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The council has drawn up a new Youth Strategy and sought an organisation to deliver a new approach.
It was impressed with the presentation by the Community Family Care team and agreed that CFC would provide “a highly innovative, responsive and localised service” for Bradford on Avon and the surrounding villages.
The new service will also bring jobs to the area with the expected recruitment of several youth workers.
Community Family Care’s team will work with young people aged 10-18, and with people aged up to 25 if they have additional needs or have been in care.
It will deliver some ‘traditional’ services in addition to outreach work and more targeted work with young people. The not-for-profit organisation will also work closely with schools and other service providers, including delivering preventative work to address behaviours that may place young people at risk.
Councillors are keen that the service provides a platform for young people to have more of a say in decisions that affect them, and wants the service to provide opportunities for youth participation and citizenship initiatives.
Leader of the Council Dom Newton said: “We are very excited to be working with Community Family Care in delivering one of the first new Youth Services to be commissioned since 2010.
“The service has key elements – outreach and detached work, as well as youth club services – but it will really be for our young people to decide, with the new youth workers, what those new services really look like.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how those develop, and are hopeful that it will help a new generation of young people engage in their local community, and with an expectation and understanding of their right to have their voice heard in decisions, locally and nationally.”
Mark Kingston, Chief Executive of Community Family Care, based in Gloucestershire, said: “We’ve been operating in Wiltshire for more than 14 years and see our role as unleashing the potential of young people, enabling them to realise their ambitions and bring a rich seam of experience to their local community.
“We believe that sticking by children and young people is a vital ingredient in our belief in them and that investing in the community will bring long-term social and economic gains which are critical to the realising of ambitions and happiness.”
Notes for editors:
Community Family Care
Community Family Care is a trading name of Community Foster Care, which is a registered charity with 20 years’ experience of supporting children and families through fostering and edge of care services.
Established in 1998, Community Foster Care developed from neighbourhood projects and supported local families to foster; enabling young people to safely remain within their communities.
Today Community Foster Care operates across offices in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria, providing high quality fostering services and, through its Community Family Care Team, it also offers a range of edge of care and early intervention support to children and families.
About Bradford on Avon’s Youth Strategy
The Youth Strategy document was adopted by the Town Council in late 2017, and covers both youth service provision in the town and area (part one) and improving opportunities for jobs and housing in the town (part two) for young people up to the age of 30.
This was based on a review of current demographic trends, which show a marked difference in the numbers of 20-30 years olds in the town, against other towns of similar size, and the social imbalance that can bring.
It is also predicated on the idea that providing young people with the opportunity to engage in their local community means that they will value the outputs far more, and that it embeds a habit of engagement in decision-making that will enhance political engagement of all types.
BOATC have assigned £40,000 funding for the Youth Strategy in year one, with a further £8,000 from the CWLPEC and around £6,000 from the Bradford on Avon Area Board. The contract is for three years lasting until July 2021, with a total contract value of just under £142,000 split over those three years.