Workforce and Practice Challenges for YIACS

Our latest research paper highlights the challenges faced by youth advice organisations in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper, ‘Workforce and Practice Challenges for Youth Information, Advice and Services’, reveals that 88% of services that participated in the research indicated they were likely to reduce activity, with nearly a third saying staff redundancies were likely.

Money was a key issue for services, with 64% expecting to lose sources of funding and 72% expecting to access emergency funds to meet organisation needs. Smaller organisations were more likely to expect financial difficulties.

The research identified greater difficulties in accessing advice, information and counselling for Black, Asian and minority ethnic young people and LGTBQ+ young people. ‘Digitally excluded’ young people also struggled to access support.

Our objectives for the new working group are to develop stronger connections between youth advice organisations at a local level and build upon our work at a national level to develop a united approach to the challenges faced by the sector.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for young people, and now more than ever it is essential that sustainable support services are in place to meet their needs.

As report author Anita Sangha says: “We need to ensure that the limited doors that are available to children and young people today stay open, and this demands a strong, well supported and connected youth sector.”

Evidence for the report was gathered from youth advice, information and counselling services from around the country via 13 survey responses and eight interviews. Additional interviews were conducted with other relevant stakeholders.