Positive for Youth - A new approach to cross-government policy for young people

Young people across the country should be able to inspect their local youth services and advise on how to improve them, Children’s Minister Tim Loughton has said.

Publishing the Government’s new vision for young people and youth services, Positive for Youth, the Minister called on every local authority to get young people involved in local decision-making.

In the statement available from the Department of Education website Loughton remarked “A key principle throughout this statement is the need to listen to the voice of young people themselves. Where they are given the chance to take part in decision-making and inspect or audit local services, young people are usually instrumental in getting it right. I look to all local areas to follow suit by respecting young people’s right to have their voices heard and by inviting them to audit the quality of local services – whether through their local youth council, youth mayor, a young inspectors or advisors programme, or any other suitable arrangement.”

The Young Inspectors package, developed by the Participation Works Partnership following a 2 year pilot programme, is able to support local areas to meet these objectives set out in Positive for Youth by providing the tools to set up and deliver a young inspectors programme.

The Young Inspectors Package offers tailored suites of resources and training along with dedicated consultancy time in order for organisations to develop a Young Inspectors programme that is suited to their needs.

The ‘package’ comprises of a group of 9 'stand alone' modules, each module consisting of an integrated package of information, resources and defined consultancy support. The complete package develops local staff to support and train young people to conduct objective assessments of local services, make recommendations, follow-up and then support recommendations for service improvements.

NCB Deputy Chief Executive Barbara Hearn in her recent blog for The Guardian website added: “Positive for Youth aims to place teenagers and young people at its heart. There is the accurate expectation that teenagers themselves have the responsibility to improve their local communities. The government pioneered the idea that young people are capable of assessing the quality of their local services. Young Inspectors trains some of the most disadvantaged young people from poorer communities to inspect and report on local services. The Young Inspectors scheme has, so far, helped change the lives of more than 1,400 young people and improve more than 600 local services.”

There are also How to Improve Local Services through Youth Inspection training days based on the Young Inspectors programme that have been scheduled for next year in London, Manchester and Bristol.

Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB