Audit and Assessment:

Youth Voice Heard offers to do an audit of your irganisations current level of youth participation and assessment of your Youth Participation potential. These are the starting points for the development  of a new youth participation strategy or review of your current work. You will be benchmarked against our framework of existing best practice, to set of minimum standards, with recommendations of how to achieve or improve on them.

The first step (with preparation training) is to invite you to complete a self-assessment, which we follow up with a site visit and interviews. A full assessment and audit report will highlight good practice and impact, as well as make recommendations for growth. Young people’s participation is essential to this process, and we would want to listen to and report back their feedback to you, and our conclusions to them.  Each audit is customised to meet your needs proportionate to your journey towards meaningful youth participation as an organisation. If you are just starting out we can develop a framework that meets your needs and a training and support programme for staff and young people (below).

Roles There many ways in which an organisation can engage and empower young people in mutually beneficial roles within an organisation – from ambassadors to trustees, with associated degrees of power and influence. For example: young people can be consulted as beneficiaries and their views will be influential on service development. Others can share or are delegated decision-making, design, and scrutiny roles.  In some cases, their age is irrelevant, if they add value to the process because of their skills and unique networks.

Recruitment There are many ways in which they, and those they work with, are recruited, trained and supported. In some case young people are recruited to meet a quota, but in others it is because the role description is regardless not only of gender, faith, minority, but also of age, when the goal is to recruit to a reflect the profile of society, or a community, that includes young people. Increasingly we are seeing recruitment for those with user-experience, or to future-proof an organisation as part of a long-term sustainment strategy, or where the aim is to nurture young leaders into management roles.

The National Youth Agency’s ‘Hear By Right’ standards are one of those we benchmark against. (pic at Training Day)

Certification We can also offer to certify your level of youth participation with a Young Voices Heard Hear Quality Mark. The first level records what exists, the second is an assessment against minimum national and the third is a commendation highlighting good or exceptional practice. These come with a written report and quality mark logo. The standards are unique to Young Voices Heard as they are approved by an independent youth panel, reviewed and updated annually, and benchmarked to include and exceed other national standards in the youth sector.

Education and Inspection Act 2006. Your practice can also be benchmarked to comply with the Education and Inspection Act 2006 guidance on youth participation on the development and delivery of youth services in local authorities. (including the new post-DCMS review guidance 2020). This might be something that youth councils can lead on, working in partnership with us to produce an independent review for their council, and add to our national resources.

Training and Ongoing support –The assessment and audit can explore what you want to achieve for youth participation, and follow up with training and ongoing support (e.g. mentoring) as well as a one year review against goals achieved. Other bespoke services include the drafting of policies and procedures ideally with input from local young people. Ongoing coaching or mentoring support to staff or young people, including one-to-one support for CEOs, Chairs and Trustees is also available as part of change management. This can includes for skills training to young people to make them more effective participants, e.g. preparing for meetings, inspecting services or media work.

Other services: Setting up a Youth Advisory Forum; Setting up decision-making structures/judges panels; Establishing a design and development group or hackathon; Recruiting and supporting Young Trustees recruitment and training, Training ‘Young Inspectors’.

Case Study: In 2019 ‘Young Voices Heard’ was commissioned to develop a youth voice and participation ‘strategy and framework’ for the Volunteer Police Cadets, the fasting growing uniform organisation in the UK. A youth-led advisory forum was established to shape the process, and the Cadet-Voice framework was benchmarked to independent national standards, Harts Ladder of Participation, and a literary review of relevant good practice.

 

Contact Info@youngvoicesheard.org.uk  referencing this page for more information.