The National Youth Agency has called for youth workers to be assigned to every secondary school to provide support to all disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
The recommendation comes in a new report, ‘A youth response to COVID 19’, published in response to the Coronavirus crisis which has had lead to a significant reduction in youth services provision and activities.
The NYA wants the government to introduce a ‘youth service guarantee’ that would see two qualified youth workers and a team of youth workers placed in each secondary school catchment area.
In addition the report also calls for:-
- A cross-departmental response from the Government to recognise youth services and as an essential service to provide support to the most vulnerable young people alongside other statutory services, violence reduction units and local authority resilience hubs.
- Clarity in guidance to classify youth workers as ‘key workers’; with significant investment in training and up-skilling of youth workers and trusted adult volunteers in response to COVID-19, including on safeguarding, trauma, bereavement and mental health.
- An urgent package of support to deploy youth workers for summer activities, the local engagement of youth work professionals alongside schools and detached youth work to take place in parks and open spaces as an adjunct to policing.
- The mobilisation and up-skilling of trusted adult volunteers, including safeguarding training, and young people as youth support workers making use of government bursaries (Level 1 to 3) and the apprenticeship levy.
- The inclusion of young people with their voices heard in the evidence, decision-making and response to COVID-19, to be treated fairly and ambitious for their future
Read the full report here.