Listening to the voices of young people as they move towards adulthood
The voices of young people, carers and the community have been a vital part of plans to support young people as they move towards adulthood.
The city council worked with the Youth Empowerment Squad (YES) and People for Public Services Forum to refresh the original Transitions Strategy, aimed at improving outcomes for young people and younger adults by enhancing opportunities in relation to education, employment, health and friendships/relationships.
The strategy is an ambitious programme of work to transform the way professionals work with children, young people, parents/carers and communities.
Its vision is 'to put children, young people and families at the centre of planning to access the right information and support for a rich and fulfilling life, with equal chances as they transition to adulthood'.
The strategy reflects the whole system approach to supporting young people as they prepare for adulthood. One element of the work is a specialist Preparation for Adulthood (PfA) service which works with a range of young people starting with those with social care needs and then moving incrementally to support wider cohorts of young people that don’t meet the thresholds of traditional services.
Funded by Birmingham City Council, the service works across the city of Birmingham and across traditional organisational boundaries.
Cllr Paulette Hamilton, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “When working with young people as they prepare for adulthood it is vital to remember that transition is a process not an event, so it is important that services are coordinated across agencies, so the different ways organisations work don’t unintentionally create barriers. The PfA service is an example of innovation which has helped to embed a partnership approach, meaning areas within the council and Birmingham Children’s Trust as well as health colleagues and the voluntary, community sector are working really well together. All stakeholders from senior managers to frontline workers are committed to this integrated and holistic service offer and there is real commitment to transforming young people’s life outcomes.”
Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for vulnerable children and families, said: “The co-production that is being done here is so good to see. These are young people’s futures so ensuring they and their families are part of the process should be the norm. The work of the PfA service, in leading on the refresh of this Strategy, has been key to pulling expertise from a variety of backgrounds, not just adults’ or children’s social care, ensuring everyone involved has a real commitment to transforming young people’s life outcomes.”