What We Do

Since its inception in 1937 Youth Options has demonstrated significant success in supporting, developing and engaging children and young people. We believe passionately that every young person has the potential to realise their abilities and aspirations and to make a valuable contribution to their communities. We recognise that young people need varying degrees of support to reach their full potential, and it is in this regard that Youth Options can demonstrate success.

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All of our services for children and young people are designed to develop their social and emotional capabilities, through a process of personal and social development. Social and emotional capabilities underpin effective learning, positive behaviour, healthy relationships, life effectiveness and emotional well-being. These are not inherent traits, but can be learned and developed.

We deliver services based on the seven capabilities identified by the Young Foundation:

Explaining; expressing; presenting; listening; questioning; using different ways of communicating

Confidence and Agency
Self-reliance; self-esteem; self-efficacy; self-belief; ability to shape your own life and the world around you

Planning and Problem Solving
Navigating resources; organising; setting and achieving goals; decision making; researching; analysing; critical thinking; questioning and challenging; evaluating risks; reliability

Relationships and Leadership
Motivating others; valuing and contributing to team work; negotiating; establishing positive relationships; interpreting others; managing conflict; empathising

Imagining alternative ways of doing things; applying learning in new contexts; enterprising; innovating; remaining open to new ideas

Resilience and Determination
Self-disciplined; self-management; self-motivated; concentrating; having a sense of purpose; persistent; self-controlled

Managing Feelings
Reviewing; self-awareness; reflecting; self-regulating; self-accepting

There is strong evidence showing the connection between social and emotional capabilities and positive life outcomes including educational attainment, health, employment status and behaviour. This is why our focus is on supporting children and young people to develop these capabilities, especially those who are disadvantaged and/or vulnerable. The experiences and often multiple needs of these young people vary, but include risk of educational or social exclusion, challenging behaviour, chaotic home lives, low self-esteem, risk taking behaviour, poor educational outcomes and low aspirations. Whatever their experiences and needs the development of social and emotional capabilities lies at the heart of our support for young people. We believe that the outcomes we achieve through our services will ensure that those who participate will achieve more positive life outcomes.