A pile of question marks on post-its

Insights: Ensuring young people can access the right support

By Kathryn Dingle 28 September 2021 4 minute read

Looking to access services

When accessing services young people have two main routes: to look for recommendations from people they trust or for recommendations online. Read more in my previous post.

However, regardless of the route they take they will still look into the org to see if it right for them. They will end up online (on the website or social media accounts).

One of the major barriers for young people is creating to pick the right option for them. This is due to not having clear information. When searching online young people are looking to find information quickly.

What do young people want to know when looking for support? 

When looking for support and opportunities online, young people are trying to understand if something is right for their needs, interests, and lifestyle.  

The key questions young people are asking are: 

  • What is it? 
  • Can I attend it?  
  • Is it worth my time?  
  • Would someone like me attend? 

The information needed to answer their questions:

In order to answer these questions, people need clear information. This information can be split into two broad categories:

Assessing eligibility

These questions help people understand what the activity is if they are allowed to attend and if it fits with their time and budget. It allows people to rule out anything they can’t attend.

For this, young people need things like a relevant name for the service, a clear description of it, its location, when it is available, its cost, the age range it includes and any additional requirements – such as only being available to students at a particular school or college. It should also give a sense of what people should expect to happen after they sign up and the next steps, such as when they will hear back, or any further actions needed from them.

Assessing suitability

These questions help people understand whether the service fits with their values, needs and interests: would they feel comfortable there? It too allows people to rule out anything they don’t think will be right for them as a person.

Here, young people are looking for how this service might differ from other services you or other organisations might offer. They want to do what it will do for them, what others think about it and who attends. They would like information on the format of the service – whether it is online or in person, small groups or 1-2-1 and so on, Photos help give a sense of the location and the sort of people who typically attend.

Take action

Whether you have an app, a website, or a poster, this is the information young people deserve. Make sure you are including this information on all communication points with young people and give them options for how to engage with you if they have further questions.

Your thoughts

We are keen to hear if anything surprises you or if you have any more insights to add to our work.