Leaked Youth Green Paper reveals government’s intentions

Poorly performing Connexions services and youth services will be
scrapped and replaced under proposals to revamp services for young
people, according to a draft of the youth green paper seen by

Youth Matters, expected to be published next week but
still vulnerable to further delay, will pave the way for new
legislation clarifying the duty on local authorities to commission
things to do and places to go for young people.

Progress will be measured against clear national standards and a
new performance indicator on young people’s participation,
with ultimate responsibility for delivery resting with the new
directors of children’s services.

“Where a local youth service is strong and successful it
should thrive and grow,” the draft says. “Where local
voluntary bodies, Connexions services, or private sector providers
are strong, they should do likewise. And where provision is weaker,
it must be improved or replaced.”

Under the plans, responsibility for commissioning services
currently provided by Connexions partnerships will be transferred
to children’s trusts.

Responsibility and funding for information, advice and guidance
services will also transfer from Connexions services to
children’s trusts, although it is likely that the majority of
this will be passed on in turn to schools and colleges by 2008.
Children’s trusts will, however, retain responsibility for
ensuring access to information, advice and guidance for those young
people in work-based learning or employment and those not in any
form of education, employment or training.

The need to tackle the problem of antisocial behaviour and crime
among young people features prominently throughout the paper, and
there are plans to establish new “front-line youth support
teams focused on prevention”.

Calling on the “unique contribution of youth work” to
be built into every aspect of integrated youth support, the paper
promises to build on the vision for the youth service set out in
Transforming Youth Work. However, it warns that this may
mean youth work “finding a greater role outside traditional
youth work settings”.

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