Co-production : a defence of young people

GORNALL, Lesley (2018). Co-production : a defence of young people. Journal of Radical Community Work, 3 (1).

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Recent years have seen fundamental and challenging changes in the delivery of services for young people. Outcomes, outputs and interventions have become the language of service evaluations, and allocation of funding creating an instrumental environment poorly equipped to respond to young people’s developmental needs. At the same time, little progress has been made since Innocenti’s 2007 State of the World’s Children Report, placing the UK firmly at the bottom of a table focussed on children and young people’s well being indicators. Whilst recent reports seem to indicate some improvement, both the measures and list of comparator countries have changed, and the UKs young people remain more tested, more anxious, less listened to, less healthy, more likely to engage in excessive risks, and increasingly affected by than most other developed countries. The UN Commission on Human Rights has long been critical of the UK’s approach to children and young people’s rights and the June 2016 country report quite clearly identifies austerity measures as the cause of a number of breaches against the Human Rights Act, recommending that: “the State party revise its policies and programmes introduced since 2010 and conduct a comprehensive assessment of the cumulative impact of these measures on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups, in particular women, children and persons with disabilities” Further examination of policies implemented since 2010, and indeed before, reveal a slow ‘privatisation’ of schools and colleges and consequent removal of directed use lettings arrangements. This, together with the demise of community venues has led to the diminution of safe developmental spaces for young people to meet. At the same time, the refocus of the equivalent of the entire statutory Youth Services Budget into the cost selective , business model of the 3-4 week National Citizenship Service has enforced a professional discourse much more focused on intervention than development, - paradoxically, the lack of developmental support, creating greater need, and, in today’s context, market, for intervention services. The concept of co-production is not new, and it could be argued it is a metaphor for a range of youth work processes, but the increasing popularity of the term does offer an opportunity to refocus on empowering, rights – based work with young people and responses to developmental need. Drawing on the history and core values of Youth Work, current research on the status of young people, and previous work using biographical research methods for service evaluation, this paper will explore this opportunity.   References: E/C.12/GBR/CO/6 UN Periodic Report on Human Rights In the UK 24 June 2016 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland INNOCENTI Report Card 7 2007 Child Poverty in Perspective, An Overview of Child Well Being in developed Countries

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Conference Presentation TAG/PALYCW Research group January 2017
Uncontrolled Keywords: Young People Community development Co-production NCS
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Health and Well-being > Department of Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies
Depositing User: Lesley Gornall
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 11:13
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:51

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