The main objectives of Extending Entitlement are to unify and strengthen policy and practise for young people in Wales in five ways:
1. A positive focus on achievement and what young people have to contribute.
2. A stronger focus on building the young person’s capacity to become independent, make choices and participate in the democratic process.
3. Improvements in the quality and responsiveness of the services, available to young people.
4. Involving young people, which is key to achieving the above.
5. More effective co-coordination and partnership at local level.
This is not a short term project, but a comprehensive long-term strategic policy. It intends to change the way that service providers think about their work and to promote the delivery of services to young people in an accessible way. It considers these key features;
- Targeted at all young people aged 11-25 living in Wales.
- It is about maximising the opportunities and choices for all young people such that their access to enhancing activities is promoted. Extending Entitlement is not about minimum standards, it is about aspirations and achievement for all young people.
- It is comprehensive in the sense that it embraces all national and local agencies and organisations whose work has on impact on the opportunities and choices of young people in Wales.
- It is comprehensive in the sense that it is concerned with all aspects of the lives of young people.
- It is a long-term strategy involving structural, cultural and attitudinal changes in the way services and support and provided.
- Whilst short-term results are important, the real gains are to be made in investment in the future and will take time to manifest.
- The collection of ongoing information about the impact of Extending Entitlement is important for assessments about effectiveness and also potentially to promote local actions in areas of greatest need.
The importance of Extending Entitlement cannot be underestimated. Extending Entitlement is a flagship strategy in Wales which, if it is effectively implemented, will not only improve the opportunities and choices for all young people but will make significant contributions to the future economic and social capacity of Wales and significantly enhance the nation’s future social capital.