The Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) has announced a £3.8 million training programme for staff and volunteers working with young people in charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises in England. The funding is part of the new Integrated Working Initiative which CWDC is encouraging volunteers and professionals to support, by committing themselves to integrated working to help ensure the best possible support for children and young people across England.
CWDC is making available free resources and tools as part of the initiative on a new ‘Integrated Working’ microsite.
An estimated 70% of all work with young people is provided by third sector organisations: 35,000 charities, their staff and over 5 million volunteers make up the voluntary sector workforce working with children and young people.
A survey commissioned by CWDC has found that 77% of parents and 72% of the public think that children and young people would benefit if professionals and volunteers in all sectors, including the third sector, delivering services to children, (from scout and guide leaders to play and youth workers, care workers and teachers), worked together in a more integrated way.
Indeed, the survey found that 20% of respondents said that third sector organisations the Scouts or Guides had had the most positive impact on their childhood, ahead of religious groups (14%).
Simon Carter from the Scout Association said: “It’s no surprise to us that the time spent in Scouting is cited by adults as having a positive impact on their young lives. Scouting provides young people with the opportunity to try over 200 activities. We are able to provide these adventurous activities by working with a wide range of partner organisations. For us working with others is our default position rather than an afterthought”.
Deirdre Quill, Director of Integrated Workforce at CWDC, said: “The voluntary sector contributes immensely to the health, education and wellbeing of children and young people across England… We are urging all voluntary sector organisations that provide services to children and young people, their staff and volunteers, to commit to integrated working by talking to each other more, sharing information more effectively, and engaging with integrated working tools that will help them put each child at the centre of all services.”
The survey was conducted by ICM which interviewed a random sample of 1,758 adults aged 18+ in England from its online panel between 29 and 31 January 2010.
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