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Working with young people

A good practice guide
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Working with young people has many benefits but it can be challenging too. Here we share our learning in a series of best practice guides. You can also find more information about engaging young people in your projects.

We developed these guides through real examples, taken from projects funded through our Young People’s Fund

Encouraging active citizenship

Active citizenship means taking an active role in community life and making a positive contribution to society. Our projects show that engaging young people at risk of isolation is an important step. Also key is:

  • providing opportunities for young people to take on responsibilities and learn new skills
  • encouraging a participatory approach – encouraging young people to think about what issues are important for them and taking action to make sure those needs are addressed.

Find out more about how you can encourage active citizenship.

Actively involving young people

Involving young people in decision-making on issues that affect them has many benefits. It gives young people a voice and brings new ideas. These can improve services and build stronger communities.

Read how you can involve young people in decision making.

Reducing anti-social behaviour

Engaging young people in enjoyable activities with peers can help discourage anti-social behaviour. Providing opportunities for personal and social development is also key. It helps to break the cycle of anti-social behaviour and offending. Young people need role models and the chance to chance to change their outcomes. It’s a complex task but our guide can help you.

Find out more about how your projects can help reduce offending and anti-social behaviour.

Improving behaviour in schools

Good behaviour and engagement in schools helps young people reach their educational potential. It can tackle truancy, exclusion and disruptive behaviour. This can help vulnerable young people at risk of being excluded, classmates, teachers, parents and society as a whole. Working in partnership with schools is just one approach that can help.

Read more about how to improve behaviour in schools.

Reducing cases of young people not in education, employment or training

Engaging young people in education reduces their risk of not being in education, employment or training. Both informal and formal approaches can work if they promote positive behaviour and attitude change.

Find out more about reducing cases of young people not in education, employment or training.

Working with young carers

Identifying young carers can be difficult but support is vital. It can include providing advice and services as well as opportunities to take time away from caring responsibilities.

Read our guide for helpful ways to engage young carers and meet their needs.

Working with care leavers

The disadvantages faced by children and young people involved in the care system often persist throughout their lives. Supporting their transition to adulthood can include developing practical skills such as cooking or budgeting.

Explore how best to work with care leavers in our guide.

Find out more

More information is available from learning beyond the Young People’s Fund:

How to involve young people in your project

One of our most popular downloads, this is an overview of some of the main considerations.

Engaging young people in evaluation and consultation

This is an earlier but still useful summary of approaches, based on the full report below.

Built-in, not bolt-on: engaging young people in evaluation

A detailed overview of approaches, by Madeleine Swords.

Developing youth activities programmes: issues to consider

Building on our experience and understanding of challenges and options, this guide summarises key questions for policy-makers and funders to consider.

Programmes for young people: what we have learned

An overview of key learning points from our evaluations up to 2006.

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