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Future at risk: Cuts in youth services

Youth services do a vital job in our communities. The benefits they provide for young people are real and long-lasting. While many other public services step in when problems occur, youth services prevent so many of those difficulties from occurring in the first place. Youth services help young people to lead positive lives as members of society.

By building up relationships of trust and support with young people, working in their communities, helping them make their own decisions about their lives, and developing their confidence and resilience, youth workers play invaluable roles supporting young people.

Youth services are the workers who help young people develop as individuals, get more education, find work, and play positive roles in society.

But among the various sources of support for young people that have been undermined and cut since 2010, youth services are perhaps the most misunderstood. This report examines what youth services and youth workers do, describes and analyses what has happened to funding for youth services in recent years, and discusses the impact of funding cuts. It also looks to the future, predicting the likely outcome if youth service cuts continue, and also makes positive recommendations.