Early help and targeted support for young people

We want all young people to fulfil their potential, to be safe, resilient and have strong families that support them through their teenage years.

Our Targeted Youth Support Service brings together a range of agencies who work together to help young people who are taking risks or experiencing difficulties get back on the right path. Support may be needed at any point in a person’s life and families may need help in making positive changes. Through early help or the early identification of an issue, we can offer a range of support to prevent problems from getting worse.

The service supports children and young people from 8-19 (and those up to 25 with additional needs) and is made up of staff from Barnsley Council, NHS, Lifeline, South Yorkshire Police and the Probation Service, working together to support young people to make a positive transition into adulthood.

What support is available?

Services and support are provided by the Early Intervention and Prevention team or the Youth Justice service, depending on the issues and needs.  

Support could include:

  • Health and emotional support eg confidence building, self-esteem, anger management
  • Risk taking behaviour including sex, drugs and alcohol
  • Sexual health advice, contraception and STI screening
  • Promoting positive relationships
  • Diversion from crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Staying safe - including internet and social media safety
  • Support to encourage volunteering and active citizenship
  • Signposting to find work, education and training opportunities

Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) team

Youth Voice and Participation

The service provides lots of opportunities for young people to get involved and have a say in deciding the types and shapes of services they receive. We encourage young people to exercise their rights and take part in the decision making processes which affect them.

Barnsley’s Youth Council are a group of local young people who are elected by their peers to represent the views of other young people locally, regionally and nationally. The Youth Council works closely with Barnsley Council and other service providers to ensure that young people’s views are taken into account when changes to services and facilities are being made.

Whether you are a child or young person in care or a care leaver, you have a right to be consulted about what happens to you. This doesn’t mean that you always get what you want but it does mean that your wishes and feelings need to be taken in account and taken seriously. The Children’s Rights team provide an advocacy service to young people who want help or support on a decision that has been made on their behalf which they are not happy with and will support young people to get their thoughts and views across with the support of a Children’s Right’s Advocate.

Early Help

The service has six 'I Know I Can' (IKIC) Young People's Centres across Barnsley. These are based in Penistone, Wombwell, the Dearne, the town centre and Cudworth. The youth centres deliver targeted, issues-based support and there are outreach and other sessions where there is an identified need.

Bespoke programmes are offered, often in partnership with other agencies, delivered in a group setting around particular issues, for example to address anti social behaviour in a specific community.

There is also a dedicated group provision for young people who are LGBT.

We offer specialist support for children and young people with mild to moderate learning difficulties (MMLD) and provide Short Break programmes by referral.

We also work closely with Family Centres and Family Support Workers to provide a coordinated approach to support children, young people and families.

Some young people need a high level of support from a range of agencies. Targeted one-to-one support from the Early Intervention and Prevention team may be needed using strengths-based tools and techniques to help the young person make positive lifestyle choices and to assess their progress. A request for one-to-one support would be considered at an Early Help panel as part of an Early Help Assessment

Youth Justice service

As part of our youth justice system, the Early Intervention and Prevention team works with young people who are referred to us by the police to assess their suitability for a diversion programme, youth caution or youth conditional caution as an alternative to court action. We work with the young person and their family to make sure that the right one-to-one or group support is put in place to prevent getting into trouble with the police again. You can find out more information about Youth Justice Service.

Family mediation service

The aim of family mediation is to build resilient families and help individual family members to take responsibility for change. Family mediation workers work with family members individually and as a whole. The service works on a referral basis.

Young people missing from home or care

Sometimes young people go missing from home or care for a number of reasons. When a young person who has been missing is found safe and well, the Targeted Youth Support service will offer an impartial 'return home interview'. This explores the reasons behind a young person's absence and what they might have encountered while they were missing. The support provided by the return home interview staff helps to identify any issues that led to the young person running away. The service works closely with other agencies to support young people, to build their resilience and to prevent the further likelihood of this happening again.