We are working with partners in education and youth across our communities to make sure that children and young people have access to essential support services at this time. Here you will find information on a wide range of support that is available to children and young people.
The Minister of Education, Mr Peter Weir announced on the 25th March 2021 that Youth Services can begin a phased return to face to face provision from the 1st April 2021.
To help facilitate this process we have provided updated support and guidance materials below:
- Youth Restart – 3rd edition
- Youth Restart Checklist
- Youth Restart readiness self evaluation tool
As you are aware restrictions imposed by COVID-19 can change and we will endeavour to update these documents in line with any updated guidance from the NI Executive or PHA.
From 1st April, Youth Services will begin a phased approach to face to face youth services. Centres will be communicating through the EA website and social media platforms with their opening hours and programmes.
Access to individual support can still be gained through the stay connected online platform.
Online counselling can be provided through the stay connected website at www.youthonline.org.uk.
If you are a registered pupil within a post primary school, counselling can be arranged through the normal school processes.
All centres are currently closed. If you have a booking for September onwards, the Outdoor Learning Adviser will contact you with an update.
We are currently working on measures to provide safe residentials and outdoor learning provision for all children and young people and staff.
When centres are open for bookings again, this will be posted on the EA website and relevant social media platforms, along with guidance.
- Spaces of Sanctuary
Spaces of Sanctuary for vulnerable young people are available in Youth Hubs across NI for emergency support, provided to young people aged 11 to 25 years. Referrals are from the PSNI or their partner organisations. The senior officer with responsible for ‘Spaces of Sanctuary’ is Lynsey Branniff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stay Connected is an engagement service which remotely supports young people who are staying safe at home as a result of COVID-19. It provides an opportunity for young people to obtain help (support needs – loneliness and isolation; support services; medical supplies that need collected or delivered; emotional health; mental health; meals or food; physical health). You can access the Stay Connected service at: www.youthonline.org.uk.
- iConnect Programme
The iConnect Programme is an online group work programme which provides the opportunity for children and young people to engage in group work programmes led and designed by our Youth Worker Team. You can access and join an iConnect programme through the Stay Connected service by completing the form at www.youthonline.org.uk.
- START Programme
Similarly those young people under paramilitary threat are continued to be supported using online platforms or in 1:1 work by their key worker in the START Programme (Steering Teens Away from Recurrent Trouble). The senior manager leading on this work is Stephen Quigley (Stephen.Quigley@eani.org.uk).
- Youth Online
Youth Online is a website which provides resources for young people and youth workers enabling them to ‘Stay Connected, Stay Safe, Stay Well, Stay Engaged’. This online platform will have regular updates, designed by young people for the youth work sector and will provide a broad range of curriculum resources and activities for young people. It will also link to other essential services for young people across the region and signpost accordingly. The senior manager responsible for this service is Paul Deighan (Paul.Deighan@eani.org.uk).
The youth online website enables young people aged 9 -25 years to access youth services remotely.
|Here you can access the online form to request support for practical things including food and emotional support.|
|Here you can access activities to stay engaged when at home such as arts & crafts, challenges and media resources.|
|Here you can get guidance on how to look after yourself during Covid-19|
|Here you can access live streams developed by the youth service as well as previous broadcasts. These range from magic shows and fitness classes to story telling|
This service operates Monday to Friday from 11-2pm and 3-7pm. Once a form is submitted a youth worker will make contact as soon possible with you and your parent if under 18 years.
Young people can contact us simply to chat to a youth worker. Alternatively, they can ask for support and outline the nature of the support required under the following headings:
Loneliness & Isolation, Mental Health, Support Services, Meals/Food, Medical Supplies (which need collected or delivered), Physical Health, Emotional Health or Other can be specified.
The young person is asked to outline the support they need on the online form. The Stay Connected Youth Worker will discuss this with them when they call, to find out how best to provide this support.
The Stay Connected service is committed to maintaining high standards of confidentiality however if there are concerns that a young person is at risk of harm, or they have the intention to harm someone else, we will have to pass this information on. In this instance, we will outline to the young person what information is going to be shared and who it will be shared with.
Parental consent is gained prior to contact taking place with a Stay Connected youth worker. This will be arranged during a “setup call” by the Stay Connected manager. Consent will be given verbally or through a confirmation text that will be noted.
If you are a parent and have any concerns regarding the service, please speak with the Stay Connected youth worker who is in contact with your child.
If you are still concerned, you can talk to the Stay Connected manager who will be part of the conversation on the setup call and who will gain your permission for contact to proceed.
Alternatively, you can contact the Locality Lead Officer for your area by clicking here
The youth service has a targeted programme to support young people who experience mental health difficulties. This service is called FLARE (Facilitating Life and Resilience Education). FLARE will continue to use online platforms to maintain contact with and support young people who have already been previously been referred. The ‘Stay Connected’ initiative can also refer young people to FLARE, based on need. The senior manager responsible for this service is Caroline Karayiannis (email@example.com).
You can also access the direct FLARE Referral form online here.
Young people under paramilitary threat will continue to be supported using online platforms or in 1:1 work with their key worker in the START Programme (Steering Teens Away from Recurrent Trouble). The senior manager leading on this work is Stephen Quigley Stephen.Quigley@eani.org.uk).