Mindsets and mechanisms – making integration work in youth support services

Carolyn Oldfield

Bryan Merton

This report was designed to establish how arrangements for creating Integrated Youth Support (IYS) services for young people are working out and what impact these are having on outcomes for young people.

The findings come from two sources of evidence. The first is an online survey conducted in two stages (spring 2010 and 2011) that was aimed at senior service managers and designed to collect quantitative data on structures and processes for partnership working and the changes these were bringing to service provision. The second is a series of seven case studies intended to capture more qualitative evidence of how services are being configured and what differences these are making to providers and users, principally young people themselves.

The evidence is essentially the testimony of managers, staff and elected members who were interviewed as part of focus groups in seven local authority areas: two county councils, two unitary authorities, two metropolitan councils and one London borough. They are not meant to be a representative sample of the spread and number of local authorities in England but they were selected because they agreed to participate. We wish to record here our gratitude to them for doing so, especially given the particularly challenging times they are facing. The names of these areas are listed in the Appendix.