Interim Youth Work Board meeting: 14 July 2021
The agenda and minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2021.
In this page
Minutes and Actions
|16:10||Report recommendations discussions||
|17:25||Board’s successor arrangements and the future of SPGs|
|17:40||Update on Welsh language pilots|
Strategic Partnership Group (SPG) update:
|18:05||Any other business|
|** Switch to zoom for Young Person’s Committee **|
|18:15||Joint Young Person’s Committee meeting|
- Keith Towler (KT): Interim Youth Work Board Chair
- Sharon Lovell (SL): Executive Director for the National Youth Advocacy Service and Vice Chair, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS)
- Eleri Thomas (ET): Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent
- Simon Stewart (SS): Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University
- Dusty Kennedy (DK): Trauma Recovery Model Academy
- Efa Gruffudd Jones (EGJ): Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh
Welsh Government (WG):
- Hayley Jones (HJ): Senior Youth Work Manager
- Gemma Roche-Clarke (GRC): Head of Youth Engagement Team
- Dareth Edwards (DE): Youth Work Policy Manager
- Donna Lemin (DL): Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager
- Rhys Jones (RJ): Report writer, Aberystwyth University
- Catrin James (CJ): Urdd
- Members of the Young Person’s Committee
- Jo Sims: Youth Service Manager for Blaenau Gwent
Welcome and minutes
The minutes of the 6 July meeting were agreed as a true record.
Action points discussed in particular included the date for a discussion around the funding recommendation. A date is being arranged by HJ.
Report recommendations discussions
Recommendation 7: innovation and outcomes framework
The Board discussed the recommendation including the benefits of having a clear and transparent framework that helped to drive up best practice and quality of services. They noted that inspection can create a burden for organisations and any new framework should not be overly bureaucratic, it must be specific to youth work and appropriate staff would be needed to be recruited by any inspectorate.
Action: KT will track changes on the recommendation and send to the Board and RJ.
Recommendation 4: new funding model
The Board discussed the recommendation including specific wording, order of the actions, mechanics of the Revenue Support Grant and maximising the opportunity for funding for youth services in Wales from the various funding streams.
Action: KT will arrange a separate discussion with Jo next week to get her views on the wording and will feedback to RJ. RJ will make the necessary amendments to the recommendation.
GRC informed group that the text of this recommendation had been shared with colleagues in Welsh Government’s Local Government Finance for consideration.
Recommendation 5: National Body
The Board discussed whether there was a need for legislation in order for a National Body to be formed. Concerns were raised that a legislative process would cause delays in getting a Body in place. The need for legislation to underpin the functionalities of a Body was considered.
The Board was in agreement about the importance of this recommendation in terms of getting a Body in place, but there were no strong views that this had to be achieved via legislation.
Recommendation 11: equalities and diversity
The Board agree that this has been drafted as a sound recommendation.
The board agreed that it is difficult to capture all protected characteristics and discussed all inequalities in line with the Welsh Government approach to Covid recovery.
The Board agreed that any action plan needs to be action focused, simply not another strategic action plan. It was suggested to take a youth work approach to this with the language, ‘someone who is different to me’ and that it’s important to promote that everyone should be entitled to express and explore their feelings/thoughts openly.
Action: The Board agree to take out the list of characteristics from the draft to not unintentionally leave any out.
Board’s successor arrangements and the future of SPGs
It has been clear that the sector want to maintain the momentum and for the SPGs to continue.
The Workforce development SPG are doing their mapping exercise as well as other work and need to press ahead so will continue with their work throughout this time.
Similarly, at the last Digital group meeting, the group indicated that they wanted to carry on with their work.
The work of the Young People are Thriving SPG has been very much in line with the Board’s work and the group would appreciate some continuity after the Board finishes. The idea of an event for young people as a part of the conference to showcase their work is a welcomed idea by the SPG.
The Board agreed not to share the whole draft report with the SPGs/sector. The report has been drafted very collaboratively and will be for the Minister for Education and Welsh Language to consider next.
Welsh language pilots
Donna updated the board on the two pilot projects that have been approved.
Board members welcomed the update and news of the pilots and what it will mean for the future of welsh language provision.
Strategic Partnership Group (SPG) updates
Accessible and Inclusive SPG
The Accessible and Inclusive SPG have developed a draft definition of what accessible and inclusive means in the context of youth work services and the final definition will be circulated to the group for sign off shortly.
The communications and marketing officer has developed a communications plan for getting feedback on the draft definition from the sector and young people.
The proposed plan for the 2021 conference focuses on the Board’s final report; the Marketing SPG has suggested asking Board members to facilitate workshops on the final report recommendations. There is a need for clarity on the purpose of those discussions in light of the timing of the conference, which will be in advance of the Minister’s response to the recommendations.
The Marketing SPG asked whether Board members could name their top six recommendations in order of priority. The Board agreed that prioritising the recommendations would not be appropriate as each recommendation was important in its own right. However, recommendations can be easily grouped into thematic areas.
It was recommended that the focus of the workshops should be on how the sector can start to implement the spirit of the recommendations in their own services.
The consensus was that detailed planning of the conference content was premature. Welsh Government officials could suggest areas for further consideration emerging from their early consideration of the recommendations over the summer.
Young Person Committee
The Board joined a meeting of the Young Persons Committee as they met to consider the draft recommendations.
Discussion focused on recommendations 11 and 7 with the young people present discussing how youth work services could ensure they are accessible and inclusive to all young people and the value of inspection in ensuring young people receive a quality service.
Participants were keen to stress that the young people not present on the call would need the opportunity to feed in to the debate; that would be done via padlet and a summary thereafter shared with the Board.
Key points raised
- Expressed caution over the limitations of surveys as a mechanism for capturing the voices of underrepresented groups.
- The need for a more diverse workforce to better reflect the experiences and identities of young people themselves (recognising intersectionality).
- Obligation on youth work organisations to meet the diverse needs of young people; need to be present where young people are e.g. Minecraft or Discord app.
- Reflections on why young people may not use youth work provision, need to build trust with under-represented groups; create welcoming spaces.
- Create choice and diverse provision, find out where young people are e.g. online.
- Reliable information about what is available is critical, it should be easy for young people to find out about opportunities.
- Information for young people needs to be created with and not for young people, there need to be opportunities for young people to curate their own content.
- Young people reported that services that provides food for young people are often a big draw. however this comes with funding implications.
- It is important to ensure that each service is accountable through a system of checks and balances with clear scope for young people to feed in their views on the quality of the service and the appropriateness of the provision in meeting their needs and reflecting their interests.
- Mechanisms for young people to evaluate the quality of a service need to be innovative and dynamic, making use of digital apps to assess quality of individual sessions.
- Young people felt it was important to establish a set of standards for youth work provision and a recognisable brand, to give assurance that the service has been quality assured.
- Opportunities for young people to get involved in recruitment of youth workers would be beneficial.
- The Board recommendation to create opportunities for young people to get involved in the governance of organisations was welcomed by the Young Persons Committee as a key mechanism for greater accountability e.g. local authority scrutiny committees, voluntary sector boards of governors, etc.
- Opportunities for accreditation for young volunteers’ involvement should be established.