INFORMATION ON EXTENDING ENTITLEMENT AND CHILDREN &YOUNG PEOPLES PARTNERSHIPS (YPP'S)
Policy initiatives by the Welsh Assembly Government have stressed the need for a joined up approach to implementation. Partnerships and networks are ways that organisations and stakeholders work together with equity, to assist policy implementation through sharing expertise and information.
The Learning and Skills Act 2000 provided a statutory responsibility to Local Authorities to set up Young People's Partnerships (YPPs) in Wales in 2002 via the Assembly’s flag ship policy for young people Extending Entitlement: supporting young people in Wales (2000) and the subsequent Directions and Guidance (2002). These documents established the basic principles for the development of young people centred services through which young people aged 11 - 25 can achieve 10 basic entitlements. They also prescribed the way local stakeholders work in partnership in order to prioritise, plan, coordinate and evaluate the delivery of services needed in their area.
There are 10 entitlements that promote young people’s rights to:
• Education, training and work experience
• Acquisition of skills
• Participate in volunteering and active citizenship
• High quality services
• Careers advice and student support
• Personal support
• Advice on health, housing, and other issues
• Recreational and social opportunities
• Participate in sporting, artistic, musical, and international experiences
• Be consulted and participate in decision making
The main focus and function of Extending Entitlement was to:
“ensure the provision of a comprehensive network of services for young people within their area in order to encourage, enable and assist them, directly or indirectly, to:
• participate effectively in education or training
• take advantage of opportunities for employment
• participate effectively and responsibly in the life of their communities
so as to better equip young people to make an effective transition into independent adulthood, ensure they can access their full entitlement, contribute to the social and economic prosperity of Wales, and enhance its cultural life.”
Guidance for the YPPs in 2002 prescribes the representatives from the statutory and voluntary sector. On each YPP there are 3 representatives of the local voluntary sector with CWVYS and the CVC each with 1 place. The voluntary sector including the CWVYS representatives are expected to represent the sector as a whole, and not the interests of their own organisations.
At the same time the Children's Partnerships for 0-10 years and overarching Frameworks to coordinate plans and developments for 0-25 years were set up under separate guidance Children and Young People: a Framework for Partnership (2000) but with no statutory basis. Voluntary sector representation on these partnerships was also recommended in that guidance.
The 7 core aims for children and young people were also published at this time.
The Seven Core Aims sets out what the Assembly Government is doing for children and young people under each of its core aims which are based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Aim 1: A Flying Start in Life; looks at Sure Start; Parenting Support; Early Years education and Development of language and literacy skills
Aim 2: A Comprehensive Range of Education, Training and Learning Opportunities; includes an examination of The Learning Country, Assessment and Testing; Listening to Learners; Bullying; Exclusion; Inclusive education and School breakfasts
Aim 3: The Best Possible Health Free from Abuse, Victimisation and Exploitation looks at children in need, safeguarding children, and the health of children and young people
Aim 4: Play, Leisure, Sporting and Cultural Activities
Aim 5: Treated with Respect and have their race and cultural Identity Recognised
Aim 6: A Safe Home and Community looks at preventing homelessness, youth offending; safe routes to school and substance misuse
Aim 7: Children and Young People not disadvantaged by poverty
While in many areas the YPP continues to exist, the situation had changed due to further legislation. ‘Stronger Partnerships for Better Outcomes: Guidance on Local Co-operation under the Children’s Act 2004’ gives details of the new statutory functions for the partnerships 0-25 years, stresses the importance of focusing on outcomes rather than who provides, and priority for children and young people most at need. The guidance also sets out the principles for cooperation, deals with appointment of lead individuals in Local Authorities and Health Authorities and looks at commissioning arrangements.
Guidance for a single plan for partnerships has recently been consulted upon and was published in July 2007.
In most Local Authority areas Children and Young People’s Partnership structures are developing based on the guidance and the demands of the single plan. Some areas have retained a distinct YPP within the structure but others have subsumed the statutory YPP functions in to the subgroups that have been formed to undertake all the functions of the wider Children and Young People’s Partnerships.
The position of the CWVYS YPP representatives as strategic partners is being determined. In some areas CWVYS is on the strategic framework and in others is on the sub group undertaking the YPP functions. CWVYS is monitoring the situation and will provide updates to its members on the structures of the Partnerships and where the CWVYS representatives are placed.
Voluntary Sector Representation on YPPs (or where its functions lie)
The voluntary sector is made up of a diversity of organisations undertaking a whole range of work with children and young people. The challenges of the partnerships have been both to engage the voluntary sector, and to ensure that representation reflects the views and contribution of all the local voluntary stakeholders, including sports, arts and environment organisations. Engagement of the sector in the partnerships requires support based on the way the sector is organised.
When the YPPs and the Children’s Partnerships were established existing local umbrella networks did not have the capacity or the specific consultation structures in place to fulfil all the requirements of engagement of the sector.
The issues in the YPPs were explored in a series of seminars in early 2003, held jointly with CWVYS, Children in Wales, WCVA, the Welsh Assembly Government and the local voluntary sector.
Some of the challenges included: clarity about the roles and responsibility of representatives; the process for election/selection; structures required to involve the wider sector; capacity in sector organisations to prioritise the wider strategic engagement; knowledge and shared vision of Extending Entitlement; volunteer involvement; development of partnership skills; timings of meetings and accessibility of venues; the need for a full audit.
A special grant of £20K was made available to the YPPs in 2003-4, for 1 year only, to facilitate the engagement of the sector. CVCs appointed staff in some areas to establish local networks, draw up databases of providers, disseminate information and undertake training.
Election/selection processes were also continuing to be established with pre meetings and forums for the wider sector to inform and be informed by the YPPs. Alternatively some YPPs invested in research or other activities to engage the sector.
Progress has been made since then and in some areas funding has been made available through the partnerships to continue the work for both the YPPs and CPs. However, the challenges of effective representation and engagement of the wider sector still remain and there are considerable differences in developments throughout Wales.
Two joint seminars were held between staff in the CVCs responsible for the engagement of the sector, CWVYS, WCVA and Children in Wales in June and September 2005, and an audit of CVCs were undertaken in June/July to identify the local support available, share good practice, identify areas for development and make recommendations for future action.
A report of the audit and research is available from CWVYS.
Estyn acknowledged these issues on the evidence of the first 5 inspections of youth support services and has recommended that the YPPs could improve their relationship with the voluntary sector through more formal mechanisms, such as a local agreement with the sector. In addition Estyn has made comments on the engagement of the voluntary sector in its report on ‘The Impact of the National Voluntary Youth Organisation Grant’.
The staff from the CVCs that support engagement of the sector have a network around Wales, facilitated by the national umbrella bodies and chaired by CWVYS. This networking has assisted the sharing of practice and provided an opportunity to discuss positive ways forward. The network is called CYPPiC (Children and Young People’s Participation in Cymru) and terms of reference were produced in 2007.
However, there is still more to be undertaken to enable the sector to contribute effectively. There are considerable differences in developments around Wales depending upon the support and resources available and CWVYS and members of CYPPiC are continuing to monitor the situation.
CWVYS Representatives on the YPPs
CWVYS has a position on all of the 22 YPPs, as one of the 5 voluntary sector representatives.
Whilst each YPP and subsequently the C&YPP has developed differently due to local circumstances the main task of CWVYS representative remains common throughout Wales. The task is to attend YPP meetings and work with local partners in both the youth services and voluntary sector in order to support the implementation and delivery of Extending Entitlement.
CWVYS has a code of practice for its representatives.
The CWVYS representatives do not represent the individual organisation in which they are involved but are responsible for representing the CWVYS position, informed by their own experience and the other local voluntary organisations in the local area.
CWVYS currently represents 54 organisations (at January 2010) involving over 200,000 young people across Wales and has a strategic position on all Wales bodies in both the youth field and with the voluntary sector. CWVYS representatives, therefore, are ideally placed to provide a strategic overview of YPP issues nationally through feedback and joint discussions through CWVYS to inform wider strategic issues. This overview is also useful to inform the discussions on each YPP in order to assist in the planning and implementation processes.
Review of Extending Entitlement
The Extending Entitlement Guidance is being reviewed and consultation will be undertaken in 2009.
Estyn is the office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales and has the responsibility to inspect youth support services using the Common Inspection Framework. This document and the inspection reports can be accessed from the Estyn website.
Learning Pathways 14-19
Learning Country: Learning Pathways 14-19 sets out the Welsh Assembly Government's plans to enable young people to 'have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge they need to take their place in the global future market and to have happy successful lives'.
The Guidance for this initiative illustrates how the 14 -19 Learning Pathways action plan is to be implemented. 14 -19 Networks have been established in all Local Authority areas and they have the responsibility to plan and coordinate local action. The 14 -19 Networks link in to the YPPs (or where its functions are) for a coordinated response.
Young people will follow an individual and flexible learning pathway, have support and guidance and the opportunity for work experience and community participation in order to gain and have recognised basic and key skills acquired from formal, non-formal and informal learning situations.
Local community participation experiences and the role and function of the Learning Coach are being identified.
The Voluntary Youth Sector can play a big part in the 14-19 Learning Pathways. Much of the work with young people already contributes to Learning Pathways; it just needs to be formalised. Young People will get the recognition for what they already do as members of voluntary organisations.
CWVYS in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government has produced a leaflet for the voluntary sector on 14-19 Learning Pathways
CWVYS in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government ran a conference for the voluntary sector on the 14-19 Learning Pathways in May 2006. The report of the conference is available and a second conference was held in July 2007.
2006 Conference Report below
See below for some useful links
Implications for the voluntary youth sector
The voluntary youth sector is currently in a period of change driven externally by the policy context in Wales. The implementation of Extending Entitlement expects organisations to engage strategically as stakeholders in the Young People's Partnerships (YPPs). Making the Connections: Delivering Better Services for Wales has seen the work and staff of the Wales Youth Agency being transferred into the Education and Lifelong Learning Department of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Other policies have an influence on the sector such as the 14-19 Learning pathways, community focussed schools, National Service Framework for children and young people and the implementation Children Act on the Framework partnerships. The National Youth Services Startegy also has implications for the sector.
The basic thrust of these policies is to change the culture from focusing on organisations and structures to outcomes for children and young people and to engage young people actively in decisions about services and structures that affect their lives.