PEMBROKESHIRE Youth service has successfully renewed its Gold Quality Mark for Youth Work after undertaking a thorough process of written self-assessment followed by a three day virtual assessment.
The assessment team were made up of professionals from the youth work and education sector and assessed the service as ‘Good’ on four key areas of work. They were:
· Recognising young people’s achievements and progress;
· How Management Information is used effectively;
· Partnership working to develop services for young people; and
· How resources are used to deliver quality services to young people.
Assessors met with managers, youth workers, partner agencies and young people to discuss what Pembrokeshire Youth does to provide a wide variety of experiences and opportunities for young people. It also recognised how the service responded to and worked well throughout the Covid 19 pandemic.
The team assessing were impressed with the wide variety of work that Pembrokeshire Youth undertakes. From open access youth clubs and school based youth work, to more targeted support for young people such as employment programmes, homelessness support and the work of the Youth Justice Team.
This targeted youth work was something that was under scrutiny in particular by assessors who queried the ‘voluntary participation’ element of such work which is a key element of any youth work intervention. The feedback received from young people was overwhelmingly positive; they ‘pulled the potential out of me’ and one saying that ‘youth work was my education’
Pembrokeshire Youth continues to go from strength to strength despite the recent challenges of austerity and Covid 19 with one assessor describing the service as:
“If you need a positive example of what 21st Century Youth Work should look like as opposed to the silo-natured delivery of the 20th Century, then Welsh Government need look no further than the highly functional inter-disciplinary and Inter-professional model that has been developed by Pembrokeshire Youth”. Mick Conroy, QM Assessor
James White, Deputy Chief Education Officer said: “I’m very proud to congratulate Pembrokeshire Youth on being reaccredited as a Gold Standard youth service. Three years ago, we were only the second local authority youth service to reach this standard. Pembrokeshire Youth now stands as the only youth service in Wales to have successfully reached the standard again.
“Achieving this is a credit to everyone in the service, but particular thanks to Chris Powles, the Targeted Youth Team manager, who led for us on the reaccreditation process.”
Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “I am delighted to be able to again congratulate Pembrokeshire Youth on another great achievement. The service really is a ‘jewel in Pembrokeshire’s crown’. Well done to all involved.”