11 October 2018
On 10th October 2018, there was an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the role of youth services in tackling violence. We have summarised it for our members below.
An adjournment debate is a half-hour debate at the end of the sitting day, in which MPs can debate an important issue without putting it to any sort of vote.
The vote was called by Vicky Foxcroft MP and heard from Minister Tracey crouch and several other MPs.
Vicky Foxcroft, Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, Chair of the Youth Violence Commission
- Welcomed commitments by the Mayor of London and Home Secretary to a public health approach to violence, but noted that more needs action is needed.
- Discussed the findings of the Youth Violence Commission, which she chairs a
- Noted the effect of public service cuts on the youth sector and as a contributor to youth violence
- Questioned the role of the National Citizens Service, which receives £181 million of funding each year but is only available to 16-17 year olds for several weeks a year, and argued that young people need all-year-round support
- Stated that youth organisations are competing for the same funding and are not incentivised to collaborate or partner with each other
- Argued that policy should take into account adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adopt a trauma-informed approach
- Suggested that youth workers should be qualified and registered like social workers
Tracey Crouch MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Conservative MP for Chatham and Aylesford
- Welcomed the debate on an important issue
- Noted the limitation of only answering questions in her portfolio (ie, she could discuss youth services, but not policing or health) and promised to pass questions on to ministerial colleagues
- Noted that the Government “broadly welcomes the Youth Violence Commission’s recommendations”, which had anticipated Government policy in a few areas
- Suggested the Serious Violence Strategy was a step change towards focus on long-term, systematic, root causes of violence
- Listed recent investments, including the £90 million Doormat Accounts Fund, £200 million Youth Endowment Fund
- Stressed importance of collaboration under the public health approach
- Emphasised the role that youth organisations play in signposting services to young people
- Mentioned that London Youth member Youth First and several schools in Vicky Foxcroft’s constituency are being funded directly by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Home Office. She emphasised that central and local government are playing different roles in funding and commissioning youth provision than they used ot
- Emphasised that the review of statutory guidance, which was announced in the Civil Society Strategy, will be genuine
- Noted the importance of social integration for young people, who wanted to be connected to loved ones and their communities