Move to protect the Youth Service

THE Island’s Youth Service will be protected in law to save it from cut-backs, if proposals lodged by the former Education Minister are passed.

Former Education Minister Tracey Vallois. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30816616)
Former Education Minister Tracey Vallois. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (30816616)

Senator Tracey Vallois has lodged a proposition calling for the service to become ‘statutory’ and draft legislation on the matter to be lodged for States debate before the next general election in June 2022.

The report outlining her proposals says that the move would serve as a safeguard for the continuing activities of the Youth Service.

In her proposition, Senator Vallois said: ‘In an ideal world, statutory functions would be less likely to have substantial reductions made to their budgets through the name of efficiencies and would also have legal responsibilities to perform their service on behalf of the public we serve.

‘Our Youth Service in Jersey is a real hidden gem. My proposition calls for those who represent the Island to recognise the importance our Youth Service plays in our children and young people’s lives. Whether this be through our youth clubs, after- school activities, information, advice and counselling, LGBTQ support, young carers, young people with additional needs, outdoor learning, personal, social, health and economic educational support to schools, street work and the list goes on and on.’

Senator Vallois adds that setting out in law a ‘minimum and protected level of youth service’ had been one of her objectives while she was still a minister.

‘This would also include a definition of a sufficient or minimum level of youth services on a per-head of youth population basis and a funding formula similar to school funding arrangements,’ she said. ‘As minister I was involved in a meeting with the National Youth Agency and was impressed with the work they were undertaking with the UK government about making youth services statutory for all local authorities.’

The proposition is due to be debated on 8 June.

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