NEWS FROM WALES: INTERIM YOUTH WORK BOARD
Article submitted by the Council for Wales for Voluntary Youth Services, Eurodesk UK Partner.
The Interim Youth Work Board represents young people, the youth work sector, and provides advice to ministers. Keith Towler is the Chair of the new Board and five other members of the Board were publicly appointed by the Minister.
The Board will run for two years. During this time it will advise on how to support and deliver a future model for youth work in Wales.
The Board’s role is to support the development of a new youth work strategy using views gathered by talking to young people and youth work professionals and evidence that shows what works.
Its remit includes:
- advice on the development, implementation and monitoring of the new Youth Work Strategy for Wales
- advise on recommendations from the National Assembly for Wales’s Inquiry into Youth Work
- support and strengthen partnership working
- oversee the sufficiency of services, including through the medium of Welsh
- advise on grants programmes
- consider European Policy, in particular relation to Erasmus+
- commission research into youth work
- provide clear strategic advice to Ministers
- provide challenge and scrutiny of Welsh Government’s policy
- provide recommendations for the role of a future Board or body
The Board has been seeking views of young people via a survey entitled ‘Let’s Talk Youth Work!’ Nearly 700 young people aged 11-25 responded to four key questions:
- ‘What does youth work mean to you?’
- ‘What does youth work offer you now?’
- ‘What would you like youth work to offer?’
- ‘How do you want to be involved in shaping youth work?’
This dialogue with young people will continue over time.
At the National Youth Work Conference in north Wales in February, Keith Towler outlined a vision for the new Strategy.
Key themes are:
- Engaging youth work practitioners and direct involvement with young people
- A youth work offer being for all young people up to 25 years old in Wales
- Specific work streams (mental health and well-being; homelessness; youth crime prevention etc)
- Provision of Welsh language services
- Information services for young people
- Commissioning and funding (a sustainable model)
The Board wants to see:
- Young people flourishing
- Young people’s participation, voice and rights embedded
- Youth work being accessible for all young people in Wales
- Youth work to be valued and understood
- Youth work practitioners as highly skilled individuals
CWVYS will continue to contribute to the aims of the Strategy by working with the sector to ensure that it influences and shapes the future direction and outcomes of the Strategy’s goals.