The National Youth Agency (NYA) have released a report identifying concerns for vulnerable young people.

Within the report they highlight the amount of vulnerable young people, the expectation that this will rise considerably due to the pandemic and why youth work is essential in supporting these young people:

  • One million known to have needs which will be amplified by the pandemic
  • An estimated two million young people with emerging needs triggered or caused by COVID-19
  • Many more with hidden or unforeseen consequences caused by the coronavirus pandemic
  • Over 448,000 young people from vulnerable families are unknown to services but are likely be known by a youth worker

Areas of vulnerability are also identified, some of which will be amplified by COVID as well as those that will newly emerge due to the pandemic.

Concerns they identify include:

  • Young people living in overcrowded accommodation
  • Young people living in unsafe households
  • Homelessness
  • Exploitation (both during lockdown and coming out of it)
  • Economic and social costs for the next generation (mental health, financial and employment concerns)

Services pre-lockdown were already stretched so coming out of lockdown there needs to be an investment in support for young people

The report calls for the government to:

  • Recognise that youth services are an essential and key service offering a lifeline to vulnerable young people
  • Deploy youth workers to support schools as well as continued outreach and detached youth work
  • Invest in training and upskilling professionals and volunteers in response to COVID-19 in areas such as safeguarding, mental health, trauma and bereavement
  • Listen to young people and include their voices in decision making
  • Ensure there is a clear exit strategy for young people coming out of lockdown that is not limited to schools reopening

 

Read the full report here: Out of Sight? Vulnerable Young People COVID-19 Response