Positive for Youth revised guidance for LAs on services for young people

Positive for Youth the Government's vision for young people and youth services has called on every local authority to get young people involved in local decision-making.

In a new revised guidance document local authorities have been told they must take steps to ascertain the views of young people and take them into account when making decisions about services and activities for them. Positive for Youth brings together everything the Government is doing to support young people and has been produced with youth professionals and young people themselves.

Positive for Youth requires local authorities to take into account young people’s views and publicise information about what is available.

A revised guidance document has now been published by the Department for Education and includes the following:

Local authorities must take steps to ascertain the views of young people and to take them into account in making decisions about services and activities for them, in line with Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). They should establish and maintain structured arrangements for doing so. To inform continuous improvement, these arrangements should enable young people to inspect and report at least annually on the quality and accessibility of provision. As appropriate they should also be involved actively in service design, delivery and governance. Young people should receive the support they need to participate, ensuring representation of the full diversity of local young people, and those who may not otherwise have a voice.

The guidance focuses on principles which local authorities should follow in planning and commissioning services for young people. It also promotes transparency and local accountability as well as stating that young people should be involved in both making decisions and inspecting the quality of provision.

A consultation report is also available which summaries the responses received and how the guidance has changed as a result. One of the key questions in the consultation is detailed below.

6. Does the guidance set the right expectations for local authorities' role in involving young people in making decisions about services and activities and in auditing quality? If not, how could it be improved?

There were 77 responses to this question
Yes: 35 45%
In Part: 32 42%
No: 8 10%
Not Sure: 2 3%

91% of local authorities and 84% of other respondents answered ‘yes’ or ‘in
part’ to this question.

There was strong support for the emphasis the guidance places on involving young people in both decision making and inspecting quality, as critical aspects of planning and delivering services for young people.

Respondents agreed with the need to ensure that young people receive the support they need to engage in youth voice arrangements and that such arrangements give voice to the full diversity of local young people. In addition, the valuable role that young can play in service design, delivery and governance was highlighted.

Young Inspectors
Many local authorities are already running The Young Inspectors package. 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. The Young Inspectors package is based on a two year pilot called Youth4U – Young Inspectors developed by a consortium of British Youth Council, KIDS and NCB.
Find out more

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