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Six Characteristic Groupings of YIF Provision

Six Characteristic Groupings of YIF Provision

The YIF learning project team worked with YIF grant holders to map types of provision represented in the cohort. From this mapping work, we developed six dimensions that grant holders used to describe their YIF activity. Their activity can be any combination of the six characteristics, although some combinations will clearly be more common than others. This approach allowed us to test which characteristics are significant during analysis and potentially develop typologies based on the data (this could be at end of year two or end of year three).

The six characteristic groupings of open access youth provision are:

six characteristics

Detached or building-based

This refers to whether the young person is coming to your space or whether you are going to their space. Detached provision is going out to where young people are whether that be out on the street, in a park or any other space where young people are. Building-based includes any provision where you organise and coordinate the space including provision within a youth centre, a community venue or any other controlled space such as schools, sports centres or residential centres. Building-based also includes outdoor provision where the space is organised and coordinated by a youth provider e.g. sports facilities, arts or field trips.

Group or individual

This refers to whether the young people typically take part in the activity with other young people or on an individual basis. Here, ‘group’ is not restricted to traditional ‘group work’ and includes any provision where a young person is not engaging in an activity on their own – be it in sports, arts, workshops or in general youth club provision. Individual engagement includes one-to-one as well as any other solo involvement in courses, mentoring or individual activities (where there is no or very little engagement with other young people).

Targeted or universal

Targeted provision is aimed at (or explicitly restricted to) a particular group – even if that group is large. It will often include explicit eligibility criteria. It includes provision that is targeted based on gender, ethnicity, special educational needs or more issue-specific groups such as those with poor mental or physical health. The only exception to this is provision aimed at a particular age group e.g. under-15s basketball – this is still classed as universal.

Drop-in or fixed

This refers to how set the young person’s engagement is. Drop in provision allows young people to drop in and out freely whereas fixed provision involves scheduled, timed session where young people are expected to engage for a set amount of time.

Time-limited or open-ended 

Time-limited provision has a set length of expected engagement which could include one-off engagement or a 12-weekly programme. Open-ended is rolling provision with no set or expected end date.

Unstructured or structured

This relates to a specific conception of structure. Unstructured provision is where the young person navigates their own way through an activity without their journey being pre-planned by you e.g. a young person uses a music suite in a youth club or has an informal conversation with a youth worker. Structured provision has a considered sequence that has been planned by the provider – even if the exact sequence is flexible e.g. a workshop, a youth forum with an agenda, a one-to-one advice session.

We anticipate that the type of provision has implications for the opportunities we have for data collection from young people, as well as for the types of questions which will feel relevant to young people.