The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) and Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID) worked together with Brighton and Hove City Council to explore how public services working better in partnership could help to prevent risky behaviour taking by young people.
The model we developed, which followed an earlier scoping exercise, drew on theories involving social learning where behaviour is influenced by individuals, the role of peers and surroundings. We applied a whole systems approach which sees all players in a system as having a role and an impact. Over the course of several months we worked to improve the links and dialogue between the many different agencies associated with working with young people undertaking risky behaviour to enable partners to support young people more effectively. A clearer pathway for support between agencies was established.
ContextIn our earlier scoping work we explored how strategic partnerships could better support changes in behaviour in communities (in relation to a number of matters including recycling or travel behaviour). We recognised that the new norm of working in partnerships made often unexplored demands on demands on organisations and the individuals working within them, as they struggle with different norms, expectations and practices. Unclear and contested roles are sometimes reflected in policy and practice. Problems may exist in integrated service delivery, without clear messages being communicated up or down the line or successes go uncelebrated.We also noted that behaviour change in citizens is likely to require a cultural shift on the part of provider organisations so they provide the most appropriate services focused on improving outcomes, working with communities directly.Brighton and Hove took up the challenge of working with us to explore some of the issues around working with young people engaged in risky behaviours (around teenage pregnancy and substance mis-use in particular).
- Shifting the way that departments and organisations relate to each other
- Shifting how individuals in their organisations communicated with each other and also with community members
- Developing a ‘learning community’ which champions change
- Developing capacity building to bring about solutions which are derived with and from the community
- Developing a shared understanding of how change can happen and the steps that need to be taken to secure it.
- Engagement with a project team which would act as the main co-workers with TIHR and LGID staff
- Interviews with local partners including statutory, voluntary and community sectr, (schools, youth services, social services, CAMHS, health, community development)
- Interviews with elected Members
- Interviews with young people locally
- Action learning sets with groups of partners.