Venue: Room 120 - Bexley Civic Offices. View directionsItems No. Item
Appointment of Chairman
RESOLVED - That Councillor Kirsty Duncombe be appointed as Chairman of the Youth Services Scrutiny Sub-Group for the Municipal Year 2009/10.
Apologies for Absence and Substitute Members
Apologies of absence were received from Councillors Nigel Betts, Sandra Baur and from Richard Gillesspie who had given his apologies that he would be late to the meeting due to another commitment.
No disclosures were made.
Standing Order 65 (6) PDF 40 KB
None to report.
Introductory Report and Presentation PDF 50 KB
- YOUTH SERVICES IN BEXLEY 2009 pdf, item 5. PDF 293 KB
Members received a presentation from Linda Tottman, Deputy Director Youth Services and Inclusion to put into context how the Council and partner agencies deliver a wide range of youth provision across the borough, and work in close partnership to meet key performance indicators.
Miss Tottman informed Members that the Councils Integrated Youth Service (IYS) was established in May 2007 and comprises of nine areas that are situated over seven sites across the borough. To encourage better integration between these areas it co-location of the Council’s IYS at the Howbury Centre would proceed in January/February 2010, which is somewhat earlier than the date scheduled for decant.
It was reported that the Integrated Youth Support Service (IYSS), which was a requirement of the DCSF and established in 2009 differs somewhat to IYS in that in that it includes all agencies responsible for delivering services to young people in Bexley, for example: IYS, Police, NHS Trusts Church Groups and Neighbourhood Services.
One of the key tasks set by the Youth Strategy Partnership was, by consultation, to agree five strategic priorities that would underpin the IYSS and in agreement with the DCSF, would fundamentally be delivered in three areas as follows:
- Co-locating all nine areas into the Howbury Centre, which would maximise resources and improve service delivery;
- upgrading ICT provision at Youth Centres to give IYSS practitioners access to information systems; and,
- development of a multi agency ‘One Stop Shop’ – Bexley Youth Advice which was established at the end of 2008, and developed by the Change Management Team (CMT) who were set up by YSP in conjunction with the Training Development Agency (TDA) and involved young people throughout the process (including designing the logo), which are all delivered from its Broadway site.
Miss Tottman explained that Bexley Youth Service (BYS) has 4 youth centres situated across the borough and delivers youth clubs from a further 3 sites. Most youth centres have seen the number of youths per week increase by 200 although the youth centre situated in Sidcup has increased by 400-450 per week. With the level of demand increasing, all four sites had increased the number of nights they were open with Welling and Sidcup now open 7 nights per week. Youth clubs had seen their numbers increase too although not as high as those recorded by Youth Centres targeted more specific groups which had proven more difficult to attract in the following areas: Erith Cyber Café, Southlake in Thamesmead and Howbury. Members also noted that BYS also delivers outreach services across the borough with partner agencies, increased from 2 sites last year to 5 this year.
The Committee was pleased to note that a 100 more young people were working for their Duke of Edinburgh awards than last year and that the Awards and Accreditation Team would be delivering this award to all secondary schools by March 2010.
The Youth Offending Team (YOT), was established by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and brings together a number of disciplines from the CYPS, Police, Probation and Health to form one team that can undertake one rather than a number of separate assessments to ensure that the differing needs of young people can be catered for. YOT’s aim is to prevent young people from entering the youth justice system and from reoffending. Members were also informed about the work of the Youth Inclusion and Support Panel (YIP), which is a multi agency set up with the authority to divert young people into a wide range of diversionary activities.
It was reported that there were a number of other services which provide young people with a number of support services. The Youth Engagement Service for example, provides a number of ‘child in need’ services to young people aged 10 to18; and The Leaving Care Team and Homeless Young People provide a wide range of support services for children over the age of 16, who are either looked after, care leavers or unaccompanied asylum seekers.
Members noted that the Connexions Service and Prospects would now be co-located in Welling from October 2009. In addition to these services, IYS commissions a number of other organisations to run services or deliver projects through Bexley’s Youth Centres. With Service Level Agreements totalling £750,000, planning was underway to agree a single commissioning process across CYPS by April 2011.
Miss Tottman explained that Youth Participation is given high priority in Bexley as are the youth forums which are fully supported by the borough which covers a number of issues that concern young people, as well as providing an opportunity for lead Members and senior officers to meet with the full Youth Council and improve the public perception of young people. Members were further informed that the successful delivery of youth provision does have a positive impact young people but required close partnership working, as demonstrated in the IYS/IYSS priorities for 2009/10.
Whilst Members were pleased to note that numbers attending Youth Centres had increased considerably over previous years, they asked whether the data included services provided by outside bodies/partners. Miss Tottman explained that Bexley must demonstrate their commitment to increasing positive access to services Youth Centres as opposed to who delivers them although Bexley does receive similar data from Outside bodies/providers who are funded by the borough.
Members queried as to whether there would be additional funds available to the borough. Miss Tottman informed the Committee that Bexley would not have access to all funding because the borough was considered to be safe as the levels of serious crime were relatively low when compared with other London Boroughs. Nevertheless, there would be opportunities such as the Mayor’s Fund for example, which currently supports SNAP.
Project Plan PDF 41 KB
Whilst Members expressed an interest in focussing on the work of YOT it was agreed when taking into consideration time constraints as a consequence of the elections, it was agreed that the Committee would focus on the effectiveness of YOT to stop young people entering the youth justice system and to stop them from reoffending by undertaking the following work programme:
RESOLVED – That
· The Committee meets with Charlotte Shrimpton and Julie Hayward from YIP, in November, to hear more about their work on diversionary activities with young people who have been referred from the Youth Inclusion and Support Panel;
· Undertake at least two site visits during November/December, to meet those involved in diversionary initiatives and time permitting, members would like the opportunity to undertake additional visits. it was agreed that officers, other those involved in the foregoing, would not need to be present at site visits;
· To report back findings from site visits at a meeting to be held in January and