Changes in Governmental guidelines has led to the National Youth Association (NYA) moving from AMBER to RED. The NYA has developed these guidelines in-line with Public Health England.
Read their full RED guidance here.
What does RED mean?
- Youth work must move to online/virtual platforms
- Detached and outdoor youth sessions are still possible
- Door stop check ins and delivery of materials are still possible
- In-person, indoor sessions can occur if the young person is high need/vulnerable in a group of 2-15 including staff forming a support group/bubble and adhering to previous V3 COVID-secure guidelines
- In-person, indoor 1-2-1 support sessions can occur for the purpose of ‘triaging’ those you may believe to be at risk of becoming vulnerable if adhering to previous V3 COVID-secure guidelines
- Home visits are not permitted and no groups must occur in private dwellings
The NYA has decided not to provide a definition of ‘high need or vulnerable’ – instead they ask you to use your local professional judgement to ensure you identify and deliver support to those you truly feel fall in to that category.
The NYA has made it clear that no youth work provisions have to operate during this time if they feel they are unable to do so safely. You must only open up for youth work sessions if you feel comfortable doing so and if you are able to do so ensuring the session is COVID-secure.
For Online Youth Work
Ensure your risk assessment and action plan are up-to-date to include online risks. You can find a template for both simple and advanced risk assessments, and an action plan, on the NYA website. Check your Safeguarding and Social Media policies to ensure they include guidance for online youth work. If you need support with this please refer to the Safeguarding and Social Media policies in the Members Section of our website. Read the NYA RED guidance.
For Detached Youth Work
According to NYA youth workers are permitted to engage with vulnerable young people via detached youth work, even if the group is larger than 15 young people due to the positive impact this type of youth work may provide. In this instance youth workers should seek to inform/educate young people of their responsibilities to socially distance and follow the lockdown requirements. Read the NYA RED guidance.
For Support Group/Bubble Sessions
Support groups can be made up of up of 2-15 young people of any age including staff and volunteers and any caring or support staff the young people may need. These groups must only be made up of those who are vulnerable/high need. It is up to you to use your professional judgement to identify who you believe falls into this category to ensure no young person who requires support misses out. All young people who attend the support bubble must be ‘formally invited’ to a date and time to a pre-planned activity session.
Once indoors, all attendees must adhere to NYA V3 guidelines and action plans and risk assessments must be updated. Hygiene in the premises must be robust. The attendees who attend the support group do not have to be fixed and can change per session if needed. Staff who support the group can also support other support groups if needed. Sessions can happen back to back in a COVID-secure premises. If other staff are on site (bringing the total number to over 15), but not included in the support session, then that is permissible. The length of time per session is not fixed. Groups must not happen in private dwellings and home visits are not permitted. Community spaces can be opened for these sessions (but leisure centres may not be). Read the NYA RED guidance.
For 1-2-1 ‘Triage’ Sessions
Youth provisions may provide 1-2-1 ‘drop-in’ sessions indoors with young people to check in with them to see if they are at risk of becoming vulnerable/high need. If they are identified as vulnerable/high need during these sessions, then they may be permitted to move into a Support Group (ensuring the total number for the group stays below 15). Once indoors, all attendees must adhere to NYA V3 guidelines and action plans and risk assessments must be updated. Hygiene in the premises must be robust. Groups must not happen in private dwellings and home visits are not permitted. Community spaces can be opened for these sessions (but leisure centres may not be). Read the NYA RED guidance.
Vulnerable and high need young people are permitted to travel to attend a youth work session or 1-2-1. Supportive transport can also be used. All travel must adhere to social distancing and lockdown guidelines. Trips, visits and residential stays are not permitted.
If you wish to discuss how these guidelines apply to your youth provision then please contact us. We are here to guide you through these new hurdles and support you to deliver youth work where possible.