A new toolkit developed collaboratively by the charity StreetGames, the South West Integrated Personalised Care Team and other key partners across the UK, aims to support professionals to provide innovative support for children and young people in the shape of youth social proscribing.
Traditionally used to help adults find non-medical ways of supporting health and wellbeing outcomes, research has shown that social prescribing has multiple health and social benefits for children and young people too, with dozens of compelling reasons why this work should begin as early in life as possible.
Whilst the principles of delivering social prescribing to children and young people are the same as for adults, the methods of working with them are often very different. To effectively work with children and young people it is important to understand that they may face a range of complex challenges including in their family setting, or as a result of their wider health, educational, work or social context.
This new toolkit aims to help organisations to address the different challenges young people face and offer a road map to delivering effective support. It is designed for stakeholders involved in the design and delivery of children and young people social prescribing including, the NHS, local authorities, the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and representatives of people with lived experience.
With many children and young people today living in families impacted by wider determinants of health such as inadequate housing, poverty or unemployment, well-delivered social prescribing offers support not just to children and young people but also the adults around them: tackling difficulties and finding solutions that can significantly improve life chances.
The right support for a child or young person from the right person at the right time can make a significant difference to their journey and experience, with early intervention being vital to tackling issues of mental health and wellbeing before they escalate.
Liza Jarvis, StreetGames’ Social Prescribing Lead and one of the authors of the toolkit, said:
“Children’s social prescribing is an incredibly powerful tool for supporting the needs of children and young people, especially when it comes to mental health and wellbeing, but it remains underutilised and not always well understood.
This toolkit aims to give professionals working with children and young people what they need to deliver effective social prescribing in their area. It provides a framework to help assess what is needed and examples of what others have achieved. It also shows you how working together as partners we can achieve more and support young people to have truly great lives.”
Learn more about Social Prescribing here.
For further information please contact Liza Jarvis at firstname.lastname@example.org