The Children and Young People's Partnership ('the Partnership') is the successor to the former Children's Trust Board. It's a strategic partnership of key agencies in Rochdale to deliver a collaborative approach to improving and delivering services to children and young people in the borough.
The Partnership sets the strategic vision for children and young people, providing leadership and challenge and has incorporated this into a refreshed Children and Young People's Plan for 2013-2014 (as the final year of the Children's Trust Board's Strategic Plan for 2011-2014).
Vision for children and young people in Rochdale
The Partnership's vision is 'to enable all children and young people to achieve their full potential'.
It will achieve this by using data and intelligence from a variety of sources, including the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, to identify where and in which ways Rochdale's children and young people are not doing as well as children and young people in other areas, and taking action to address the reasons for this.
We recognise that everyone has a part to play in helping children and young people to achieve their full potential, not least families and the communities in which they live. In Rochdale, we want to see:
- Children and young people who are safe, aspire and achieve their full potential, regardless of the circumstances in which they were born.
- Families being empowered and supported to take control of their lives and to be able to tackle the challenges and problems that face them.
- Families being supported in their local communities, and avoiding the need for statutory agency involvement.
- All agencies working together and with children and families committed to providing early help and support.
- A diverse range and mix of service providers with a capable and confident workforce, equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to support children, young people and their families.
- An integrated whole systems approach to strategic planning, commissioning and service delivery.
- The participation of children, young people and families and all other stakeholders in the development of services.
The Children and Young People's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (2010) pulled together the key available information in relation to the health and well-being of all children and young people in the borough. The findings have enabled the board to agree the key areas whereby working together, we can make a difference.
5 key priorities have been identified:
- Narrowing the gap
- Improving readiness for school
- Enabling young people to make positive lifestyle choices
- Skills improvement
- Workforce development and integrated practice
Key themes from these priorities have been incorporated into a new Early Help Strategy, which is a key area of work for the board over the remainder of the life of the Children and Young People's Plan.
1. Narrowing the gap
Mitigating the effects of poverty and neglect is central to our work on closing the gap in achievement at all levels. This will involve overcoming the barriers those most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people face and providing wider experiences so that they do not fall behind in achieving their full potential.
The aim for this priority is that resources and support are effectively targeted to the most vulnerable children and young people and their families to ensure that the achievement gap is reduced at all ages.
The Child and Family Poverty Strategy will be a key element of Narrowing the Gap
2. Improving readiness for school
We need to ensure that children enter school with sufficient language and communication skills to enable them to access learning and that their parents engage in supporting their children's learning. This will ensure that more children have a good level of development at the Early Years Foundation Stage and the gap is reduced.
The aim for this key priority is to ensure that babies and young children have a healthy start in life. Services need to identify needs, focus on those children and families at risk and intervene effectively at an early stage as soon as difficulties begin.
3. Young people's lifestyle choices
The aim for this key priority is that young people are less likely to take part in risky behaviour. To support this there needs to be a varied menu of high quality, easily accessible services on offer and all children and young people need an understanding of health and lifestyle issues and where and how to seek help.
4. Skills improvement
The Rochdale All Age Skills Strategy aims to raise the skill levels of our residents by integrating all the work that partners do in Rochdale; from early years to business support, from back-to-work activity to housing strategy, schools, and colleges and beyond. The responsibility for achieving this strategy will be a huge challenge for partners and employers – not all of whom will be used to thinking of skills as part of their day job.
5. Workforce development and integrated practice
In order to deliver progress on these key priorities, there needs to be in place a number of enablers. Essentially this is about how all agencies at all levels work together and about embedding systems and processes that make possible integrated working such as sharing information and data analysis.
In particular the Children and Young People's Partnership is responsible for the implementation of the Children's Needs and Response Framework. This framework is central to how we work together and Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board (RBSCB) will hold the Children and Young People's Partnership to account for ensuring it is understood and embedded by all those working with children and young people in the borough.
The development of commissioning specifications that include clear expectations of outcomes for vulnerable families, a complete needs assessment for specific groups, and the use of this analysis to provide the evidence for targeted provision are also essential aspects of the plan.
Cross cutting themes
The cross cutting themes are fundamental to the plan and its aim to improve outcomes for children and young people. As such these are integral to the action plans for each priority and are monitored and reported on regularly.
- Keeping children safe
- Equality and diversity
- Working with families