“Minding the gap” between policy visions and service implementation: lessons from Connexions
From 2001, Connexions was phased in across England to meet policy visions centred on uniting youth-oriented services into a coherent whole, and providing universal advice and guidance alongside targeted support. Recent evaluations suggest that the service was not fulfilling these visions successfully, and current policy remains focused on implementing a new co-ordination of services to meet broadly similar visions. This paper draws on research evidence to explore the reasons for this failure in Connexions. It highlights a range of problems in service implementation from initial contact and assessment through to final interventions. It locates these problems in the political, bureaucratic, financial and social contexts in which the service existed. Notably the requirements to pursue a broad remit and meet hard targets with limited resources, instigate joint-working across existing professional boundaries, and unite and adapt disparate working paradigms presented significant challenges that are likely to remain relevant for future services.
Citation : Yates, S. and Payne, M. (2007) “Minding the gap” between policy visions and service implementation: lessons from Connexions, Youth & Policy, 95, pp. 25-40
ISSN : 0262-9798
Research Institute : Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Peer Reviewed : Yes