The youth work outcomes were recently updated and a new toolkit has been put together to help organisations use the model to demonstrate the impact of their work. In our most recent blog, Youth Highland share how they’ve used the outcomes in their work so far.
Youth Highland is Youth Scotland’s Area Association partner in Scotland’s Highlands. Youth Scotland is the national charity for supporting and delivering youth work in the community. Youth Scotland has a diverse membership network – from small rural youth groups to large urban projects.
As voluntary and third sector organisations in Highland became increasingly stretched and financially threatened, Youth Highland launched a Voluntary Youth Network to encourage better partnership and collaboration. The Network used the youth work outcomes as a starting point for discussion on how different organisations work to deliver the outcomes with young people in Highland. Network partners then prioritised action to enable us to jointly meet the outcomes and developed an improvement plan.
The improvement plan is still in draft form, but organisations are beginning to use it as a planning tool to focus their organisation’s work. Working with shared youth work outcomes helps us to deliver youth work in a challenging and financial and rural landscape.
We are using the youth work outcomes to develop stronger and more trusting relationships between organisations who have previously worked independently.
The outcomes have enabled us to communicate ‘youth work’ as a profession, and increase partners’ understanding of the value of youth work. This meant we were able to create a network of a wide variety of professions and specialisms. The network includes Youth Highland’s member clubs (approx. 60 organisations) and a further 75 organisations with a responsibility for working with young people.
The Voluntary Youth Network has mapped its services to the youth work outcomes and agreed on priorities for shared future work. We collaboratively developed a regional youth work improvement plan and we are now working together (with organisations, clubs and young people) to develop local delivery plans for youth work and issue-based plans (for targeted work).
The development of a shared strategy, with shared ownership, will enable third sector organisations in the Highland’s to evidence the impact of our work, reduce duplication of services and deliver best value services.
So far, we can evidence that the work has successfully enabled us to develop trusting relationships between organisations, raise the profile and value of youth work and provided a shared focus in the development of a strategy.
We hope now we will be able to develop trust and a more equal relationship between the voluntary sector and our statutory youth service in order to bring about best outcomes for young people in Highland. This will require us to communicate and negotiate with officers, decision makers and local stakeholders in the coming months.