cumbria youth work curriculum 2014-2017 · pdf file 2014-03-12 · 3 serving the...

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  • 1 Serving the people of Cumbria


    2014 - 2017


    Welcome to the Cumbria Youth Work Curriculum which has been developed in partnership with youth work providers, led by Cumbria County Council Children’s Services. The Curriculum is intended to be used by Youth Workers and others to inform their youth work practice and to help us meet our aims and ambitions for young people in Cumbria.

    The Curriculum summarises the purpose of youth work and the values that underpin our approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of work with young people. The Curriculum is intended to be used for work with groups and individuals in a range of targeted and open access settings. The vision and priorities described have been identified locally, in consultation with young people and represent their needs and interests. The Curriculum will enable Youth Workers to respond flexibly to young people, whilst operating within a structured curriculum model.

    It includes:

     National and local vision and priorities for work with young people

     Priorities and values

     Our pledge to young people

     Youth work in Cumbria

     Cumbria Youth Offer

     Taking part in youth work

     Outcomes, service planning and evaluation

  • 2 Serving the people of Cumbria

    Our Priorities for Youth Work Youth work in Cumbria is commissioned by the County Council to address Government requirements, local priorities and to respond to the specific needs and interests of young people and their communities, including the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk young people needing early help and intervention. The County Council is required to secure sufficient educational and recreational activities for young people during their leisure time (more commonly referred to as Positive Activities).1 Cumbria County Council meets this duty through commissioned provision of youth work for young people aged 11-19 and aged up to 24 for young people with Learning Disabilities, Disabilities and Care Leavers.

    The Coalition Government published ‘Positive for Youth’ in December 2011 where it outlined its vision for young people in a society that is positive for youth and will enable them to have:

     supportive relationships

     strong ambitions

     good opportunities

    It states that the priorities for services to young people should be to:

     support young people’s personal and social development – which includes developing important skills and qualities needed for life, learning, and work

     make sure all young people are able to participate and achieve in education or training

     raise young people’s aspirations and thereby reducing teenage pregnancy, substance misuse and crime

    It outlines how the role of Youth Workers makes a crucial difference to young people’s lives, particularly the lives of those who are most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk. It goes on to say that Youth Workers:

    ‘can offer young people high quality opportunities for informal learning and personal and social development, and help young people develop the strong aspirations they need to realise their potential. They can identify early any specific and complex problems for which young people need more specialist help.’2

    The Cumbria County Council Plan 2014-2017 states that we will safeguard children, and ensure that Cumbria is a great place to be a child and grow up. We will improve our safeguarding practice and services to ensure all children and young people in Cumbria are safe. We will work with our partners focusing on early help and intervention.

    1 Education and Inspections Act 2006 Part 1:6 507B

    2 Positive for Youth, Department for Education December 2011

  • 3 Serving the people of Cumbria

    Cumbria Children’s Services and its strategic partners are sending out a clear message to service providers, including youth work providers, that we will need to work together to provide early help for children, young people and their families as soon as problems start to emerge, or when there is a strong likelihood that problems will emerge in the future. Youth Workers enable young people to regain control of their circumstances by engaging them early in a way that builds on their strengths, enables them to identify their own solutions and take responsibility for their future.

    The Cumbria Multi-Agency Thresholds Guidance states that partners and providers in Cumbria are committed to:

     a clear, shared vision of the outcomes for children and young people

     promoting the welfare and safeguarding of all children and young people

     ensuring that the voice of children and young people is listened to and heard at all levels in order to influence the way partners and providers work and deliver services

     prioritising the welfare of all children and young people through partnership plans and commissioning arrangements

    In Cumbria we provide universal, early help and early intervention for young people through youth work opportunities that are designed to improve their life chances with a focus on the outcomes that young people can achieve. The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) would be initiated for those young people needing early intervention.

    Cumbria County Council commission youth work services for young people according to their needs. This includes open access and personal development opportunities. In addition, disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk young people are targeted across the county to ensure that they participate in and benefit from the positive activity provision. All activity programmes include opportunities that support and develop life and social skills; and mental well-being as part of the programme.

    Reducing risk-taking behaviour is a major priority for youth work in Cumbria and providers work with targeted groups or individuals to develop emotional resilience to assist them in making safe and healthy choices.

    The participation of young people in decision making, shaping the design of services and monitoring the quality of the services they receive is an important theme that runs through ‘Positive for Youth’ and this is echoed throughout our youth work approach in Cumbria.

  • 4 Serving the people of Cumbria

    Youth Work Values

    Youth work is underpinned by a distinct set of values that influence the way in which activities and programmes are designed and delivered. These values support our vision for young people and guide our approach to the way in which we work with young people.

    Our Vision

    Our vision is to create positive and lasting change in the lives of young people in Cumbria and particularly to make a significant difference in outcomes for those young people most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk.

    Our Approach

    We will deliver that vision through:

     A young person-centred approach

     Respecting and valuing young people

     Challenging and shaping investment in young people across the county

     Being inclusive and accessible

     Providing early help at times when young people need it

     Supporting the continuing professional development of all staff

     Constantly seeking ways to raise the quality of our delivery and therefore enabling meaningful outcomes for young people

     Communicating more effectively

     Working together to create value for money

     Sharing good practice and learning from each other

     Investing in knowledge and being aware of issues locally and nationally

     Promoting equality of opportunity and celebrating diversity

    Our Values

    We have a shared set of values that inform our practice:

     Non-judgmental relationships with young people

     Personal and social education

     Equality and diversity

     Young people at the centre of shaping our services

     Working together to achieve positive and lasting change

     Partnerships based on honesty and respect

     Innovation and creativity generated by shared endeavour

    In Cumbria we believe in a society that is “Positive for Youth”. Having a shared vision for how all parts of society including councils, schools, charities, and businesses can work together in partnership to support families and improve outcomes for young people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, vulnerable and at risk.

  • 5 Serving the people of Cumbria

    “The teenage years are a critical period of growth and change. They are an important

    time for making significant life choices and decisions. Young people need to try new

    things, take on responsibility, and be allowed to learn from their failures and mistakes.”

    Positive for Youth, HM Government 2012

    In Cumbria we have a strong sense of place, which reflects our geographical, make up, size and isolation. This highlights our need to work towards a common goal of young people having a strong sense of belonging, supportive relationships, strong ambitions, and good opportunities in order to realise their potential.

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