Vulnerable young people "bouncing around" the system

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Sheffield youngsters who are struggling with serious problems are “bouncing around” the system, says a council report.

A new review will look at more “joined up”services for young people aged 11 to 25 so they don’t have to repeatedly tell their story to different people.

In a report to the council’s Cabinet, officers say they need to reconsider the way services are delivered, especially in light of budget cuts.

“When young people move between services there is a need to make referrals, transfer information and handover to different support workers who may undertake a new assessment, meaning the young person may have to tell their story all over again,” says the report.

“This can lead to young people bouncing around the system and struggling to access the right support at the right time. As a result, services may be unable to reach them until their support needs have become complex.”

Sheffield Council, South Yorkshire Police and health services offers a range of support including:

Those at risk of committing crime

Housing and homelessness

Youth justice services

Care leavers

Drug and alcohol

Domestic and sexual abuse

Child Sexual Exploitation

Mental health

Employment, education and skills

Demand for these services continues to increase while increasing pressure is placed on budgets. Since 2010 Government funding to these services has been cut.

The review will look at flexibility so young people who don’t exactly meet set criteria won’t be excluded. The aim is for young people to access all the support they need in one place.

As part of a consultation process in summer 2017, the council spoke to young people who repeatedly said they didn’t like “bouncing around” services, having to tell their story repeatedly to different services. Young people said they had to repeat their personal circumstances several times which was frustrating and said “unfriendly” locations such as hospitals and large offices made them felt intimidated.