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  1. ITV Report

Education watchdog says 'worrying' numbers of young people are unaware how to get help

ESTYN wants more

The education watchdog ESTYN has found 89 per cent of young people do not know how to get help with self-esteem issues.

They are now calling for local authorities and the Welsh Government to improve youth services, providing "safe spaces" for those in need. The ESTYN report looked at what provisions were available to young people aged 11 to 25, and how accessible these were.

70 per cent of young people did not know where to find help with substance and alcohol misuse. Credit: PA Images

The majority of young people surveyed for the report did not know where to go if they had issues with debt, relationships, substance misuse, or employability.

For problems around substance and alcohol misuse, 70 per cent of young people were unaware where to find help. A further 82 per cent surveyed did not know where to find help about relationships.

ESTYN said

Based on the report, the education watchdog has made a number of suggestions to improve youth services. Local authorities have been asked to "consult meaningfully with young people" in order to provide "safe spaces" for support.

Recommendations have also been made to the Welsh Government, including providing a "policy basis" for supporting youth work. ESTYN have also asked that local authorities are held to account for the "quality, range and types" or services provided to young people.

We recognise the important contribution youth work can make to a young person’s personal, social and emotional development and welcome the findings identified in Estyn’s report.

They reflect the position up to a point in time, however we have worked collaboratively with the sector over recent months to secure the strategic direction of youth work in Wales including the appointment of Keith Towler as Chair of a new Youth Work Board for Wales.

– Welsh Government spokesperson