, which included a lot of joint working with the voluntary sector, for whom I have a great professional respect; my current part-time career in Higher Education as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, ‘Working with Young People’ courses – leading to JNC recognised qualifications for those seeking careers in the public or third sectors; and as Chair of Voluntary Organisations for Young People and Children (VOYC), Devon, previously Voluntary Youth Services, VYS (Devon) for the past six years.

    With regard to the principles that have been identified in the paper, all are very important and acceptable – and for me the youth work process, impact measurement and the active involvement of the Third Sector, especially so. The voice of young people is also especially important and I would very much hope and expect that the voice of as many young people in third sector provision has been enabled to be represented in this process thus far – and will continue to do so in the future – bearing in mind that proportionally there are very probably more young people in voluntary sector provision than public sector provision. It would also be appropriate to extend the principle with regard to a partnership strategy (for the development of advice and guidance for young people, 11-19) to be more inclusive of all (public and third sector) services and service providers for young people. I would also have liked an explicit principle about openness, respect and transparency in how we treat each other and do business together.

    Referring to the section on voluntary sector infrastructure support (8.2), there is one quotation that I believe very strongly should be declared invalid, that being the comment: “the voluntary sector does not want to do sexual health work, we are not qualified to do it and we simply want to run activities”. From my experience and perspective this is simply not true; indeed, there are many voluntary sector organisations in Devon and nationally who are very well qualified and motivated to undertake this and other ‘targeted’ work such as drugs/alcohol, youth offending and so on. I question and challenge the authority of the person making this contribution to speak on behalf of the voluntary sector – and the reasoning/motives of the authors of this report by including this statement. What is its purpose? It is a false and misleading message.

    I welcome the statement in 8.2, page 16, that a new commissioning specification for infrastructure support for the young people sector for 2013/14 will be developed and I would urge that this be done as a matter of urgency. I would imagine that VOYC Trustees would wish this to happen very soon and they would certainly wish to contribute their views to what that new specification should look like. In my view, it should include infrastructure support functions such as:

    1. How to assess, review and respond to local needs
    2. How to measure/evaluate the impacts of work with young people and develop appropriate quality assurance schemes
    3. How to identify the resources (not just money) that are currently available, how they can be better used/co ordinated and what new resources and funding can be found, e.g. contributions from other agencies and councils, grants, contracts, involvement of local groups.
    4. How to attract, recruit, train, support and develop volunteers and staff, including young people’s apprenticeship schemes
    5. How to provide advice, guidance and support to individuals and communities who wish to set up, develop or sustain provision for young people, including how to identify or retain buildings for young people services.
    6. How to set up, develop and sustain partnership working
    7. How to ensure that young people’s voices are heard and that they are enabled to contribute fully with regard to all of the above.

    VOYC, with its current partners (the CVS networks, the regional youth work unit, national bodies such as Children England and the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services – and many of the 200 VOYC member organisations) is very well placed to undertake these functions, given a commissioning brief that enables it to build capacity to do so.

    I am concerned about the negative message contained at the beginning of 8.5, Young People’s Voices – “I am concerned that commissioning out universal services will mean poor quality, broken promises and young people not having the support they want and need……” This seems to me to be a very prejudicial statement and overview – and not in the least bit objective. Again, I question the authority of the person to make such a statement; is it based upon limited (negative) experience and knowledge? I also question the motives of the authors of this report for including this statement. What message are you trying to convey? It is false and misleading as far as I am concerned. From my experience and perspective many ‘universal’ providers in the third sector such as scouts, faith and uniformed organisations, arts, cultural, outdoor education and sports organisations deliver well run quality services that are valued, admired and respected by all concerned. Many are also subject to their own and external quality assurance systems. Many are renowned national and international organisations (YMCA, Sail Training). I am certainly confident that these ‘universal’ providers, who also do a lot of targeted work, can be relied upon to undertake commissioning work for young people services. For these reasons, this statement should be declared invalid.

    With regard to section 9 – Key Messages, I note that a panel met to arrange the key messages thus far in this process, into themes. I would expect that in future, important exercises such as this should include involvement and contributions from the voluntary sector and any other relevant stakeholders, such as school and other agencies (Health Services?). This would also provide tangible evidence that the principles contained in this paper are being put into practice and the principle of openness and transparency is being adhered to.

    Section 10 – Feedback from Statistical Neighbours – could and should have contained more information to inform this process and discussion, especially the final paragraph regarding a clear model for undertaking impact assessment, learning about outsourcing and the impact this has had upon the third sector. Why withhold this valuable information, especially given the importance in the principles regarding measuring impact, the role and potential of the third sector and so on? This needs to be rectified at an early stage in order to provide tangible evidence that the principles in this paper are being put into practice.

    Overall, this is a useful paper – but what is now urgently needed is a ‘Functions and Responsibilities’ paper, i.e. who should do/be responsible for what and when and to whom – and with what levels of funding?

    When can we have this and who should produce this paper? Also, it is time to put the principles that are in this paper into practice. Who will provide an answer and within what time scale??

    Paul Allan
    November 2nd 2013.

    NB: These are my personal views and comments. The VOYC Board of Trustees will determine its collective response at its Board Meeting on Thursday 7 November.

  7. Nicola Taylor |

    There could be some positive outcomes for voluntary and charitable organisations taking on sections of youth service provision. DCC could become enablers to strengthen the voluntary services and add quality/standards in a co-ordinated approach.

    Active Devon are effective at co-ordinating Devon-wide local delivery partners for Sport England funded scheme, ensuring local needs are met and good practice is shared at regular meetings.

    In Newton Abbot there are a number of local young people and volunteers currently looking at developing a new charitable incorporated organisation for young people in Action Sports. This will include an indoor skate park, youth nights, skateboarding, BMX, scooter nights, a potential future climbing wall, youth cafe, and a range of other alternative / non-mainstream sports. It plans to develop user-led events, training and qualifications as well as music, video editing, photography, and coaching experiences with role models and professional advisors. For further information please feel free to contact me.

  8. David Radford [5th Exmouth sea scouts] |

    I hope that Devon County Scouts are involved in this process and will comment from the County viewpoint.
    I am a previous chair of the Exmouth youth forum and network. I am pleased to see that in principle 2 the age range of 11 to 19 is recognised as being the target for the service provision, however it needs to be borne in mind that there is much voluntary provision also for children down to the age of 6 which also warrants support.