Consultation exercise with parents and young people
- What do you like about the service
- What works well
- Changes in the following areas (where applicable):
- School engagement
- School attendance
- Anti social behaviour
- Self esteem
- Positive use of spare time
- Positive values
- Youth club provision
- What (if anything) would you like to see that is different about any new service
Response from parents (4 parents attended the meeting with two young people who were receiving mentoring)
I met with several parents who had children on the mentoring programme.
The parents gave a very strong message that the service was very positive and had turned around the lives of their children.
IYC was described as having the time, patience and most importantly the understanding to be able to help. Even where they faced severe challenges with a young person IYC had persevered and succeeded.
Behaviour had improved dramatically in the young people that IYC worked with. Many of these young people had learning difficulties and were subjected to bullying at school.
There had been far less angry outbursts since IYC had intervened.
One parent had a child who had not been to school for two years and since the mentoring now goes everyday.
The young people were far more engaged in school and saw a purpose to attending.
Many of the young people would barely speak at all to their parents or anyone else. These barriers had been broken down and the young people were far more confident and engaged in conversation more.
Young people had made huge steps in improving their self esteem and how they feel about themselves. For the first time these young people had been able to rise above the challenges they faced. They had previously never been out socially and were now able to do so by visiting the shops, using public transport etc, something they had never previously felt confident to do.
The young people were able and confident to access positive activities and make good use of their spare time.
The parents liked the youth club provision and felt this helped their children develop their skills further. There were some children that had not quite developed the confidence to attend yet.
In terms of what the parents thought could be different in any new service provision there was very little as almost all of the feedback was positive.
Consultation exercise – IYC youth club 7/5/13
The purpose of this visit was to observe the workings of the youth club and provide an opportunity to speak with some of the children and young people (CYP) about their experience of not only the mentoring but the youth club provision as well, what they like about it, how it has helped and what could be different.
The youth club is very different to what might be describes as a traditional based youth club. It is very structured and acts as an extension of mentoring to those Children and Young People (CYP) who are being mentored or have finished mentoring. There are clear structures and positive activities coupled with sessions on key issues such as drugs and alcohol. The club operates from two sites weekly, Chafford Hundred and Stanford.
It is also open to CYP who have not been or are being mentored. This increases the social skills of those CYP who are being mentored, by allowing them to mix with other CYP not involved with mentoring.
There was a mix of all of the above groups at the youth club. A large number of the CYP being mentored that were present were receiving mentoring under separate contracts with individual schools.
I observed the operation of the youth club and the structured activities. Behaviour was good at the session and some games were centred around increasing patience and determination.
I had the opportunity to speak with around twelve CYP of varying ages (approx. 8-15). I asked them about their experiences of mentoring, where this was in place and the youth club. The discussion is summarised below:
- Almost all of the CYP had positive experiences of mentoring (noting some of them were being mentored under separate contracts with schools and not under our contract)
- They felt it had allowed them to have some self control as many of them had behavioural issues. These had significantly reduced with the mentoring interventions.
- Some CYP had received exclusions previously and these had ceased altogether for those CYP.
- There were many cases of bullying with some of the CYP where they were the victim and had learnt coping mechanisms to ignore this and not to retaliate, as had been the case previously.
- Almost all of the CYP stated that they felt better about themselves and had improved self esteem following the mentoring.
- I asked whether the CYP had a positive role model at home and whether the mentoring filled a gap where this was not present. Most of the CYP did not state they had particularly difficult home lives and therefore this question was difficult to summarise.
- Asking about the youth club the CYP were happy with the format other than they would like more days out etc. They felt that there was nothing else for them to do locally without the club.
- The CYP liked the activities and felt it kept them ‘out of trouble’
- I asked about the sessions where they might talk about drugs and alcohol etc. There was a mixed response. Around two thirds thought it was good to learn about this and the remaining third felt it was just the same as what they receive at school and the message was being ‘driven home’ too frequently.
- When asked what could be different about the service there were not any real ideas that came forward that could improve the service.
The next steps will be to consult with parents and ask similar questions.