A University will have a major impact on the future of youth work in Wales after being chosen to spearhead a review of the current strategy.
Wrexham Glyndwr University is to garner feedback on the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014-18 and report to Welsh Government on best practice and areas where improvements can be made.
The University received a £25,000 grant to take on the project, which will be led by Jess Achilleos and Hayley Douglas, lecturers in Youth and Community Work.
Supported by Cardiff Metropolitan University and Susanne Rauprich OBE they will engage with all 22 local authorities and dozens of voluntary groups to gauge how successful the present plan has been.
“We will be working with all councils, as well as organisations in other sectors to determine how the current strategy can be improved,” said Jess.
“There will be elements that have worked well and parts that perhaps do not reflect how youth work has changed, which is also important.
“This is a vital piece of work for the sector, but also for Wrexham Glyndwr University and our youth work degree, so we are honoured to be taking it forward and leading on this project.”
The research will also seek to gain the opinions of young people, as the research team feel it is important that their voice is heard as the policy impacts directly on the young people of Wales.
The team has until July to evaluate the study, which it will do via questionnaires, open discussions and focus groups.
The key objectives of the evaluation are to ‘identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats’ of the strategy and any gaps in its direction.
Youth work is an ‘intrinsic element’ of the Welsh Government’s focus, which seeks to ensure that all 11-25 year olds have the services, support and experience they need to achieve their full potential and ‘advance their life chances.’
“We will concentrate on North Wales and the east of the country, while Cardiff Metropolitan University covers the west and the south. Susanne will lead the consultation with the voluntary sector ,” added Jess.
“Wrexham Glyndwr University’s presence in the sector has grown in past years because we believe so strongly in youth work provision and quality, which is why we pursued this and so proud to be leading on future improvements in the sector.”
For more on the BA (Hons) Youth and Community work at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk