The Student LSCP were asked to help develop key principles that services could take into account when working with young people aged 16 and over.
To help them do this they looked at:
- Different approaches to transitions
- Evaluated different practice principles and
- Produced a list of important principles.
The group were asked to think about what is important when going through a transition and what support young people need. They used their own experience of moving from high school to college as a time of transition to help them think about this task.
The first part of the project involved the group looking at young people’s views, opinions and beliefs about transitions. The group used research from the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University (2017) which looked at the way young people viewed transitions. The research found that there 4 different approaches to transitions; a Laid Back group, an Anxious group, a Want To Do Things for Themselves group and a Socially Focused group. Each group had their own needs and preferred ways of working:
- Laid back group – This group were relaxed about transition and not particularly interested in it. They were happy to have their parents still involved, and happy to listen to what staff had to say. They didn’t feel they needed much support.
- Anxious group – The “anxious group” were worried about transition. They felt the relationship to staff was important and wanted to build trust with them. They were worried that, even if they met new staff before the transfer, it would still be difficult. They predicted they would need extra support in future. They wanted a written transition plan, and a service that could also cater for their friends and family’s needs, and they wanted their parents to remain involved.
- Want to do things for themselves – This group wanted staff to encourage them to make their own decisions, rather than having their parents as involved as they wanted to prepare for independent living. They were ready to move on and anticipated that staff in the adult services would still give them the same help.
- Socially focused – This group wanted to meet other young people of a similar age with similar needs, and they wanted a key worker. They wanted continuing involvement from their parents, and felt it was important that staff were interested in other aspects of their life. They thought staff should mention ‘teenage’ issues such as smoking, drugs and sex.
The second part of the project involved the group looking at standards that had been developed for practitioners working with young people going through transition in their lives.
The group used the standards to identify which ones would be most important to them based on the transition groups that they had previously identified with. They rated each standard as important/not important and unsure and then worked out which of the standards were important to all the different approaches and reworded them to make them more easily understood.
This resulted in the group identifying 10 principles that they thought are important for practitioners to bear in mind when working with young people going through a transition in their lives.
As a result of this research the Student LSCP recommend that practitioners working with young people going through transition should:
- Use the transition approaches to identify the most appropriate one for the young person
- Remember that when young people ask for support, they don’t always know what they need and they need the practitioner to work with them to figure this out
- Take on board the 10 principles that they have identified.
The 10 Principles have now been included as part of the Practitioner's Neglect Toolkit and disseminated across the partnership.