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Youth Participation Strategy for Brent Ensuring the active involvement of children and young people in policy development and decision making.


Contents

Foreword by Brent Youth Parliament Executive and Director of Children and Families . . . . . . . . . . . 2

A note on terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Audience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Part 1 - Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 • What does youth participation look like in Brent? • Why does youth participation matter? • Best practice models of youth participation

Part 2 - The Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 • Our priorities • Our approach • Governance arrangements

Part 3 - How to involve young people effectively . . . . . . . . 11 • Different methods of participation • Top tips for the successful involvement of young people

Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

published in November 2010

Youth Participation Strategy for Brent 1


F o rew o rd Listening to the views of children and young people is at the heart of Brent Council’s aspirations to make Brent a better place for its youngest residents. Brent Council has made excellent progress in the last three years in involving young people in decision making and influencing policy. The establishment of the Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) has demonstrated the council’s commitment to service user involvement in decision making. The views of BYP were a key factor in determining the priorities outlined in the borough’s Children and Young People’s Plan for 2009-2011. We are pleased to introduce Brent’s Youth Participation Strategy. This strategy sets out the vision and steps for the proactive empowerment of young people so that they can become confident individuals and responsible citizens. The strategy can also assist partner agencies in creating a participatory environment in which children and young people can express their views and take part in policy development and contribute to decision making. Practical tips for involving young people are also included. BYP’s motto is to ‘Speak Up, Be Heard’. It is therefore hoped that you will find this strategy document useful in supporting young people to speak up and get their views heard in your area of work.

Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) Executive Petergaye Palmer, 18 yrs, Chair James Thomas, 18 yrs, Vice-chair Kishan Parshotam, 17 yrs, UK Youth Parliament representative Rizwaan Malik, 15yrs, UK Youth Parliament representative Usman Mirza, 17 yrs, Secretary

Dr Krutika Pau, Director of Children and Families department We work collectively to improve the life chances and choices of all children and young people in Brent. The views of young people are at the heart of our service improvement agenda. It is therefore important that the council and its partners provide opportunities for young people to become fully engaged in the decisions that affect them and the . whole community. Young people in this borough are ambitious and optimistic about the future and as the Brent Youth Parliament has demonstrated, are able . to make a valuable and significant contribution to all our work. Cllr Mary Arnold, Chair of Brent Children’s Partnership and Lead Member for Children and Families Best practice in youth participation is embedded within this strategy. Our population in Brent is young, dynamic and growing. The participation of young people in the council’s decision-making processes has already made a difference to the services that we provide and the communities in which they live. We will therefore continue to strive to encourage all young people to participate fully in the democratic life of Brent.

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A n o t e o n t e rminology The terms involvement and engagement describe the inclusion of children and young people in some form of discussion and decision making. They are used as umbrella terms to describe the variety of ways in which young people participate and are consulted. Consultation is the process whereby children and young people are asked their opinion on a specific issue or a broader agenda; their views are taken into consideration during decision making and feedback given after the consultation event.

Participation means opening up opportunities for children and young people where they take an active part in the planning and direction of the service at almost every stage (where appropriate) and not just as consumers of the service. Participation allows young people to be proactive and have the powers to help shape a service. Children and young people are persons aged up to 18 years. For the purpose of this strategy the term young people will be used to refer to both children and young people aged from birth to 18 years.

Audience This youth participation strategy is aimed at staff that work directly as well as those that work indirectly with and for young people in Brent. If you would like to involve or consult young people in discussions and decisions about issues and services that affect them but don’t know how to do it, this strategy document will provide you with useful information to get you started. If you already involve or consult young people, then you will find some useful ideas on how to improve your engagement with them.

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P a r t 1 - I n t ro duction The increased national emphasis on youth participation is underpinned by the historic United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which gives young people a comprehensive set of economic, cultural, social and political rights. Article 12 of the UNCRC requires that children’s views must be sought and given due weight in all matters affecting them. Empowering young people was a key theme that ran through the Government’s Youth Matters document and featured heavily in the Every Child Matters Change for Children Programme. As part of this, the Government introduced the Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) and the Youth Capital Fund (YCF), in an attempt to give young people the chance to influence provision and facilities in their area. Increasing the proportion of young people participating in positive activities is measured through the youth Public Sector agreement (PSA) target 14. In line with the government’s aspiration for youth empowerment, Brent Council has made the following three significant strides towards genuinely listening to the views of local young people and increasing their control over local spending on services for young people. • Successful distribution of the Youth Opportunity Fund to local projects since 2006 • Successful bidding by Brent to build world-class youth

facilities in Roundwood • Success of Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) in shaping policy and raising positive perceptions of young people since 2007 This section outlines the current youth participation practice in Brent as well as examples of best practice models as advocated by national agencies.

What does youth participation look like in Brent? The last three years have been really exciting for the young people of Brent, and the future looks even brighter. The Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF), which is managed by young people, for young people, has issued £300,000 in grants to worthwhile projects since 2006. 13 to 19 year-olds can apply for money from the panel of specially trained youngsters to fund ventures that make a positive contribution to the community and help those involved stay safe, be healthy and continue achieving. The scheme, which was set up in 2006, has helped projects including a Somali youth club, a gardening club for youngsters with special needs and a student newspaper. Dance classes, teenage forums, sports and drama projects, sexual health sessions and short films have also received money. In 2007 the council created a youth parliament to give ten to 19 year-olds a say in decisions

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around issues that directly affect them. The Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) which meets monthly at Brent Town Hall has tackled issues - from safety on buses, lack of swimming pools, the need for healthy school dinners and the lack of street lighting - to addressing wider campaigning issues, such as combating the negative perceptions of young people. The Annual Performance Assessment (APA) letter of 2008 observed that “Opportunities for children and young people to give their views on services are effective and include harder-to-reach young people.” Young people were generally positive in the TellUs3 survey when asked about having their views listened to on a local area. 35 per cent of Year 8 and 10 pupils said that young people’s views were listened to a great deal and a fair amount in decisions about the local area, 9 per cent higher than the national average and an improvement of 5 per cent, compared with TellUs2 results. Brent has a good record of youth participation both on a strategic level, where members of BYP contribute at Brent Children’s Partnership and Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings; and on the ground level, through the work of local youth forums such as Brent Youth Matters2, volunteering schemes such as Brent Youth Volunteers, school councils and the BYP. Young people are also amongst the key priorities of the council’s Corporate Strategy.


Why does youth participation matter? There are benefits to all sections of society if we genuinely invest in supporting the youngest residents in getting their views and voices heard.

Benefits to young people • Listening to young people gives them an opportunity to express and understand their own feelings and needs, thereby equipping them with a lifelong skill from an early age • Young people feel valued, have increased confidence and recognise their own skills when they get involved • Good youth engagement allows the most marginalised groups to also have the opportunity to seek support, have a voice and contribute to the shaping of the services that they receive • Involving young people improves their understanding of decision making processes, how organisations work and thereby becoming more aware of their rights in society.

Benefits to the parents and carers • By listening, parents will have an increased awareness of their child’s learning • By asking their opinion and taking their views into account, the relationship between parents and their children improves as there is less conflict • Young people will respond positively to being treated with respect and are more likely to treat their parents with respect in return.

Benefits for schools and staff • Schools will be able to provide quality experiences for young people during their school years • Staff will gain an understanding of what young people really enjoy and what they are interested in, thus improving the planning process, education quality and outcomes • By listening to their students, schools will demonstrate good practice during inspections • By increasing young people’s sense of ownership and responsibility for their environment, they are more likely to co-operate with and will have respect for the school environment they helped to shape.

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Benefits to an organisation • By involving young people, the services that are delivered by an organisation are not only better targeted; they are more effective and well received. • Information can be gained directly from the service users about their changing needs, barriers to accessing services and suggestions on improvement. Thus ensuring that services are designed based on the actual needs of the service user.

Benefits to the community • Involving young people allows them to be empowered from an early age and therefore more likely to contribute as adults and be an asset to their community • Enabling young people to participate in society can counter the exclusion of young people from marginalised sections of society • Listening to young people and involving them will change negative perceptions and reinforce positive perceptions of young people in society


Fig 1: Roger Hart’s Ladder of Participation

Best practice models of participation

Fig 2: Hear By Right standards

• Access to those in power;

young people, directly or indirectly.

• Access to the relevant information;

The framework encourages inclusion of a wide range of children and young people, while urging care in choosing approaches appropriate to different ages, abilities and understanding. Hear by Right is based around the Seven ‘S’ model for organisational change: Shared values; Strategy; Structure; Systems; Staff; Skills and knowledge and Style of leadership (illustrated in Fig 2 above).

Roger Hart’s Ladder of Participation

• Choices between different options;

There are a wide range of definitions as to what constitutes effective participation. However, participation has frequently been depicted as a ladder ranging from the bottom rung representing non-existent or minimal participation to full participation in the top rungs of the ladder. The ladder of participation by Roger Hart highlights that participation can take various forms and degrees. The ultimate aim of any organisation should be to be aware of all the rungs, to avoid getting trapped in the bottom three and move to the top rung. Figure 1 provides an overview of the ‘ladder of participation’.

• Support from a trusted independent person and where needed a representative; and,

Alternatively, Hodgson (1995) states that five conditions should be aimed for if children and young people are to be truly empowered. These are:

• A means of appeal or complaint if things go wrong. Hear by Right standards Hear by Right is a tried and tested standards framework (introduced by the National Youth Agency) for organisations across the statutory and voluntary sectors to assess and improve practice and policy on the active involvement of children and young people. The Hear by Right standards framework is designed to help secure sustained and beneficial participation of children and young people and to encourage continual improvement in an organisation’s activities. It is intended to be applied to all services that affect children and

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The standards framework forms a practical, evidence based model of how to achieve change in an organisation and ensures that ‘young people’s involvement is built in and not just bolted on’. The shared values are at the core of the framework and are vital when developing a shared dialogue between service providers and their users. The standards require self-assessment and are all evidence based.


P a r t 2 - T h e strategy This strategy has been developed for a period of two years (2009-2011). It is based on the principles that not only recognise the importance of young people in society but also recognises the need to build a culture of participation supported by robust structures. Our aim is to provide a platform where young people can get their voices heard, giving Brent’s youngest residents the opportunity to lead in bringing about change in their community, thereby making Brent a great place for all children and young people to grow up in (vision for Brent’s youngest residents as outlined in the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2009-2011). This strategy builds on the CYPP priority ‘giving young people access to the very best opportunities in and out of school’. The strategic context is illustrated in fig 3. This section • sets out Brent’s priorities for the next two years that will further improve youth participation practice across agencies • sets out our approach towards meeting our priorities and • sets out the governance arrangements to monitor the implementation of the strategy.

Fig 3: Strategic context

Partners for Brent (Local Strategic Partnership)

Crime Prevention Strategy Group

Brent Children’s Partnership

Community Strategy

Health and Social Care Partnership Local Area Agreement

Community Safety Strategy

Children and Young People’s Plan

Health and Well-being Strategy

Youth Participation Strategy

Our Priorities This strategy reflects the Brent Children’s Partnership’s desire to create a borough where young people feel empowered and are able to exercise their right to have an influence over local spending and the shaping of services. In deciding the priorities that will ensure the active involvement of young people in decision making, we have considered our strengths and areas for improvement based on the Hear By Right Standards Framework, looked at our Annual Performance Assessment and have listened to what young people have said to us. We have selected four broad priorities which we consider to be vital in ensuring the active involvement of young people in policy development and decision making. Our aim is for all services provided to young people to reach and stay above rung eight of the ‘Ladder of Participation’ mentioned earlier in this strategy. Youth Participation Strategy for Brent 7

PRIORITY ONE to ensure a robust culture of participation exists across the key public services provided to young people in Brent. PRIORITY TWO to ensure that the views of young people are clearly reflected in policy development and decision making processes affecting young people. PRIOTIY THREE through youth participation, to support young people in becoming responsible individuals and active citizens. PRIOTIY FOUR to work with partner organisations and the community to tackle the negative perceptions and attitudes towards young people and celebrate their achievements.


PRIORITY ONE

To ensure a robust culture of participation exists across the key public services provided to young people in Brent.

What we will achieve • A borough wide strategy to enable youth participation across agencies • Policies for staff working with young people to support them to make participation safe, sound and effective • Local participation structures that provide a safe space for all young people to discuss their views and contribute to service planning and improvements • Inclusion of the views of marginalised groups of young people.

PRIORITY TWO

To ensure that the views of young people are clearly reflected in policy development and decision making processes affecting them

What we will achieve • The active involvement of young people is considered a priority amongst all the member organisations on Brent Children’s Partnership (BCP), and this is reflected in written documents and demonstrated in practice • Key initiatives, plans and reports affecting young people to include evidence of engagement and consultation with BYP and the respective service users (if a different cohort from BYP) • The results of the annual TellUs survey to feed directly into the review of the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) and other relevant policies and strategies. • Clear evidence of young people’s involvement in the commissioning of services for young people.

PRIORITY THREE

Through youth participation, support young people in becoming responsible individuals and active citizens

What we will achieve • A series of celebration events recognising the success and achievements of young people across the borough. • An increase in the number of young people taking part in volunteering schemes, apprenticeship schemes and receiving recorded and accredited outcomes. • Wide dissemination of the Youth Opportunity Fund grant to young people living across the five localities in Brent, and especially targeting the marginalised groups of young people.

PRIORITY FOUR

Work with partner organisations and the community to tackle the negative perceptions and attitudes towards young people and to celebrate their achievements

What we will achieve • Work with the local media in minimising the coverage of negative stories and increasing the reporting of positive news relating to young people. • Work with partner agencies and residents to tackle the negative attitudes towards young people and to foster positive attitudes amongst both the staff within public organisations and members of the community.

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Our approach There are so many opportunities for young people to take an active part in shaping where they live, the services they use and have a say in the decision making process within local and national arena. Their participation is essential in order to achieve change and improve outcomes. Our approach towards meeting our priorities will be underpinned by a set of core principles of best practice. These are outlined below with position statements on current status:

Commitment and vision For there to exist a true culture of participation in any organisation, commitment from the top is a mandatory prerequisite. Young people’s views should be reflected in strategic planning, feedback on their involvement should always be given to the young people and young people’s opinions should be genuinely valued.

• BYP members attend the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee as observing members and contribute directly towards key issues brought to the attention of the committee • Young people are amongst one of four corporate priorities chosen by the council at present • Established Care in Action (Children in Care Council); Brent Pledge - Brent has signed up to the London wide Pledge and has developed a Brent Pledge for young people in care to meet needs • The chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee has quarterly meetings with the BYP executive to discuss BYP issues as well as those that come to the attention of the Committee to ensure that young people are at the heart of discussions and decisions that are pertinent to services in Brent and also to strengthen youth participation.

Current picture in Brent: • Brent’s Children’s Partnership (BCP) made a visible commitment to involving young people by signing up to the statement of commitment in 2005 • The current chair and vice chair of BYP are full members of BCP who are responsible for setting the strategic direction for services for young people in the borough

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Robust structures and strategy Strong structures mean genuine opportunities are provided to young people to influence policy and decision making at the highest level. Having a formal structure and strategy for the involvement of young people ensures that the organisation has a clear pathway planned. Current picture in Brent: • BYP was established in 2007 to give young people a safe space to discuss issues that are important to them and at the same time act as the borough’s formal youth consultative forum • In addition to the youth parliament, other local structures such as Brent Youth Matters 2 and Brent Youth Volunteers are amongst many youth groups and forums that are working well • A revised youth participation strategy (this document) has been developed as an accompaniment to the Children and Young People’s Plan for 2009-2011.


Accessibility, safeguarding and inclusion Safeguarding of young people and the opportunity for ALL young people to get involved is paramount to the success of any youth participation initiative. Current picture in Brent; • Designated posts are in place to ensure engagement with the more marginalised groups of young people such as young people with disabilities, young people in care and young people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. • Policies for safeguarding, risk assessment and seeking consent for participation activities have been reviewed and updated ready for dissemination with the Youth Participation Strategy.

Resources and sustainability Making adequate resources available is crucial to creating the participatory environment in which young people are able to continue to take part in decisions that affect them.

Governance arrangements

The Youth Participation Strategy will be governed by the same arrangements used to govern the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP). The strategy will be owned by the Brent Children’s Partnership (BCP). An implementation plan Current picture in Brent; has been developed to monitor • The council is committed to progress of this strategy. An annual providing both the financial report on the implementation and human resources needed of the strategy along with the to enable effective youth progress of BYP will be presented participation practices with BYP. to the Brent Children’s Partnership (BCP) and the Children and • Designated budget and Families Overview and Scrutiny. posts are in place for youth participation. These reside in Additionally, members of the Brent Youth Service as well as BYP Executive will be involved in the Strategy and Partnerships monitoring the implementation of arm of the Children and the strategy by having quarterly Families department. meetings with the chair of the Children and Families Overview • Designated budget and post for and Scrutiny Committee. young people in care (Children in Care Participation Worker) was put in place in 2009.

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P a r t 3 - How to involve young people There are potentially a lot of different methods that can be used to support young people to take an active part in contributing to policy development and decision making. Young people have the right to be involved and usually are willing to get involved. What is needed is an appropriate form of participation with effective support from adults. This section gives guidance on some of the most commonly used and effective methods of engagement with young people. These methods can be used as the baseline for effectively engaging with all young people but will need to be adjusted depending on the specific needs of your client group e.g. young people with disabilities will need particular attention paid to accessibility and communication methods and young people for whom English is not their first language will require language support. The methods depend on the extent of ownership and relevance, their representative nature and the quality of partnership between the children and young people and adults concerned. They are not mutually exclusive and they are not in a particular order, but they all require careful thought, commitment and resources. Look at the adjoining column giving guidance on some of the types of initiatives you can use the methods for.

Different methods of participation Method of participation

Desired objective

You can...

When you want to...

You can give young people committee places or invite them to attend meetings

When you want to have young people’s perspective included in discussions at meetings.

You can attend young people’s forums such as BYP and BYM2

When you want to consult young people directly in order to develop a plan, design a new service or improve an existing service provided to young people.

You can undertake surveys and questionnaires

When you want to either consult a random sample of young people e.g. across a geographical area or want to gauge the opinion of young people on a specific issue.

You can encourage work placements or employment opportunities within your organisation or team

When you want to build a culture of participation and service user involvement within your organisation.

You can set up a time limited task group of young people

When you want to find out more about a particular issue(s) that you have identified within your service.

You can support young people to sit on interview panels

When you want to recruit someone who will work either directly or have an influential role in delivering services to young people.

You can support young people in mystery shopping or inspection of your service

When you want to evaluate the impact of your service on young people and find out whether your service is young people friendly.

You can involve young people at different stages of the commissioning cycle e.g. during the tendering process, during evaluation process

When you are responsible for commissioning services for young people and need to make sure the consultation aspect of the commissioning cycle is robust.

You can involve young people when planning events

When you want to plan an event for young people or adults, you can set up a young or even intergenerational planning committee to plan and even host the events.

You can involve young people in strategic planning

When you are developing and writing a strategic document that affects/involves young people

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Top tips for the successful involvement of young people Be open and honest about the process • Let young people know whether they are having ‘a say’ or ‘the say’ and who will be making the final decision if it is a consultation

Create a safe, welcoming and encouraging environment • The best interest of the young people needs to be at the forefront of your objectives • Ensure that staff working with young people are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked • Use all possible methods of technology (email and texts and websites) to communicate

Make it accessible • Undertake a risk assessment of the venue and the activities to ensure that both the venue and the activities are accessible for all young people, including young people with disabilities • Ensure that transport is arranged for young people where needed

Practicalities • Decide what method of participation you want to use and plan • Establish how you will identify the young people that will take part in the event or consultation i.e. young people who are your service users, have a direct experience in issues relating to the subject or non users of the service • Ensure the day is formatted with plenty of breaks, icebreakers and refreshments

Consent • Check if parental consent is needed for attendance • If you are taking photographs or filming ensure you have sought consent from the young people

Timing • Arrange your event after school, at weekends or during half term

Budget and incentives • Ensure you have a budget to reimburse young people’s travel expense • Provide healthy food and refreshments for young people (especially if they attend after school) • If applicable, provide incentives such as vouchers or free goodies

Be flexible • If established procedures and practices prevent young people from getting involved and having a say, see if you can change them

Value and recognise young people’s input and give feedback • Give feedback (either immediately if possible or following the event in the form of a letter or alternative methods). Not giving feedback can be very demoralising. • Make reference to the group of young people in your final work e.g. a strategy document

Young people’s involvement should make a difference • Demonstrate in written documentation about how young people’s views were given due weight and what will happen next. Youth Participation Strategy for Brent 12


Useful websites www.BMyVoice.org.uk/byp www.schoolcouncils.org www.ncb.org.uk www.ukyp.org www.nya.org.uk

Contact Children and Families department Partnership Commissioning Service Team 9 Park Lane Wembley Middx HA9 7RW Email byp@brent.gov.uk

“When we are young, we are taught to walk and talk. Then at school and as teenagers we are told to sit down and shut up!” (Unknown)

BYP motto “Speak Up and Be Heard”

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Appendices A. Implementation plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 B. Safeguarding policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

(to include policy on CRB, anti bullying and using technology to communicate with young people such as email, texting and social networking sites)

C. Complaints policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 D. Consent and confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 E. Protocol for working with Brent Youth Parliament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

(to include rewards and recognition)

F. Risk assessment template. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Appendices 14


A. Implementation plan

PRIORITY ONE

To ensure a robust culture of participation exists across the key public services provided to young people in Brent.

Goal : what we will achieve

Actions: what we need to do

By when

Lead officer(s)

A borough wide strategy to enable proactive youth participation across agencies.

• Disseminate the participation strategy to all partners on the Brent Children’s Partnership (BCP), followed by workshop for participation workers.

By November 2010

Deputy Head, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

Policies for staff working with young people to support them to make participation safe, sound and effective.

• Disseminate the policies through all partners on the BCP, ensuring dissemination of the policies to all frontline staff.

By November 2010

Deputy Head, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

Local participation structures that provide an ongoing safe space for young people to discuss their views and contribute to service planning and improvements.

• Deliver the monthly parliament sessions with over 70% attendance at each session.

Ongoing

Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

The inclusion of the views of marginalised groups of young people.

• Carry out participation activities with targeted groups of young people in order to ensure their views are taken into consideration along with the rest e.g. young people in care, young people with disabilities, young travellers, unaccompanied minors and young people who are home tutored (this is not an exhaustive list) • Work with participation officers for targeted groups to ensure they are kept informed of the strategic youth participation agenda, in order to support the involvement of their client group.

By November 2010

Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

PRIORITY TWO

To ensure that the views of young people are clearly reflected in policy development and decision making processes affecting young people

Goal : what we will achieve

Actions: what we need to do

By when

Lead officer(s)

The active involvement of young people is considered a priority amongst all the member organisations on BCP, and this is reflected in written documents and demonstrated in practice.

• Work with partner agencies on BCP to incorporate a position statement on youth participation in written documentation. • Support members of BYP to contribute to policy and service improvement decisions made by the BCP. • Support BYP members to sit on interview panels to recruit staff. • Support BYP members to get involved in inspection of services e.g. the You’re Welcome initiative for making health services youth-friendly and inspection of youth services. • Care in Action (CIA) to attend the cross party members and officers group meeting to provide feedback on work of CIA and to discuss issues raised by young people in care.

By November 2010

Deputy Head, Partnership Commissioning Service Team Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

Key initiatives, plans and reports affecting young people will include evidence of engagement with BYP and the respective service users (if a different cohort from BYP).

• Support BCP members in ensuring that all their strategies and plans affecting young people are brought to the attention of BYP. • Support BYP members in attending Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Committee meetings in order to directly receive the reports affecting young people.

Ongoing

Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

The results of the annual TellUs survey feeds directly into the review of the Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) and other relevant policies and strategies.

• Encourage schools to take part in the survey. Collate and disseminate the final results to senior managers in Children and Families department and to members of BCP.

TellUs 4 results

Planning, Performance and Analysis manager Planning, Performance and Information Service

Clear evidence of young people’s involvement in the commissioning of services for young people.

• Work with commissioning managers to ensure that BYP members are involved at every step (where applicable) of the commissioning cycle.

Ongoing

Deputy Head, Partnership Commissioning Service Team

Appendices 15

Community engagement officer, Community Engagement and Equalities Team at NHS Brent


PRIORITY THREE

Through youth participation, support young people in becoming responsible individuals and active citizens

Goal : what we will achieve

Actions: what we need to do

By when

Lead officer(s)

A series of celebration events recognising the success and achievements of young people across the borough.

Plan an annual event that recognises and rewards the commitment and achievements of young people who have volunteered their time for various Brent Council-run initiatives e.g. YOF, BYP and Vtalentyear programme.

March 2011

Head of Youth Service and Connexions

An increase in the number of young people taking part in volunteering schemes, apprenticeship schemes and receiving recorded and accredited outcomes.

• Publicise the various opportunities available to young people in Brent using a range of communication methods, including the creation of a youth website.

March 2011

Children and Families department Web manager

Wide dissemination of the Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) grant to young people living across the five localities in Brent, and especially targeting marginalised groups of young people.

• Train new young people every year to become grant makers for the YOF.

PRIORITY FOUR

• Ensure all youth centres and youth clubs are well publicised and have a communication strategy to reach more young people Head of Youth Service and Connexions

• Publicise the YOF and Youth Capital Fund (YCF) widely to increase the number of applications from young people.

Work with partner organisations and the community to tackle the negative perceptions and attitudes towards young people and to celebrate their achievements

Goal : what we will achieve

Actions: what we need to do

By when

Lead officer(s)

The local media minimise the coverage of negative stories and increase the reporting of positive news relating to young people.

• Work with the communications manager to regularly submit positive stories to the local press.

Ongoing

Strategic Youth Engagement Officer,

• Dedicate a page for BYP and positive articles in a local newspaper

September 2010

• Work with the UK Youth Parliament to raise the profile of BYP campaign ‘Break the Stereotype, Fix the Impression.’ Partner agencies and resident tackle the negative attitudes towards young people and foster positive attitudes amongst both the staff within public organisations and members of the community.

• During induction, inform all new staff of the commitment of the department to foster positive perceptions of young people. • Regularly update the BYP pages on . www.Bmyvoice.org.uk/byp and the Facebook BYP pages to demonstrate the positive contribution made by young people.

Appendices 16

Ongoing

Partnership Commissioning Service Team

Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, Partnership Commissioning Service Team


B. Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) Complaints Policy

Process for dealing with complaints made by BYP members and complaints made against BYP members.

• Complaints should be made, preferably in writing to the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer by email at byp@brent.gov.uk or by post to Brent Youth Parliament, C/O Children and Families department, Partnership Commissioning Service team, 9 Park Lane, Wembley, HA9 7RW.

• Every complaint will be acknowledged within five working days. A written response to the complaint will be made within 15 working days.

• If the complaint is about BYP sessions and/or about a BYP member, it will be investigated by the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer and subsequently referred to the Head of Partnership Commissioning Service Team.

• If the complaint is about the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer, then it should be submitted directly to the Head of Partnership Commissioning Service Team at the above address.

• Serious complaints about staff or young people e.g. allegations relating to criminal activities such as drug dealing or child abuse will be reported immediately to the Assistant Director for Social Care to investigate. Brent Council’s Child Protection People Policy will apply.

• BYP members and other young people making complaints may wish to seek assistance in preparing their complaint from their parents, carers or friends. However they may not seek assistance from anyone that is cited as a witness in the complaint.

• Written records of the complaint will be kept by the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer.

• If you are not happy with the way your complaint was handled, you can write to the complaints officer, Gillian Burrows, Complaints Manager, Brent Children and Families Department, Chesterfield House, 9 Park Lane, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 7RH, 020 8937 3241

• All complaints will be reported to the council’s complaints team.

Appendices 17


C. Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) Data Protection Policy

Process for handling personal information, dealing with confidential disclosures and seeking consent for trips and publicity.

All organisations have a duty of care over any data they process. All information held by BYP is strictly for its own use. Information will not be shared with any third party without prior consent of the data subject. Information about individuals at BYP is held with the right of subject access, allowing any individual access to the information held about them. Information held by BYP follows the basic eight principles of The Data Protection Act 1998, which are: • Fairly and lawfully obtained and processed • Held only for specific purposes • Adequate, relevant and not excessive • Accurate and up-to-date • Not kept longer than necessary • Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights • Subject to appropriate security measures • Only transferred to countries that have suitable data protection controls Security Measures • Keep files containing personal and confidential information locked away. • Don’t allow unauthorised people to be left alone with personal data. • Clear away any personal data before leaving the office at the end of each day. • Password-protect e-mail and database facilities. • Change passwords regularly. • Do not pass personal data to a third party, without express permission from the subject of the information. Consent and Confidentiality • As a general rule, treat all personal information you acquire or hold in the course of working with BYP members as confidential and take particular care with sensitive information. However, you have a duty to share information with another colleague or the child protection team if there are concerns about a BYP member’s safety and welfare. • If a BYP member confides in you, be clear from the start that you cannot keep the information confidential if you have concerns around safeguarding. Explain that this is something that you will have to share with others (name who) so that they can help. • All staff receiving a disclosure should keep a written record and notify the Head of Partnership Commissioning Service team. • Parental consent (for under 18’s) and consent of BYP members (over 18) will be sought for attending trips, taking part in any photography or filming for publicity of BYP. BYP members have the right to withdraw their consent at any time during their term with BYP.

Appendices 18


Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) Consent Form

Dear Parent or Guardian, Your child has been nominated to represent his/her school/college/locality/youth group on the Brent Youth Parliament. Events will be organised for your child to attend and photographs will be taken as part of the activities of the youth parliament and these may be published in the councils printed publications and on their Internet website. Before your child can participate in the above mentioned activities, we need your permission. Please answer questions 1, 2 and 3 below, then sign and date the form where indicated. Please return the completed form to us at the address below as soon as possible.

Parental/Guardian Consent form for: • Use of photographs of members of Brent Youth Parliament (under 18 years old) for publicity and • Trips and events which will be supervised by CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checked staff

Name of Parent or Guardian: Name of child: School/Youth group : 1.

I agree to my child representing their school/youth group on Brent Youth Parliament.

Yes / No

2.

I agree to my child attending events and trips organised for the Brent Youth Parliament members.

Yes / No

3.

May we use your child’s photograph on our internet website / publications produced by the London

Yes / No

Borough of Brent, in order to publicise the work of Brent Youth Parliament? Parental / Guardian Signature:

Date

Emergency contact telephone number:

Please note that websites can be viewed throughout the world and not just in Britain where British law applies. This form is valid for two years from the date of signing. For further information, email byp@brent.gov.uk or telephone 020 8937 3446.

Appendices 19


D. Brent Youth Parliament (BYP) Risk Assessment Form

To be carried out when planning BYP trips and activities

Risk assessment is an important process in ensuring that BYP members, along with staff and volunteers are kept safe.

What is covered by risk assessment? Any activity that is generated under the auspices of BYP, including:1. All premises used for any BYP activity 2. Activities including international, UK wide, regional, local events 3. Travel undertaken by BYP members

BYP Risk Assessment Form BYP activity

What are the significant hazards before any controls are put in place?

Venue

Who is at risk?

What measures are in place to prevent or reduce risk? How does everyone know what is being done?

Appendices 20

Date/s

Therefore, is the residual risk High, Medium or Low?

If medium or high, what further action is necessary to control the risk?


E. Brent Youth Parliament Child Protection Policy

To include policy on CRB checks and bullying

The Partnership Commissioning Service team recognises that all staff, including volunteers, have a full and active part to play in protecting children and young people from harm.

The aims of this policy are: • To support the BYP members in ways that will foster security, confidence and independence • To raise the awareness of staff working with BYP of the need to safeguard BYP members and of their responsibilities in identifying and reporting possible cases of abuse. • To provide a systematic means of monitoring children and young people known or thought to be at risk of harm. • To emphasise the need for good levels of communication between all members of staff and BYP members. • To develop a structured procedure which will be followed by all staff in cases of suspected abuse. • To ensure that all adults and volunteers working with BYP members have current CRB checks, have their identity verified by original documentation and also that references are checked in line with safe recruitment policies.

Procedures We will ensure that: • We have a designated member of staff who undertakes regular LSCB training (Strategic Youth Engagement Officer).We have a member of staff who will act in the designated member of staff’s absence (Deputy Head of Partnership Commissioning Service team). • All members of staff working with BYP develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse. • All members of staff know how to respond to a BYP member who discloses abuse. • All parents and carers are made aware of the responsibilities of staff members with regard to child protection procedures. • Our procedures will be regularly reviewed and updated • All new members of staff will be given a copy of our child protection procedures as part of their induction.

Responsibilities • The designated member of staff for child protection is responsible for: • Adhering to the LSCB and agency procedures with regard to referring a BYP member if there are concerns about possible abuse. • Keeping written records of concerns about a BYP member even if there is no need to make an immediate referral. • Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely

Supporting BYP members • We recognise that a BYP member who is abused or witnesses violence may find it difficult to develop and maintain a sense of self worth. • We recognise that a BYP member in these circumstances may feel helpless and humiliated. • We recognise that a BYP member may feel self blame. Therefore, we accept that research shows that the behaviour of a child or young person in these circumstances may range from that which is perceived to be normal to aggressive or withdrawn.

We will support all BYP members by: • Encouraging self-esteem and self-assertiveness • Not condoning aggression or bullying at BYP sessions • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment • Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children • Notifying Social Care as soon as there is a significant concern.

Appendices 21


Supporting staff • We recognise that staff working with BYP who have become involved with a BYP member who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting. • We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties with the designated child protection officer and to seek further support as appropriate.

Allegations against staff • We understand that a BYP member may make an allegation against a member of staff. • If such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform their manager and the Head of Partnership Commissioning Service team. • The manager on all such occasions will discuss the content of the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Bullying and racist incidents • Any form of bullying or harassment will not be tolerated at BYP sessions. • BYP staff will endeavour to create a safe and welcoming environment for all BYP members. • BYP members will be educated about how to be safe on-line when using social networking sites and mobile technology to communicate with each other. • Staff will inform BYP members of the BYP complaints policy so that BYP members can exercise their right to complain following any incidents of bullying or harassment.

Appendices 22


F.

Protocol for working with Brent Youth Parliament (BYP)

To include visiting or consulting at BYP sessions

Many of Brent’s councillors, council officers and staff from partner agencies are involved in working with members of BYP. The aim of BYP is to provide a representative forum of young people where service providers can come to consult young people. The aim of this policy is to ensure best practice is in place to enable this joint working between the BYP and councillors and officers. This policy applies to ALL visitors, whether they are councillors, managers, colleagues, partners within the statutory and voluntary sectors, council officers, parents or young people who are non BYP members.

Procedures for visiting parliament sessions • Visitors must inform the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer at least ten days in advance if they would like to attend the parliament session. • Visitors must provide clear aims and objectives for their visit to the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer. • Visitors must agree the time of their visit and/or any presentations they might make to the parliament, with the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer prior to attending the sessions.

Procedures for consulting and providing feedback • Officers requesting to consult with BYP members must provide clear aims and objectives to the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer (in the first instance) of the outcome they wish to achieve from the consultation. • The Strategic Youth Engagement Officer will present the officer’s proposal to the BYP executive team (consisting of chair, vice chair, UKYP representatives and secretary), who will decide - depending on feasibility and relevance of consultation to young people - the time allocated for consultation. (This also dependant on if time permits on the agenda for the parliament session). • BYP executive team will also provide guidance of the most appropriate way of delivering the workshop or consultation. • After the consultation, BYP members must be provided with feedback about how their views were taken on board. • Any reports or outcomes from the visit must be sent to the Strategic Youth Engagement Officer following the consultation, who will distribute (if appropriate) to the executive team or members.

Appendices 23

Youth participation strategy  

This strategy aims to ensure the active involvement of children and young people in Brent in council policy development and decision making.

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