Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reported progress with youth

The current government has been keen to increasingly involve the private sector  in a number of areas. MSD has just reported on the progress of their Social Sector trials which have been running in half a dozen locations - Taumarunui, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti, Kawerau, Levin and Gore - and will be extended and rolled out elsewhere. They involve smallish communities finding their own solutions to problem youth. Some of the trials are led by employed individuals, others by charitable trusts. They build on and co-ordinate  existing services and programmes which are highly practical. Apparently:

Momentum around the Social Sector Trials is strong. Anecdotal evidence suggests increased levels of cooperation, collaboration, transparency and accountability around programmes and services as well as progress towards impacts on outcomes.
Outcomes reported at the local level include:

  • truancy levels trending downwards
  • disengaged young people being identified and supported into engagement in education, training and employment (through new local programmes, advocacy, and exposure to opportunities)
  • young people who would not normally access services being able to in their own environment (nurses, doctors, youth workers, and social workers being available in schools)
  • individual plans being put in place for young people with high and complex needs
  • young people having access to positive opportunities such as holiday programmes, youth hubs, intensive mentoring and community events
  • more young people accessing help for drug and alcohol problems
  • young people being supported to pay off justice sector fines and be supported through activities such as drivers licensing to reduce the possibility of fines occurring
  • young people knowing how/where to access programmes and services
It's all very paternalistic but we are talking 12-18 year-olds. Someone has to step in when normal parenting is absent. Just a thought and mentioned before, I've been scratching my head over the dropping teenage birthrate. These programmes may be one factor.

1 comment:

thor42 said...

The teenage birthrate is *dropping*???

I hadn't heard that - I'm surprised!
That is very good news.

I wonder if another factor might be teenagers becoming aware of the government toughening up welfare for young people? Just a guess, and I don't have any proof of that.