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Young People in Mind: transforming service delivery

Young People in Mind, a new national project funded by the Department for Education (DfE) in 2015-2016, was led by Youth Access and developed in partnership with nine YIACS participating in its delivery. These YIACS were allocated funding for one year, between April 2015 and March 2016, to increase their capacity to:

- Meet increasing demand in their localities, in particular by focusing on provision of support to young people aged 16-19 years.
-  Engage with wider local services and structures to contribute to strategic processes and partnerships.

All participating YIACS support young people up to the age of 25 years and therefore support for the 16-19 age group is part of their established, ongoing work. In relation to strategic engagement some YIACS already had established contacts and engagement in local strategic structures and partnerships, whereas for others this aspect of their work was relatively more under-developed. The aim of increased capacity enabled by the YPiM project was to enable YIACS to undertake additional work at both the strategic and operational levels. Essentially, enabling YIACS to deliver more of what they were already doing.

YIACS participating in the YPiM project are all registered charities and therefore share many of the features and issues that impact on voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations. The importance of recognising the VCS as a key player in the development and delivery of services has been highlighted for some time, it is emphasised again in the context of the current focus to improve CAMHS provision. For example, the Future in Mind(4) report states that by 2020 the government aspires towards:

“Making mental health support more visible and easily accessible for children and young people. With additional funding, this would be delivered by every area having ‘one-stop-shop’ services, which provide mental health support and advice to children and young people in the community, in an accessible and welcoming environment. This would build on and harness the vital contribution of the voluntary sector.” (Page 17, paragraph 5)

Prevention, early intervention and accessible holistic support for young people and families are some of the key features associated with YIACS.