These are the areas of work that the Children and Young People's Strand of Families First is active in.
The Children and Young People's Skills strand within Newport Families First, aims to ensure that families with dependent children are supported to capitalise on the opportunities offered to them educationally. The idea being that an increased focus on pre-16 work will positively prevent young people becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Our intervention will give young people the skills and confidence to access services, training, and employment that will positively contribute to the family.
Following a referral, initial contact is made from where the Families First Youth Worker will meet with the individual, or if appropriate the family. Together we will identify the key issues or possibly barriers to progression and devise a plan to achieve sustainable change.
We apply a holistic approach, and understand that there may be many factors that impact on an individual's academic achievement. This in all probability would influence their further education, employment or training prospects.
Our staff can work on a one to one or group basis, and sessions can take place on school premises or any other appropriate venue.
Families' First Children and Young Peoples Skills Strand is led and co-ordinated by Newport Youth Service.
Newport's Families First Children and Young People's Skills strand, has been specifically commissioned to work alongside families with children who are displaying unusual levels of absenteeism from school.
Poor or non-attendance at school can clearly be linked to young people leaving education with below average, or no academic qualifications, which could limit their future life choices.
Families First Youth Workers can work with the young person, and if appropriate the family, to identify contributing factors through an individual needs based assessment. Staff use this assessment to facilitate the implementation of the development plan to promote positive change.
Support can take form of both practical and pastoral emotional support for the young person. The young person will be given the skills to maintain a level of resilience when faced with potential barriers.
Sessions can either be on an individual or group basis, with informal learning and social wellbeing an integral part of the process. The worker would encourage self-reliance, and reflection to encourage personal growth and development to meet agreed objectives.
Newport Families' First is committed to working with young people at risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour. These young people, often identified by specialist agencies and services, are experimenting with or exhibiting behaviour deemed anti-social or risky. These behaviours typically involve, but are not limited to, some experimentation with drugs, alcohol and tobacco use, underage sex and unprotected sexual activity. Our role with Families First is to prevent or reduce potential harm these activities can cause to young people and, by association, their families.
Families First Youth Work staff deliver a number of programmes designed to raise awareness of or address the issues in schools and other youth organisations. We also, when appropriate, organise diversionary activities to ensure young people have access to positive experiences.
We work in partnership with the other Families First strands to provide a cohesive approach to ensure young people at risk of entering the youth justice system are given the opportunity to make positive life choices.
The number of young people who are classified as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) is a concern in Newport. Young people in this category can suffer mental and emotional difficulties in addition to the strains induced by living in poverty. This has a ripple effect that can impact on the family unit.
Families' First Children and Young People's Skills strand aims to tackle the issue through a range of formal and non-formal learning opportunities. The purpose of our intervention is to modify or develop behaviours vital to succeed in education, employment or training; making young people 'work ready' is of key importance.
In addition young people are able to engage in learning via a range of recognised accredited pathways, which can be used as an incentive for participation as well as to enhance CV's. The programmes can help young people develop useful skills, change attitudes towards participation, and ultimately successfully engage young people in appropriate education, employment or training.
Following our intervention and once exited, staff will 'track' and monitor the young person to ensure the changes have been sustained and if not re-engage them within the project.
Families' First work in partnership with many agencies / services to better identify potential NEETs, this good practice model attempts to ensure no young person transitions to adulthood as a long term NEET.
Children and Young Peoples Skills Strand, via the Information Shop, help young people to access education, employment and training. It is also available to provide support with respect to the many barriers, e.g. housing etc. that can deter young people from progressing and successfully accessing opportunities.
Part of the strands remit is to ensure young people have access to sexual health and relationship advice/support. Young people can be especially vulnerable in these matters and the emotional disruption can have a negative effect on their lives.
Families First Youth Workers' deliver programmes in schools, colleges and other youth based organisations to raise awareness of sexual health issues. This is either on a one to one or group work basis and includes the delivery of programmes such as virtual babies.
We are also a key distributor for the new All Wales C Card scheme. Families First Youth Work staff are trained to distribute condoms to young people within Fraser guidelines. This aids in the reduction of the number of unwanted teenage conceptions; and enables young people to make informed positive choices with regard to their relationships, social and emotional well-being and sexual health.