The National Youth Agency has produced a new report into the changes and trends the youth sector is currently undergoing. The report which has been produced with input from the Regional Youth Work Units, acts as a snapshot of the plethora of developments that are currently emerging, including the dramatic cuts made to local authority provision.
Commenting in Children and Young People Now on the finding that councils are redeploying qualified youth workers to new roles that support social care functions in a bid to keep up with the demand for targeted services, Fiona Blacke, CEO of the National Youth Agency said, “There is an overall trend for the skills of the youth worker to be deployed with young people identified as vulnerable or at risk rather than in open access settings. The implications of this are obvious – that young people who do not fall into this category do not benefit from their skills – a relationship with a trusted adult and the chance to develop critical social and emotional skills.
“For some young people just below the radar of the criminal, health or social services this can be the difference between support that sets them on a positive course, or much more costly intervention later on. For the majority though missing out on youth work may mean their adolescence is less rich and they may be less likely to reach their full potential as a result.”