Key concerns identified from the survey were: how some boys and men speak to and treat girls and young women; violence against girls and young women; the Black Lives Matter campaign; being safe on the street/in the park; climate change and mental health.
Over 7,000 young people aged 11-17 and living or attending a school/college in the county completed the main survey, and a further 378 young people aged 11-25 with learning difficulties and disabilities completed the special educational needs (SEN) survey.
The survey also aimed to identify gaps in opportunities and services currently available to young people outside of school to enable those who provide services to adequately plan for the future.
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Fiona Thomson, said:
“We know the pandemic has greatly affected the lives of young people in many ways. We wanted to hear from young people themselves about their concerns and how these have changed in the last year so that we can provide even better support for them in the future”.
70% of young people said that they were feeling good or okay on the day they completed the survey; 70% also felt that there was enough support for themselves and their friends. However, 57% were concerned about their future career and job opportunities.
The district Youth Strategy Partnership Groups, facilitated by Services for Young People (SfYP), are working with those findings to produce action plans which aim to shape services for young people according to the needs identified in each local area.
SfYP works with young people through group work sessions and one-to-one interventions. There are around 170 weekly term time SfYP youth projects, including those for young people in care/care leavers, LGBT+ young people, young parents, youth councils, young people with learning disabilities and local neighbourhood projects. SfYP Youth Workers and Advisers are supporting young people with a range of issues and concerns including social isolation, family conflict, health, future education, training or apprenticeship options, mental and emotional wellbeing, and skills development.