Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020

Our Vision

All young people have somewhere to turn to, and someone to talk to, wherever and whenever, they are in need.

Our Mission

We champion young people’s right to access local, high quality, evidence-informed advice, counselling and support services. We work in partnership with members, young people and others to promote the development of free, young people-centred services. 

Our Values

Youth Access respects

  • the dignity and worth of every young person
  • individual differences
  • the growing autonomy of every young person
  • every young person’s right to be a voluntary participant in any helping process
  • the potential of every young person

Our Strategic Goals

  • The YIACS model is an essential requirement of every local offer to young people
  • Youth Access is a leader in support for innovation, best practice and quality in youth advice and counselling
  • National and local policy is shaped and influenced by the experience and evidence of YIACS
  • The value of Youth Access membership is strengthened

Strategic Aim




To embed the YIACS model as an essential requirement of every local offer to young people


Promoting and improving young people’s access to a national network of high quality YIACS 

  • Funding levels of YIACS
  • Areas with new/expanded provision
  • Competent and supported staff




  • Effective partnerships with members, young people and others



  • Good internal management systems





  • Effective fundraising and income generation


Empowering young people to influence  local delivery of high quality provision

  • YIACS supporting YPs YIACS Charter
  • Young people’s engagement with policymakers, funders and commissioners

To lead and support innovation, best practice and quality in the delivery of youth advice and counselling


Building the capacity of organisations and practitioners to meet national markers of best practice and quality

  • Levels of participation in YA activities and quality of feedback
  • YIACS signed up to new standards framework

Integrating the benefits of digital technology in the provision of YIACS

  • YIACS developing and integrating a digital offer
  • Improved data quality via digital solutions

To shape and influence national and local policy impacting on youth advice and counselling


Reflecting the needs of, and supporting the inclusion of the voice of YIACS and young people in policy

  • Range and level of YA’s engagement in national policy
  • References to YA/YIACS’ work in policy and other reports


  • Secure core costs





  • Effective communications






  • Well-maintained IT






  • Relevant skills and knowledge

Increasing and improving evidence of YIACS’ interventions, their service users and resource needs

  • Volume of social media and website traffic
  • Range and type of influence across policy and practice

To strengthen the value of membership


Improving recognition of the YIACS and Youth Access brand

  • Numbers of YIACS  carrying YA branding
  •  Numbers of local areas (CCGs/LAs) recognising and supporting YA “endorsed” YIACS

Promoting and supporting opportunities for sharing learning across the network


  • Levels and longevity of membership 
  • Quality of feedback from members about the value of membership and across a range of YA activities