We have completed working in three local authorities to work with service users to design new services that are more responsive to their needs.
We focused on problems that had not responded to institutional attempts at solving them. In two policy areas: young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), and parental engagement in their children's learning.
This project had a number of phases. First, we mapped the formal services available to NEET young people and to parents in each local authority. Then, we worked with both groups to see the kinds of informal support they access, from family to friends, church or peer groups. The third phase of the project brought service providers - schools, colleges and social services - together with service users - NEET young people and parents - to collaboratively design a service that worked for both of them. These design workshops each took place intensively in one week in each authority. The services will now be piloted by each local authority and evaluated by Demos.
As well as the services in each local authority Demos will also produce a handbook on how to make change happen in local authorities based on our experiences in Lewisham, Knowsley and Bristol. We anticipate that this guide will be used by other local authorities interested in the process of change and by national policy makers keen to understand the culture and practices of local authorities.
Teen thug banned from connexions
Involvement of fathers is important in social work outcomes...
Youth clubs improve children's learning, but will they retain funding?
Closing care-homes is separating children from their families. Physical separation becomes an emotional one and breeds a sense of isolation, and lonliness
Smith Institute report.
A wider picture of Youth Justice
- Johnson urges families to read - Kit for schools to help literacy Parents, not schools, are the key to improving children’s literacy, Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, has said.
Lack of skilled factory workers and aging current workforce has caused Mulberry to introduce apprenticeships at their factory in Somerset.
Single parents caught in benefits trap. There is little incentive for single mothers to return to work
Britain has been ranked bottom out of 21 countries in a United Nations assessment of children's well-being.
Locking up teenage offenders is largely a waste of money with only a small proportion of the 3,350 currently held needing to be imprisoned to protect the public, according to a leading figure on the government's own Youth Justice Board.
Britain faces a ''crisis at its heart" because of the way it treats its young people, the Children's Commissioner for England said yesterday.
Politicians and campaigners called yesterday for a fundamental change in society's attitude to children in the wake of yesterday's report by Unicef which revealed that growing up in the UK is a bleaker experience than in any other wealthy country. The solutions are not financial or political.
The chief inspector of prisons warned this week of the dangers facing 18- to 21-year-old male prisoners if the option to send them to young offender institutions is removed.
Motivating disillusioned pupils to go to university defeats most experts. Now, relationship counsellors at Relate have been brought in to help. And as Lucy Hodges discovers, this novel approach is getting results
Article about the need to understand the effect that living in ghetto-like housing estates can have on the mind. There is a very good critique of the arguments in the second comment (possibly better than Hutton's article).
Street violence and fear of leaving one's house is a widespread problem among young people world wide. This report doesn't comment on gender, but my money is on the worst affected being boys, again.
38% of ASBO kids have mental health issues.
Dealing with similar problems through volunteering in South Africa
NEET levels have risen (a somewhat dubious statistic...)
A carefully written piece about gang membership in London. Sadly this is no doubt the background the lives of many of the young people we will be working with in Lewisham.
Marx discusses an early attempt at participatory government in the Paris Commune.
A growing army of young people in Britain is being left behind. That's the conclusion of a recent report by the Prince's Trust, which exposed the crisis of "neets" - young people aged 16 to 24 not in education, employment or training.
A new scheme is helping young dads to engage with their children and learn how to look after them. Jerome Monahan reports
Everyone agrees that resilient families are the foundation for stable and peaceful communities. They are the bedrock of a strong economy and a sustainable environment. A child's education depends more on what's going on in their family than what's going on at school. For older people, the family is the frontline of their care.
All you need to know about Commissioning
The new strategy, More Choices - More Chances, will concentrate on providing vocational courses in schools and extra targeted careers advice.
Hundreds of projects providing vital help to Britain's hidden army of young carers are under threat because the £334m government grants that fund them are due to end within months, charities warn.
Some innovative services for NEET young people.
NEET characteristics. Really detailed article
According to a survey by one recruitment website, ambitious parents tied up with their own careers are looking for university-educated "supernannies" who can help their offspring with everything from learning a second language to practising the viola, while simultaneously rustling up healthy menus and tending to any medical needs.
Connexions under-threat as local authorities take control of funding for services for young people.
Researchers from the Economic and Social Research Council found that magistrates viewed information from YOTs as “biased” because they seldom recommended custody.
The education secretary, Alan Johnson, today announced plans to offer extra tuition to pupils who are behind at school and whose parents cannot afford to pay for a private tutor.
The age of criminal responsibility for British children should be raised from ten to as high as 18, a report said today. The document from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CCJS) also suggested children should no longer be sent to prison.
An extra £217m for free music, sport and drama lessons for disadvantaged children after school and in holidays will be pledged today by Alan Johnson, the education secretary, as he promises a "bigger and bolder" assault on social injustice in Labour's second decade in office.
MPs have criticised the way work-based courses are being introduced in schools and colleges in a report that questions whether new diplomas offered as alternatives to GCSEs and A-levels for 14 to 19-year-olds will be ready by September next year.
Antisocial behaviour orders for children should be abolished as part a shake-up of the youth justice system, a report out today says. The report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College, London calls for an “urgent” need for a new approach to children in trouble and sets out alternatives including an expansion of restorative justice programmes, where offenders meet victims face-to-face.
The children's commissioner for England today urged councils, businesses, charities, schools and the government to allow children and young people to take over their organisations for a day.
Gordon Brown has indicated that apprenticeships for teenagers and work-related learning for young people would flourish under his leadership. The chancellor has thrown his weight behind existing government reforms aimed at preventing disaffected teenagers dropping out of school.
England is one of the worst countries in the developed world in which to be a child, the children's commissioner said today. Sir Al Aynsley-Green said he was "angry" that adults frequently "demonise" children while vulnerable young people continue to die through poverty and neglect. And he warned of a "crisis at the heart of our society" in the way children are treated by adults.
Some 42% of children have been kicked, punched or hit at school, according to the results of a survey carried out by the children's charity the NSPCC, published today.
Co-design is solution to land use planning litigation in Michigan
Tories to abolish Learning and Skills Council | Further | EducationGuardian.co.uk
White working class kids perform the worst in school. With 25% of state school pupils getting no more than D grade GCSEs it is easy to see why so many are out of work.
Less than 1 in 4 stories about young people in the national media are positive, according to a survey out today.
This article on theguardian website describes another study that reminds us of what we were...