An Evaluation of the Personal Development Partnership

This report reviews the management and outcomes from the Personal Development Partnership programme.

Referral Sources

1.28 Education has remained the main referral agent throughout the project followed by social work, PDP partners and the Third Sector. The percentage of referrals coming from education mirrors that of their referrals to the Children's Reporter (25%) when the main referral source (police) is removed from their referrals figures.

Table 3: Referral sources

Hub 1* Hub 2 Hub 3 Hub 4 TOTAL
Schools mainstream 46 20 18 1 85 (23%)
(Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties)
0 8 1 5 14 (4%)
Education Total 46 28 19 6 99 (27%)
Skills Development Scotland 12 12 1 0 25 (7%)
'More Choices More Chances' 5 7 1 0 13 (4%)
Job Centre Plus 0 0 0 3 3 (1%)
Employment Agencies Total 17 19 2 3 41 (11%)
Social Work 14 39 12 8 73 (20%)
PDP Partners 39 10 14 0 63 (17%)
Third Sector 5 22 31 4 62 (17%)
Other Local Authority 8 0 0 0 8 (2%)
Glasgow Redevelop Agency 3 0 0 0 3 (1%)
Self-Referrals 2 8 14 0 24 (6%)
Private Sector 0 1 0 0 1 (0.3%)
TOTAL 134 127 92 21 374

* Hub 1: demand out-stripped supply in 2012 and since April 2012 the focus has been on supporting the existing young people in to positive destinations and all new referrals had been put on hold.

1.29 Education remains a key referral agency, especially in Edinburgh. This may be because there is a lack of provision for this age group and a need to find activities for post 16s:

'- (the school) they're under pressure to get rid of pupils that are post compulsive education who are… not attending… If there are any behavioural concerns, you get a couple of warnings then it's "look, we don't have to deal with you here, over 16, out."'(PDA case study interview)

1.30 MCMCs found it difficult to locate the service in terms of what was available in the locality. In one hub area there already existed similar service packages for individual young people. In another hub, MCMCs were looking more for training and employment opportunities and did not want another support service. In a further hub area, the initial connection with MCMC faded as it became clear it was not producing referrals at the levels hoped for. In addition, it took time, and hard and creative work, by the PDAs to open up referral routes and identify potential sources of consistent referrals. Networking locally by the PDAs, hub leads and DM, for example with Joint Action Teams and Youth Justice Forums have been important ways of raising the profile of the project. Both of these points underline the need for development time to be built into projects.

1.31 From the case studies of young people the appeal of PDP is the offer of structured activities in otherwise unstructured and sometimes chaotic lives. Many activities mirror leisure and sport activities relevant to the age group. These opportunities offer 'hooks' and the intense work of the PDA offer a key conduit to developing a PDP journey. Young people and their families also value support towards positive destinations.

'She was not doing anything with her life and getting into trouble.' (PDA about Iona)

The needs and interests of young people vary. The outdoor aspects of the programme appealed to some of the young people, for one young man who liked sport there was a clear appeal. For others though, especially one girl this was a disincentive:

'Skye is work-orientated and struggles to see how going canoeing is going to help.' (PDA)

Others didn't like the idea of doing things outdoors and yet they found positive benefits. The quote from Fiona, below, explains why she doesn't like outdoor activities, but in the end felt that being outdoors had a calming influence.

'It's, like, outdoor, I don't like it, like you go gorge walkin' and I'm a girly girl, so I don't like my hair and makeup gettin' messed up and that's, basically the things you dae, like hill walkin'. I enjoyed it. it got me away for a week when I was at residential, and took me away an' everythin', so it helped me, it calmed me down with it. Just bein' away in the middle of naewhere, in the mountains… you couldn't even get any phone signal, like, so it was like away frae everybody for that week. I've done everything there I done gorge walkin' and, like, night walkin'(Fiona)

1.32 It is hard to assess whether young people and their families felt that the PDP offered a unique opportunity, and there seems to have been some confusion about the difference between the PDP and courses/activities on offer from individual partner projects. This confusion is also reflected in some of the referrer's comments. Internal referrals from partners to PDP may add to this from external referrer's perspectives.

1.33 There was lack of clarity amongst local authorities on what PDP is, how it functions and how it could add to what was already available. The change in management structure and inclusion of a DM has contributed to an improvement in the marketing of the project through local networking and discussions with local authorities about how the PDP can contribute to local outcomes, along with the passage of time meaning that PDP has become better known.


Email: Ban Cavanagh

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