The Panel is asked to note the following:
1. This item is being considered as pre-decision scrutiny and will therefore not be available to call-in once a decision is made by the Executive.
[Andrew Wolverson, Head of Service People,to present report]
Andrew Wolverson, Head of Service People, presented the Youth Engagement Strategy and outlined the background and the key aims. The Head of Service commented on the success of the Summer Squad. The events have generated a lot of interest from young people in the activities on offer and received 21,000 ‘hits’ on the website and the next Summer Squad programme is expected to increase from 200 to 300 activities.
The Head of Service People briefed the panel about plans for developing youth activities for the October school half term. It is planned to arrange 50 different activities during the period and has been promoted on the website. The overall aim is to build on the success and to develop an online offer that young people would be willing to engage with.
The Head of Service commented on the excellent response to youth organisations across Wolverhampton to the initiative wanting to get involved in the future plans to offer a range of different activities.
The Head of Service commented on the benefits of involving members of Children in Care Council in developing the content of the programme.
The panel discussed the issue of young people who may not want to engage or need support to get involved in the activities on offer. The panel commented on the option of using detached or outreach youth work to make young people aware of what is on offer. The panel discussed the impact of poverty and deprivation on the willingness of young people to get involved during school holidays. The panel discussed concerns about the risk of young people disengaging aged 12 -13 from more structured activities and the need to be flexible in these situations.
The panel discussed the location of activities available to young people.
The Director of Children’s Services commented on the work done to increase the youth offer across the City. The panel suggested an interim report on progress of the strategy in 6 months’ time. The panel commented on the need to consider feedback from the survey of young people.
The panel commented on the positive impact of youth work and welcomed efforts to engage with young people. The panel discussed the offer available to young people with special needs and queried how events were promoted to this group. The Head of Service People advised the panel that young people were asked to share their views about how events should be promoted. The response from young people was they wanted activities that were accessible to everyone. The panel suggested that giving more detail about the events will help people to decide if it was suitable for them as individual needs vary so much rather then activities promoted to young people with special needs. The Head of People Service added that this was a challenge to the planning of events, but the co-production approach would help to improve how events are described. The panel discussed the demographic profile of young people using the service and suggested further work to be done to find out this information.
The Director of Children’s Services commented on work planned to collect this information about the people who have attended events and will use this to review the balance between the universal and targeted youth offer. The panel suggested that information about events could be more descriptive, for example a ‘a noisy activity’ to help people to decide if it was suitable activity for them. The Head of People Service commented on the work to involve young people in the design of activities in the past and also in deciding what activities were offered, which had been successful. The panel were advised that 40,000 Summer Squad booklets had been distributed.
1. The panel agreed to note the report and the progress made to develop the youth engagement strategy document.
2. The panel to receive an interim report on progress of the strategy in March 2020.
The meeting closed at 19:45