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Area Based Youth Work Strategy

Why Area Based Youth Work Strategy

Area Based Youth Work Strategy

The purpose of an Area Based Youth Work Strategy is to develop a sustainable, strategic plan in a specific geographical area. The approach aim to unite policy makers, practitioners and local people around a common understanding of the issues facing young people.

This requires a co-ordinated approach which comprises:

  1. Developing and supporting a strategic partnership to provide a more coherent co-ordination to youth provision in the area;
  2. Engaging meaningfully with young people to assess needs and develop a youth work plan;
  3. Provide and support creative mechanisms for young people (especially those not engaged) to feed into local area planning (Education Authority) and community planning (Council);
  4. Accountability in which partners provide public evidence about progress to young people, communities and other interested parties;
  5. Celebrating outcomes for young people and wider society;
  6. Promoting the value and contribution of youth work to developing the local area.

Benefits of an Area Based Youth Work Strategy:

  1. Establishing a vision and strategy for continuous development and improvement in youth work across the area;
  2. Help to reduce isolation among groups and organisations;
  3. Collectively working together to identify needs;
  4. Inspiring collaborations across partner groups;
  5. Sharing information and improved communications;
  6. Having a collective voice to inform policy and funding priorities;
  7. Provides a local network for young people to connect;
  8. Potential to re-inspire, reinvent and motivate workers and volunteers across the area.
"A key strength of the partnership is to form a real picture of what is happening ‘on the ground’ and also to focus on practical problems and solutions" (Practitioner)
"Partnership is the way forward for sharing ideas, pulling weight together, capacity building and accessing funding for the area" (Practitioner)
"A collective voice is better than an individual one" (Participant)

In an independent review of the partnership and youth work strategy Nick Mack noted "one key strength of the partnership is its movement and direction – a feeling of moving forward, of not being restricted; ‘we decide the direction.’"

The Partnership approach

The partnership model which has been developed over 13 years provides an effective and efficient space where:

  • We feel accountable and supported;
  • We can think aloud;
  • We can make connections;
  • We can create potential and opportunities;
  • We recognise the importance of a space for review, reflection, planning and action;
  • All members are valued;
  • We look forward to meeting as a support and co-ordinating group.

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