FOI Request - Local Youth Forum
Please accept the following request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which relates to the local authority’s support for a local youth forum.
In this context, I define a local youth forum as a “group led by young people (aged 12-26) which aims to understand and advocate for young people’s views within the local area in which they are based”. They may variably be referred to as a ‘Youth Council’. ‘Youth Parliament’, ‘Youth Cabinet’ or ‘Youth Forum’. Specifically, this request relates to local youth forums which have a remit of the entirety of the local authority area, and does not refer to youth participatory initiatives that relate to schools or colleges, smaller subsets of the whole local authority area, or to single demographics of young people.
Would the statement “The local authority supports a local youth forum.” be factually correct to apply to the local authority?
If so, which of the following statements would be factually correct to apply to the local authority? Please respond to each in turn:
“Young people are elected to the local youth forum through a transparent recruitment and election process.”
“The local youth forum regularly consults with young people in its area (outside of its membership), in order to inform its priorities and activities.”
“The local youth forum outlines and publicises its priorities and commitments on a regular basis, which are developed by its members and in consultation with young people in its area (outside of its membership).”
“The local youth forum has an active website and social media presence, regularly updated with its priorities and opportunities for young people to engage with it.”
“The local youth forum’s value and impact are recognised by stakeholders (such as schools and colleges), and support it where appropriate in its work.”
“The local youth forum has a terms of reference or constitution, which outline its independence and autonomy from the local authority.”
“The local youth forum is responsible for managing its budget, and can generate and apply for additional income from outside the local authority.”
“The local youth forum’s activities are accessible to all young people, with a strategy in place to ensure this.”
“The local youth forum regularly reviews the composition of its membership in relation to the demographics of young people in its area, and has a strategy to engage currently underrepresented groups.”
“The local youth forum as an initiative is supported by relevant elected representatives and officers, who take an active interest in its work and proactively seek to co-operate.”
“The local youth forum is supported by a dedicated employee, with either experience in youth participation or the capacity to improve their competency over time.”
“The local youth forum and the local authority have established criteria for ensuring the settings and methods in which they engage are enabling for young people to participate.”
“The local youth forum is invited to participate in all relevant activities of the local authority, and the expected scope and limits of the local youth forum’s involvement from the point of view of the local authority are clearly outlined.”
“The local youth forum is part of a structured process in which recommendations are given serious consideration by the local authority. Where recommendations are not implemented, the local authority provides a written explanation of the reasons for the decisions made.”
“The local youth forum and the local authority conduct regular evaluations to assess the impact and effectiveness of the local youth forum.”