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Dedicated support for vulnerable teenagers is praised by committee

22 July 2021

Vulnerable teenagers in Norfolk are benefiting from a range of new services that provide wrap-around support for them and their families and respond to trauma.

Norfolk County Council’s People and Communities Select Committee recently received a report about the council’s approach to supporting the county’s most vulnerable young people.

To improve outcomes and reduce serious youth violence, the council has launched or further developed a range of services that provide dedicated support to young people, focus on their needs and strengths and help to keep them healthy and safe.

This included:

  • A new Targeted Youth Support Service, expanding the detached youth work service and creating a team dedicated to working with some of the most vulnerable young people
  • A new Family Assessment Safeguarding Youth Team – a specialist social work team working intensively with children considered to be at the highest risk of exploitation and serious youth violence in order to manage and ultimately reduce the risks to them
  • New Roads – a new service, jointly funded with the Department for Education, that provides a range of support to Norfolk’s most vulnerable young people via two hubs. These young people have key workers who stick with them, as well as access to life coaches, police liaison officers and speech and language therapists via the hubs
  • The development of council owned semi-independent accommodation, with 24/7 support on site, to ensure that young people who are leaving care have dedicated support as they move to independence
  • The development of a Community of Practice (COP) to bring together those who work with adolescents to share best practice, knowledge, and streamline interventions so they are as effective as possible in improving outcomes for young people

Cllr Fabian Eagle, Chairman of the People and Communities Select Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “Supporting young people at risk of serious youth violence is some of the most challenging but important work that the council does. It’s vitally important that members are able to scrutinise this work and learn about the significant work that is happening to help our young people.

“It was encouraging to hear the wide-ranging initiatives we have in place to help improve the lives of vulnerable teenagers and support them to stay in their families and communities. As a committee we look forward to hearing how this work progresses.”

The committee heard that the council was responding to national best practice and working in partnership with police and health services to ensure that young people were able to get the help that they need at the earliest possible point.

Members praised the approach and acknowledged the significant work happening to further improve support to adolescents.

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