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Youth In Action Presentation Slides Youth In Action Presentation Slides Presentation Transcript

  • A Voice for Young People: Identifying the need for online information, advice and guidance through dialogue
  • Today’s presentations: 1. Young People’s Access to Advice James Kenrick, Advice Services Manager, Youth Access 2. A voice for young people: Identifying the need for online information, advice and guidance through dialogue Sarah McCoy MSc, Research Manager, YouthNet 3. YouthNet’s Life Support Appeal Julie Reynolds, Head of Appeal Development, YouthNet 4. Question & Answer session Led by Fiona Dawe OBE, YouthNet
  • Engaging, informing and inspiring 16 to 25-year-olds View slide
  • Each month, TheSite.org helps over 500,000 people access vital: Information… ...via no-nonsense fact sheets Support… …from peers via discussion boards Advice… …from experts via askTheSite View slide
  • Young People’s Access to Advice on Social Welfare Issues James Kenrick Advice Services Development Manager Youth Access
  • Youth Access The national membership association for young people’s information, advice, counselling and support services (YIACS) • Over 200 members throughout UK • National policy focus for sector • Set standards and promote best practice • Provide training, support, consultancy, resources • Develop the evidence-base
  • Our Research Topics: advice needs, access, outcomes, impact, workforce, impact of recession etc. Scope: social welfare advice; ages 13-25; all modes of delivery Methods: literature reviews; focus groups; interviews with agencies; analysis of data from Civil & Social Justice Survey
  • Extent of unmet need Each year, young people - experience at least 2.3 million ‘difficult to solve’ social welfare problems - fail to obtain advice in relation to at least 1.3 million problems Many more get poor advice The cost to individuals and the public purse* = c. £1 billion a year *as a result of loss of employment, physical and stress-related illness and violent behaviour resulting from the stress of problems Sources: Research by YA with LSRC based on 2006-08 CSJS data; Estimate by JustRights campaign based on Ministry of Justice figures
  • YP’s Advice Needs • Needs change with age • Prone to multiple & severe problems • Problems cluster around disadvantaged YP • Close inter-relationship between legal, personal, practical & emotional issues • Need for holistic age-appropriate services • Big increase in demand due to recession
  • Seeking & obtaining advice YP are more likely to: take no action, delay, give up, try but fail to get advice 58% face problems without getting advice YP are twice as likely to be unsuccessful in obtaining advice when they seek it as adults Of YP seeking advice, nearly half are NEETs Early advice-seeking experiences highly influential on future behaviour
  • Sources of Advice - key characteristics sought Trustworthy, friendly, non judgemental Specialist service for YP only Where YP already go Informal, flexible & confidential Independent – voluntary sector preferred An ‘expert with clout’ who will ‘go the extra mile’
  • Modes of Access Internet: • YP use the internet for advice and it is growing in importance • Disadvantaged YP less likely to have access • Complements face to face – not a replacement • YP have problems finding sites they can trust • Independent, youth-focussed sites preferred • Rapid developments in technology – need for specialist approach
  • Barriers to Access • Young people’s problem-solving ability - awareness of rights & services, communication skills, confidence & persistence, psychological barriers etc. • Characteristics of ‘mainstream’ adult advice services, e.g. CABx – lack of focus on meeting YP’s specific needs, skills/attitudes/knowledge gaps • Skills of youth professionals – lack ability to spot problems/limits of competence, advice & advocacy skills • Policy & planning failures – youth policy too careers-focussed; advice policy adult-focussed; lack of joining up; recession planning
  • Recommendations 1. A joined-up Government strategy for planning & funding youth advice – DCSF, MoJ, CLG, DH, DWP 2. A national strategy to develop YP’s ‘legal capability’ / problem-solving skills 3. Joined-up local planning & commissioning – Integrated Youth Support, Advice Services, Housing, PCTs, JobCentre Plus 4. Review balance of funding: – careers IAG vs rights-based advice services – remote vs face to face services – independent vs statutory services 5. Develop competence of youth workforce to provide good advice – new qualification?
  • Recent Reports • The Advice Needs of Young People – The Evidence (2009) • Young People’s Access to Advice – The Evidence (2009) • With Rights In Mind (2010) – re mental health/advice • The Impact of the Recession (2009) • The Youth Advice Workforce: Now & In The Future (2009) • Rights within Reach (2009) – re outreach advice (All available at www.youthaccess.org.uk/publications) Forthcoming titles in 2010: • Under Strain – re impact of recession, funding & policy • The Outcomes of Youth Advice Work
  • A VOICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: Identifying the need for online information, advice and guidance through dialogue Sarah McCoy Research Manager
  • What we’ll cover… • The background and methodology of the study • Introducing the young people • Information and advice-seeking behaviour • The role of the internet • What makes a good website for young people? • A voice for young people: In their own words
  • Background of the study… • LifeSupport Appeal: TheSite.org redevelopment • What do young people want and need from information, advice and guidance online and offline? • Funding from the European Commission though Youth in Action programme • Eight workshops with 62 young people from diverse backgrounds around the UK not currently using TheSite.org
  • The workshops… • Pre-tasks • Disposable camera • Technology diary • Difficult situations • Getting support • Internet use • Website reviews • Recommendations
  • The young people… Highly active Rural Scotland: internet users: Outskirts of London Glasgow Ex-offenders and drug/alcohol Gay and lesbian abusers: Liverpool No further young people: education: Manchester Young parents: Newcastle Bridgend Rural England: Ethnic minority Pensford (nr. young women: Bristol) London
  • Highly active internet users: London • Wrote at least one blog, were members of at least one social networking site, and participated in at “For me, I just think that at school, when least two other content-sharing activities I finished my A-levels, it was really concentrated on people going to • Few life-concerns not linked to careers or university. And I didn’t want to go to education university, so there wasn’t much to do with that. It just seemed to me, • Struggled to find adequate support and feared for everyone was going to university – they others who might have less determination and kind of forgot the people who wanted to work instead.” (Diana, 18) ambition • Animated and opinionated when discussing the internet
  • Ex-offenders and drug or alcohol abusers: Liverpool • The young people were in various stages of recovery – all were in some form of treatment • Interlocking issues: mental health, poverty, domestic abuse, self-harm, depression • Felt neglected, ignored and mistreated by most support services • Limited access to the internet, especially in throes of addiction • Eager to use their own experiences to help others “I ended up on heroin. I was a sex worker to feed my addiction. But it’s only been, like, since being in recovery, that I’ve been clean. Just over 12 months. And I want to use my experiences to help other people. And I’d love to work in the care system, but I’ve got a criminal record. And it’d be like, I want to work with homeless people, street workers, vulnerable women and stuff. And I know I can do that, but with a criminal record I couldn’t be with kids or anything like that. It’s only if you’re drink or drug related stuff. But I’ve been in prison and stuff. But I want to use my experiences to help other kids..” (Carla, 24)
  • Gay and lesbian young people: Manchester • Participants were from a close-knit community and several knew each other well • The group struggled to think of times they had needed support and focused on career- related decisions • Only one mention of ‘coming out’ • The young people felt their lifestyles were very different to those of their heterosexual counterparts and this justified dedicated support services • Experiences in rural locations may differ “My problem was that when it was time to go to college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do. So I just went and did a random course and quit. But back a year later, I did exactly the same thing.” (Karen, 20)
  • Rural South West England: Pensford (nr. Bristol) • All the young people were from the same school in a very small, close community • There were experiences of a wide range of issues – “There’s quite a few family problems on my Dad’s side. As in, there was a the recession mentioned for the first time couple of deaths in the family in quite close proximity. And then the • Participants were incredibly supportive of one recession came, and my parents were struggling for money. So they had to another and used few other advice sources cut back on quite a lot of stuff that I was used to. ” (Michael, 16) • It was felt there was a lack of support for people their age and that young people in rural locations are somewhat isolated
  • Ethnic minority young women: London • Most difficult to engage in conversation • Focused on career-related issues, but had experience of family conflict, crime, homelessness and drugs • The young women did not mention their ethnicity before prompting, implying they did not see their background as having a significant impact on their lives • It was felt that ethnic minorities are underrepresented online and that there should be more positive role models for young people “Basically, I had a boyfriend who wanted me to hold illegal stuff in my house – things that were stolen. And in a way, I felt I owed my boyfriend a favour. But I didn’t want to do it, because I didn’t want to get my mum in trouble. And I didn’t know what to do, because I was stuck in between.” (Aesha, 16)
  • ‘Rural’ Scotland: Outskirts of Glasgow • Participants were suspicious of us as London-based researchers • All but one of those over 16 had dropped out of education without clear plans • Most felt education was less important than experience when finding work • Money (or lack of it) was a top-of-mind issue for all, and the impact of the recession had been acutely felt • There was a lack of enthusiasm for leaving Scotland or their local area • The young people felt UK services were target at England and felt neglected “It’s gradual, and then a big dip with the recession. But also, you hear about people who are leaving university and then not getting jobs anyway. The people I knew who were going to university and thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ll definitely get a job when I’ve finished”, even they’re not getting anything. So why were they even studying?” (Simon, 18)
  • No further education: Newcastle • In contrast to other groups, there were few “You don’t know where your next job’s mentions of education and career-relate issues from at the minute, you’ve just got to take what you can get. You’re losing *contracts+ • Concerns centred around money, unemployment, all the time. At the minute, you’re working housing and debt for next to nothing, to try and undercut the other person, because they’re all doing the • Most felt that finding work is about ‘who you same. The companies, obviously, they can get credit. But if you can’t get the credit know not what you know’ and were sceptical because of things that happened, there’s about education no way that you can do it.” (Craig, 25) • Most would return to education if they could but felt they lack the resources and support needed to do so
  • Young parents: Bridgend • Several of the young people had their children (aged between 4 months and 8 years) before they were 18 • The main concern for most was financial and there were several stories of debt and ‘money-struggles’ • When pregnancy was discovered, speaking to family and friends was considered difficult and ‘embarrassing’ • The young people felt patronised by doctors, hospitals and midwives • They made good use of the internet for child- related information “Like, really horrible. Like… I don’t know, it’s just nasty… Like, you’re… How can I put it? Because of your age, you’re just treated really different? And, like you can’t cope on your own and stuff. It’s really horrible.” (Rosie, 17)
  • Help-seeking behaviour… Personal support sources Formal support services Impersonal sources of support
  • Personal support services Parents Friends Teachers “They know you, don’t they?” - a double-edged sword Pros Cons • An insider’s perspective • Bias and control • Useful for issues where the reactions • Only consider what’s best from ‘their’ or mindset of the young person is perspective important (e.g. careers or • Lack of knowledge about ‘specialist relationships) subjects’ • Best interests at heart • No good for ‘embarrassing’ subjects • Life experience (e.g. finance)
  • Formal support services Careers advisors Health services Social workers Banks “They don’t really care” – experience and perception Pros Cons • Generally available face to face • No personal interest in outcome for • Detailed information on ‘specialist the young person subjects’ • Often perceived to be acting in their • Usually confidential so useful for own interests ‘embarrassing’ issues • Can be patronising and dismissive • Trusted and accurate information • Sometimes paying ‘Lip service’ to a problem
  • Impersonal sources of support Television Books Magazines Internet “You know the information is quality if it’s published” Pros Cons • Completely anonymous • Too generic, especially for personal • Assumed accuracy issues • Some forms are easily accessible • ‘Old-fashioned’ and tedious • Trusted information • Can be time-consuming • May be out-of-date
  • The role of the internet… As a social organisation and communication tool A study tool A life management tool A source of information, advice and guidance
  • “Just as an example, you wouldn’t want to go to “The internet doesn’t judge you, your mum and say, oh, what’s testicular cancer, you know? You can go and look at because you might be embarrassed. And on the whatever you want…they don’t say internet, you can just go on and find out ‘why are you looking at this?’” anything. It can be absolutely anything – maybe something you wouldn’t even want to talk to your friends about.” Non-judgemental The internet for information, advice Embarrassing and guidance topics “And a lot of the time the internet has a broader perspective.” “It’s always private and confidential. It never like, unless it – you look at it, and it’s just there, Choice isn’t it, for you to take in. And no one knows you’re looking at it. No one knows what your problem is. ” “Because the internet’s got everything, hasn’t it?” Anonymity
  • What makes a good website? Simplicity • A clean, uncluttered appearance • An accessible, functional search box • Clear section headings • Limited use of text “I think it’s got to have a search bar at the top, for keywords. Because there • Limited website depth – just 3 can be so much information on a website, so you can just type in a key clicks! word at the top and it’ll take you straight to that article.” Indicators of quality • Visible indicators of website traffic • Clarity regarding website origins • Prominent feedback mechanisms • Attention to detail • Regular updates
  • THE NEED FOR SUPPORT: Issues faced by young people The young people
  • Summary of findings • A need for accessible, relevant, high quality information for young people regardless of their background • Young people use a wide range of support-sources, none of which are sufficient in isolation • The internet plays a significant role in the lives of young people and has the potential to bridge gaps in existing support and bring together the qualities found in other services • Young people are internet savvy and have high expectations regarding online advice and support
  • Julie Reynolds Head of Appeal Development
  • Panel Q & A James Kenrick, Advice Services Manager, Youth Access Sarah McCoy, Research Manager, YouthNet Julie Reynolds, Head of Appeal Development, YouthNet Jim Valentine, Communities Manager, YouthNet