Say no to cutting commissioned youth services
Posted: 27th July 2023
We need your help to save commissioned youth services in Kent!
We believe Kent County Council’s proposed cuts to commissioned youth services as part of the transformation to a new Family Hub model will significantly limit, and potentially eradicate, open-access youth work across the county, leaving the vast proportion of young people without sufficient accessible educational and leisure activities outside of school/college. Help us in speaking up against the cuts, by responding to the consultation by 13 September 2023.
With 85% of a young person’s waking hours spent outside of school and formal education, where the loss of youth services is pronounced, vulnerable young people in particular are falling prey to loneliness, poor mental health and fear of youth violence or at risk of exploitation. In areas investing in youth services, we see a positive commitment to young people’s inclusion in decision-making, community engagement and increased life skills.
After a decade of cuts to local youth services exceeding 70%, and at a time of increased need and demand for youth services, it is not reasonable to further cut such services.
KCC are proposing to co-locate children and youth services under the new Family Hub framework. The proposal states KCC’s intention to deliver ‘in-house youth provision’ as part of the Family Hub model. KCC’s current youth provision, however, is focused on targeted case work, working with high-needs young people, which significantly limits the amount – if any – open-access youth work that KCC can deliver. The vast majority of current open-access youth work is being delivered by Kent’s commissioned providers, with Pie Factory Music delivering the commissions for Thanet and Dover districts. However, due to KCC needing to save money, they have taken the decision to cut existing commissioned youth services from the Family Hub model proposed.
Pie Factory Music, and other commissioned providers, believe that the proposed Family Hub model does not meet KCC’s statutory duty to secure sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people which are for the improvement of their wellbeing, and sufficient facilities for such activities, which is required by the statutory duty for local authorities as outlined in Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006.
The added value that commissioned services such as those delivered by Pie Factory Music bring to the youth offer in Kent stand to be lost with the end of youth service commissions – such (and not limited to) music and creative arts programmes, sports, skating, cooking and bike maintenance projects, youth volunteering and social action projects, gardening groups and Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Pie’s CEO Zoë Carassik-Lord outlines the damaging impact the proposed model will have:
“We fail to see how the Family Hub proposal as it currently stands will satisfy KCC’s statutory duty to provide sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people which are for the improvement of their wellbeing, as required in the statutory duty as outlined in Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006.
It is clear that commissioned youth services have been cut to save KCC money. We are concerned that cutting the commissioned youth services will be the end of open-access youth work delivered in purpose-built youth centres in Kent.”
We’re asking you to say no to cutting commissioned youth services
Join us in opposing the proposed cuts to commissioned youth services, by responding to the consultation before the deadline of 13th September 2023.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. Respond to the consultation via KCC’s website / email / phone number. Every response counts, and the more noise that is made, the more likely the services will be saved.
The consultation runs until 13 September 2023.
Complete the online form at www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices.
Alternatively, fill in a paper form available from children’s centres and youth hubs and return it to Freepost FAMILY HUB SERVICES CONSULTATION.
You can also give feedback by email, letter or phone at email@example.com / 03000 419292.
2. Send a copy of your response to local politicians and encourage them to submit their own opposition to the proposal to the consultation.
Find KCC members
3. Attend one of the community consultation events – we will be there! Bring placards
and banners! For details, visit www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices.
Tuesday 22 August 10am to 2pm, Dame Janet Primary Academy, Newington Road, Newington, Ramsgate CT12 6QY
Thursday 10 August 1-3pm, School field next to Sunflower Children’s Centre, Adelaide Road, Eythorne, Dover, CT15 4AN
Tuesday 15 August 11am-1pm, School field next to Samphire Children’s Centre, St David’s Avenue, Dover CT17 9HJ
4. Share the link to the consultation on your social media and encourage your followers to take part.
Use our pre-made social media image to add to your post.
Read the consultation documents
The consultation documents can be found at:
• Summary document
• Easy-read summary document
• Easy read questionnaire (for submitting to the consultation)
• Section 507b Education and Inspections Act 2006
• Guidance for Local Authorities on Providing Youth Services (National Youth Agency)
Thank you for taking action and speaking up.
If you’d like to talk to our team about Pie’s response to the consultation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.