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Before 2011, there were two separate services for challenging young people which were run separately by Agenzija Appogg (Youth Outreach) and Agenzija Sedqa (Teen Support Service). In 2011, these two services were amalgamated in one service (Youth in Focus). This Service fell under the remit of Agenzija Appogg. Youth in Focus provides social work interventions to children and young people aged between 13 and 18 years old, with the scope of assisting them throughout their adolescence through addressing their needs and empowering them to reach their full potential. While the focus is on the adolescent/young person, the social worker maintains close collaboration with the parents/carers and other significant people in the lives of the young person. There is a wide range of presenting problems that the team encounter and deal with. These may include: anger management, involvement in vandalism, turbulent relationships with parents, partners and others, alcohol/drug abuse, promiscuity, coming out, self-identity crisis, experimentation with substances, time management, bereavement, employment, petty crime, emotional abuse on parents, past traumas, computer addiction, difficult past health traumas, problems with self-esteem, poverty & homelessness and money management. During 2015, 280 young people made use of Youth in Focus. 223 young people made use of the service up to June in 2016.
|Year||Number of individuals worked with by Youth in Focus|
The Adolescent Day Programme started in July 2015. The programme runs for 12 consecutive weeks with participants attending for four days a week for a span of four hours each day. This three-month intensive programme provides non-formal therapeutic and educational sessions, which assist young people to develop the necessary coping mechanisms that will help them throughout their lives, and aide in preventing their exploitation. The programme covers various life skills and also gives young people (aged between 14 and 18 years old) the opportunity to spend two weeks with the Armed Forces of Malta. Upon completion of the programme, participants are awarded the Bronze, Silver or Gold level depending on their participation. Between 2015 and 2016, there were three programmes of eight participants in each group. Three participants reached the Bronze Level, five reached the Silver Level while 12 completed the Gold phase. In 2018, the Programme became affiliated and accredited under the Prince Trust International Achieve Programme and the center is licensed to implement this programme which gives international certification to the young people who finish the programme.
|Year||Number of individuals worked with by the Adolescent Day Programme|
Embark for Life started in 2013 yet it was previously an EU co-funded project under the European Social Fund. In 2013, it became a national project funded through national funds. Embark for Life (E4L) contributes towards the community strategic guidelines by matching project participants to avail of the already existing schemes and educational/vocational training in the country, whilst supporting them in finding suitable employment. Disadvantaged young people are often likely to fall into the social benefit trap. Thus, by supporting them to lead a sustainable healthy lifestyle and have job security, their dependence on social assistance and the revolving syndrome of attaining support from various public services is minimised.
|Year||Number of individuals worked with by the Embark for Life|
Further information on these three programmes can be found on the Appoġġ website. Agenzija Appogg, which forms part of the Foundation for Social Welfare Services, is the responsible authority for the implementation and coordination of these programmes and projects.
The aim of Youth in Focus, the Adolescent Day Programme and Embark for Life is to provide structure in the lives of young people who are at risk and require support by developing and maintaining healthy relationships with young persons’ support networks, helping them in becoming independent by being actively involved in different activities, delivering specialised professional social work services and supporting the young people concerned within their own environment. This is enabled through adhering to the following principles:
- Working in partnership with the service user on all aspects of service delivery
- Linking service users to other resources or services when deemed appropriate and necessary
- Ensuring ongoing training for staff members in order to enhance and maintain optimum standards of service delivery
- Developing and maintaining an accessible, realistic and user-friendly service
- Developing the existing strengths of service users
- Referring adolescents to psychological sessions when deemed beneficial and necessary
- Introducing and developing the concept of youth and outreach work with this particular service user group
- Working with other outside entities to ensure the availability of accommodation for young people facing homelessness or difficult living situations.
These programmes are in line with prioritised goals as they address skills training, employment and social inclusion.
Apart from the above programmes, Appogg offers five Community Services –programmes for young people.
The Alternative Youth Entertainment (AYE) is a group of young people (aged between 16 and 19 years old) committed to organising alternative healthy activities for other young people in their community, with the purpose of preventing them from engaging in excessive alcohol use and other risky behaviour. They plan a number of activities throughout the year, and invite other young people to attend. To this effect, they build networks with stakeholders in the community, and their activity includes obtaining sponsorships for their activities. The group is supported by the community development worker of the Msida Community Service. The project is ongoing. The group takes between 10-15 participants.
The Youth 12-14 targets young people (12-14 years of age) residing in Valletta and Floriana. The young people are targeted through various outreach exercises, giving particular attention to those young people who are at risk and who are not able to engage in other healthy activities.
The sessions provide a space for the young people to develop life skills in a non-formal and informal setting. They usually run through the scholastic year, that is, between October and May. There are some recreational activities organised during the summer months.
The sessions are facilitated by the community development worker, who is assisted by a community social worker (Valletta Community Services). The group takes between 10-15 participants.
The Youth 16+ is a continuation of the group which had participated in the early teens project in the past (Valletta and Floriana). The group decided to continue to meet on a monthly basis. Some of the members are being supported to engage in voluntary work with younger age groups from the same community.
This group is also facilitated by the community development worker and the community social worker, and takes between 10-15 participants.
iTeens sessions are organised for adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years old. They are provided with activities that touch upon social themes, thus providing the space for personal and social development. Although the sessions are co-ordinated by community development workers (Cottonera Community Services), the participants take an active role in developing the programme of activities. There are two schedules: one for winter and one for summer, with the summer schedule including more recreational outdoor activities. The group takes between 10-15 participants.
The Community Workshop is a workshop which is equipped to provide a non-formal setting for young people to develop manual skills (such as basic carpentry and stone work). The aim is to help the participants test their skills and interest in such trades and to eventually enrol in formal courses in the trades. The workshop provides space for informal social skills training. It is run by the community development worker who is assisted by a tutor provided by MCAST. The group takes up to eight participants.
The aim of the sessions in community projects is to provide a space for young people to develop life skills in a non-formal and informal setting. Each Community Service has its catchment area. Participants are recruited through the social work service, outreach or through other projects the participants may be attending that are provided by the Community Service.
|Budget Per Year||Youth in Focus||Adolescent Day Programme||Embark for Life|
|2019||€174258 (as at 30.06.19)||€37634 (as at 30.06.19)||€90084 (as at 14.11.19)|
Disclaimer: the above budgets are the actual costs per year and include all the costs in relation to the service such as salaries and running costs per service. Any changes in budget were/are due to cost of living or fluctuation in renumeration to professionals.
Evaluation of programmes is held on a regular basis and the service concerned makes sure that FSWS policies are implemented. The aim of the evaluations is to always improve service delivery.
FSWS has an Audit and Quality Assurance Service which was set up two years ago but this Service has not yet audited the concerned services.
No formal evaluation of these Services has as yet been carried out by the Research Department within FSWS.