The success of the partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Prospects has been recognised at a national level.
In Gloucestershire, the targeted youth support service is provided through a unique partnership between Prospects one of the country’s leading education, employment and training companies, and the county council.
The partnership is the first of its kind in England and more than 90% of young people supported by the team say it has made a difference to their lives.
In addition to this, 93% have reduced their drug and alcohol consumption as a result of working with the Youth Support Team.
Now this innovative way of working has won an award for best Public/Private Partnership at the national 2014 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards.
The 2014 LGC Awards are the biggest celebration of innovation and talent across British councils. The award ceremony was held in London on Wednesday (12th March), and attended by more than 80 organisations which had been shortlisted for their work to improve public services. A record breaking 640 entries were submitted for this year’s awards, demonstrating the enthusiasm of local governments to share innovation and acknowledge the teams and individuals who make change happen.
The LGC judges said: "The judges were impressed with this brave, unique and authentic partnership. The council has a clear strategy of targeted integrated services for vulnerable young people and saw the potential of developing a long term partnership with the private sector to deliver this service. Both partners are aware of the high risks associated with this approach but managed with them well. The results are impressive delivery significant cost savings and greater improved outcomes for young people. This innovative approach providing a possible model fit for today’s challenges."
Prospects has been working with Gloucestershire County Council to deliver targeted youth support since 2008. Through the partnership innovative integrated teams of social workers, youth offending officers, youth workers, family support officers, health and careers specialists work with police and probation officers to support around 6,000 vulnerable young people in the county, including care leavers, young parents and young offenders.
The partnership has also generated other opportunities with Prospects now running the South Cerney Outdoor Education and acting as sponsor for two academies in the county. As a result of the partnership an additional £1m funding from the European Social Fund, Police and Crime Commissioner and NHS England has been invested into youth employment. Prospects have also joined in the council’s successful Youth Employment and Skills (YES) campaign which has been supporting young people into employment, through initiatives such as YES2Jobs.co.uk.
Vincent McDonnell, Managing Director of Prospects, said: “I’m delighted to have won the 2014 LGC public/private partnership award. It is a great testament to our innovative work with Gloucestershire County Council. Together we are pioneering a new service delivery model. Most importantly, the ground breaking youth support team is clearly making a significant difference to young people they serve. We have a fantastic, experienced, skilled team of colleagues who work with a range of agencies to turn around the lives of young people in some of the most challenging circumstances. Winning this award is a great tribute to the team’s hard work.”
Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We’re delighted to win this award. It was a truly radical step to go into partnership with Prospects. Together we have been breaking new ground in our work with some of the county’s most vulnerable young people and have really made a difference. Young people and their families are telling us the work has changed their lives for the better.”
Local Government Chronicle editor Nick Golding said: “Projects such as Prospects demonstrate the level of innovation in British local government today. Our judges were extremely impressed by the quality of the entries. At a time when resources are scarce councils are innovating to ensure they provide residents with the best quality services. Local government’s depth of talent does not always get the recognition that it deserves.”
Notes to Editor
Caption for accompanying photo: Some of the award winning team collecting their award for best public/private partnership.
About the LGC Awards
More than 600 of the industry elite joined together for a night of recognition, rewarding and networking at the 2014 LGC awards. The full list of winners can be found at www.lgcawards.co.uk/home
About the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team
Prospects has delivered targeted youth support on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council since 2008 and in April last year, the contract was expanded and extended for another three years. Prospects was chosen through bid process which included an evaluation panel comprised of the young people the contract services, NHS and voluntary sector representatives. Prospects scored the highest overall in a rigorous, transparent tender process.
The Youth Support Team works with approximately 6,000 vulnerable young people in Gloucestershire. The service targets specific groups of young people who are the most at risk of not making a successful transition into adulthood, including young offenders and those on the edge of the criminal justice system, looked after children and care leavers, unemployed young people, homeless young people, teenage parents, young people who run away from home or care, young people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties, young people with substance misuse issues or other health needs. The Gloucestershire Youth Support Team also delivers statutory services and operates across Gloucestershire through youth support centres, mobile centres, in schools and with families and young people in their homes.
The multi-disciplinary team comprises youth workers, family support, health and careers specialists working with police and probation officers. Acting as an integrated team, they identify young people most at risk and intervene early to prevent issues and problems escalating.
Since Prospects began working in Gloucestershire, the number of young people entering the criminal justice system in the county has decreased - particularly youngsters in and leaving care. There have been reductions in the number of young people with youth offending orders and more of them are getting back into education, employment and training. Fewer young people are getting into trouble, due to youth crime prevention activity undertaken by the team, resulting in a 47% reduction in first time entrants to the criminal justice system.
Cllr Paul McLain, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Targeted Youth Support Service, said, “This new contract is great news for young people in Gloucestershire. The Audit Commission has highlighted the work of Prospects in Gloucestershire as an example of best practice and we have a strong track record of working in partnership with them to deliver the best services for our young people.”
More about Prospects
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