The value of services that support young people’s personal and social development is highlighted in new work from the Young Foundation on behalf of the Catalyst consortium (a NCVYS co-ordinated partnership) and published today (18 July 2012).
The framework of outcomes for young people demonstrates the importance of young people’s personal and social development and the critical role of the services that support it. These services play a vital role in developing social and emotional capabilities such as confidence, resilience and self-discipline, which evidence shows are fundamental to improving the education, employment and health outcomes for young people. Despite this, many such services have struggled to prove their impact. This creates barriers to securing funding, particularly at a time of spending cuts.
The framework of outcomes for young people aims to change this. It will help providers to evidence their impact, and commissioners and funders to feel confident in investing in approaches that build social and emotional capabilities. It highlights a range of tools available for measuring outcomes and identifies seven core capabilities: communication; confidence and agency; planning and problem solving; relationships and leadership; creativity; resilience and determination; and managing feelings.
Bethia McNeil of the Young Foundation and co-author of the report said:
“Young people today are negotiating transitions to adulthood and independence in an increasingly complex and challenging world, in which they face greater levels of choice and opportunity, but also unprecedented uncertainty and risk. This calls for empowered, resilient young people, who can play an active role in navigating these paths. Capabilities such as resilience, communication and negotiation are increasingly seen as being the foundations of employability, far more so than academic or technical skills.
“The Framework offers a common language for talking coherently and consistently about social and emotional capabilities and will increase providers, funders and commissioners’ confidence about value for money. At a time when services that most explicitly focus on supporting personal and social development are under unprecedented financial pressure, the Framework is a vital step in helping services to make their case and demonstrate their value.”
Tim Loughton, Minister for Children and Families, said:
“The Government is positive about young people and the potential of every one of them to play a positive and active role in society. I am delighted that my department has funded this work that highlights how important it is to invest early in building the capabilities of young people. The framework will help us all to talk the same language, help more providers to demonstrate their impact, and ultimately help more young people to develop the capabilities they need to succeed in education, work, and beyond.”
Susanne Rauprich, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, said:
“We think this framework will succeed in its aim of underpinning social investment work by enabling providers and commissioners to demonstrate the difference they make, articulating the impact they have on improving outcomes for young people. Although the youth sector can powerfully example their impact on individuals, it does struggle to provide ‘harder’ quantitative evidence. By addressing this problem, the framework will open the gateway for new finance and entrepreneurial capacity.”
Catherine Boulton, Well-being Measure Business Development Manager, New Philanthropy Capital said:
“We wholeheartedly welcome the launch of ‘A framework of outcomes for young people.’ With the increasing pressure that organisations are under to show that they make a difference, and the fact that demonstrating the outcomes of youth services has always been particularly challenging, we believe that the guidance on which outcomes are most valuable to young people will be extremely helpful to all involved. We also support the move towards building a consensus on measuring these outcomes and recommend the collection of impact measurement tools which has been assembled.”
Tim Eyres, Norfolk Local Authority Commissioner, said:
“Understanding what the outcomes and impact of services are has never been more important for local authority commissioners. In the context of reducing resources and significant pressures, it is essential that we clearly understand the value of the services being provided to young people. This outcomes framework will really assist with this complex task, by helping commissioners and providers understand the links between intrinsic and extrinsic outcomes, alongside individual and social outcomes. By highlighting the evidence base between clusters of social and emotional capabilities and long term outcomes we move a step closer to intelligent outcomes-led commissioning.”
Notes to editors:
1. Contact: Alison Harvie on 07909 912 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Catalyst is a consortium of four organisations working with the Department for Education (DfE) as the strategic partner for young people, as part of the Department’s wider transition programme for the sector. Catalyst are working to deliver three key objectives over a two year period. We are strengthening the youth sector market, equipping the sector to work in partnership with Government and coordinating a skills development strategy for the youth sector’s workforce.
3. The Young Foundation brings together insights, innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs. We have a track record of over 50 years’ success with ventures such as the Open University and Which? and has worked in the area of ageing for many years. Today this includes research, the design of new public or community services and the launch of new ventures that can better meet the needs of older people. (www.youngfoundation.org)