Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Engaging young people

Ofsted have published a report on the quality and impact of youth work. In the section on young people as risk takers they say:

Youth work has the potential to help young people test the boundaries between reasonable and risky behaviours. The most effective programmes seen by inspectors encouraged young people to draw on their existing knowledge and experience to analyse the degree of risk in the situations in which they found themselves. For example, through discussion and information gained through youth centres and the internet, they developed the confidence to ask questions and share their views on a range of sensitive issues, such as sex, relationships, alcohol, crime and anti-social behaviour. Discussions and group work often focused on issues identified by the young people themselves or on concerns raised by others, such as parents, the police, health workers or community leaders. In the best instances, young people contributed to debate, learned to listen and felt able to seek out confidential advice and support without fear of ridicule or embarrassment.

They go on to reiterate the point:

The broader findings of joint area reviews highlight on-going concerns where rates of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection and youth offending remain stubbornly high. The use of alcohol is a worryingly persistent feature in the lives of some teenagers. Yet youth work inspection evidence is clear that responsive programmes helped young people to identify, moderate or eradicate their potentially harmful and risky behaviours.

Download the whole document here.


Filed under: youth service

One Response

  1. […] Messages about alcohol need to be reinforced in school and other educational settings. Ofsted have recently underlined the important and effective role that the youth service can play in helping young people think about risk (see here). […]

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