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The Positive for Youth vision relies on all sections of society working together in stronger partnership to help more young people to feel a strong sense of belonging and to realise their potential.
Councils have a key strategic role, but they cannot realise the vision on their own.
They will need to work with young people, families, and communities, and with local partners such as charities, schools, health services, and the police to assess needs and co-ordinate local resources. Health and well-being boards also potentially offer the opportunity for them to do so.
The country’s financial situation creates significant pressures. Working together to integrate services, reduce duplication, and share resources, is a better approach than simply cutting existing services to fit reduced budgets.
The Department for Education is providing funding of £780,000 in 2011-13 to the Local Government Association to make sure that local authority commissioners get the support they need to improve local services for young people.
This will include access to the lessons from a number of pioneering ‘youth innovation zones’, and support to reform how services are delivered locally – including increasing the role of charities and other organisations. The first four youth innovation zones are Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Knowsley, and a consortium led by Devon.
Local people are best able to make decisions about local services in response to local needs. The Government won’t tell them what services to deliver or how to deliver them. However, it will not hesitate to intervene against any well-founded concerns about long-standing failure to improve services for young people and their lives.
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