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Commissioning Youth Services

Paper, case studies | November 2010

This report by IPC for the Commissioning Support Programme, was prepared for commissioners of children`s services in one local authority in the South West to inform discussions on the future shape of youth services. It consists of a series of short case studies of service redesign in local authorities from around the country, with a particular focus on examples of outsourcing.

By way of context, the report first provides a brief overview of recent developments in youth services, including the broadening definition of youth services, shifts in delivery settings, and diversification in service providers. Consideration is also given to the direction of Coalition Government policy in this area, especially implications for funding and the encouragement of non-state providers under the Transforming Community Services agenda specifically, and more broadly the `Big Society` approach. Some of the emerging players in non-state service provision - including social enterprises, mutuals and commissioning `brokers` or `agents`– are examined.

The main part of the report then looks at specific examples of service review and redesign, involving either partial or wholesale outsourcing. Case study councils are divided into those where changes predate the general election and those effected since May 2010, where reduction and integration of budgets is a more explicit concern from the outset. In both cases, considerations include:

  • Which services to outsource/redesign, and
  • How best to conduct redesign and recommissioning.

The report summarises the rationale behind each redesign, local reaction to changes and, where available, the outcomes to date.

For further information please contact Katy Burch at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088