We have today published a best practice guide on involving young people in decision making about local services.
The guide features case studies which demonstrate where involving young people in local decision making has been a positive experience for both young people and local authorities. It also highlights the key factors for success in involving young people in this type of decision making.
Some of the key findings of the report include:
– the need for appropriate support for young people to help them to navigate complex structures and enable them to make their mark
– the importance of setting clear expectations for young people
– the need to trust young people to take real responsibility
– the benefits of a co-productive relationship and mutual respect between adults and young people
– the importance of challenging young people to ensure their work is credible
– the need for sustainable, rather than one off, youth involvement
The guide follows a nationwide programme which Changemakers has been involved in to develop the capacity of local authorities to engage young people in the commissioning of services. The programme involves young people working with ‘host organisations’ to lead a project aimed at supporting and enabling young people to have a role in the commissioning of services.
Tim Loughton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, has welcomed the guide and said: “Good commissioning is key to improving services for young people, and getting it right needs young people involved at every stage”.
Adam Nichols, Chief Executive of Changemakers said: “This guide demonstrates that young people can and should be trusted to be involved in local decision making. They offer a fresh perspective to decisions about commissioning services and their input can result in services which respond more effectively to young people’s needs.”
Changemakers is also today holding a policy event about how local authorities can give young people a greater say in local services, looking at what we can learn from those that have involved young people successfully. The event is being attended by civil servants from the Department of Education, staff from local government, think tanks, third sector organisations, young people and other interested stakeholders.
To download the guide please click here. To follow and join in the discussion from the event please search #freshthinkingneeded on Twitter.
For further information, please contact Sarah Hyder at email@example.com or on 07557 748274.