Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Speaking Out Briefing on the Drug Strategy

speaking-outChildren England (who were formerly NCVCCO) and NCVYS have been good enough to bring my attention to what looks to be a useful briefing paper they have produced jointly on the government’s drug strategy.

You can download it as a PDF from here, along with other briefings on a variety of public policy issues.  Hard copies are also available from speakingout@ncvys.org.uk.

As well as providing an overview of the strategy the paper analyses its implications for the children and young people’s voluntary and community sector (CYPVCS).

They say:

The CYPVCS has a history of engaging with hard-to-reach children, young people and families, such as those who are problem drug users. However, the drug strategy makes little reference to the important role the CYPVCS plays in helping communities combat and overcome the negative effects of problem drug use. The strategy largely cites schools and local authorities as the main players in terms of drug treatment, prevention and intervention programmes and does not fully recognise the significance of the CYPVCS.

The paper argues against siloed thinking, particularly between prevention services like youth clubs and treatment services.  They point to the challenge in delivering on multi-agency working, and the need for the sector to have robust training and recruitment procedures.

On communication the paper says:

The CYPVCS has a strong track record of participation and involving children and young people to produce materials and messages that work. The sector is well placed to ensure that public drug information campaigns are age appropriate and promote positive images of children and young people. Furthermore, the sector can ensure that information on drugs is available in informal settings and tailored to a wide range of children and young people, including those with special educational needs, looked after children, young offenders, children with drug using parents and those with mental health problems.

The CYPVCS can also play a significant part in changing the fact that drug use amongst young people is largely perceived by the public and the Government as a criminal issue and drug treatment therefore is only accessed once a young person is in the criminal justice system.

Filed under: drug strategy, youth service

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