Agenda item - Early help review and development of a city-wide strategy to support children, young people, and families at risk of disadvantage

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Agenda item

Early help review and development of a city-wide strategy to support children, young people, and families at risk of disadvantage

Report of the Executive Director Families, Children and Learning (copy attached)

Minutes:

11.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director of Families, Children and Learning which outlined the plans in place to develop a strategy to support children, young people and families at risk of disadvantage.

 

11.2    It was recognised that there were multiple factors creating and compounding issues of disadvantage for children, young people and families across the city, these often resulted in poorer educational, health and skills outcomes. Additionally, there were some of the city where levels of deprivation were significantly higher than others. The longer term impact of Covid for these families and communities was likely to be significant, particularly in relation to factors known to increase disadvantage, such as poverty, living conditions, unemployment, relationships, mental health and wellbeing.

 

11.3    Locally the council planned to lead multi a-agency review of early help with the aim of improving the coordination of services to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged families. This would include transforming the way data was shared across different services and organisations.

 

11.4    In answer to questions it was explained that the funding provided was not top-up funding and the sum of £25,000 referred to was as set out in the agreed budget. Councillor O’Quinn asked whether the company contracted was known to the Council. The Executive Director, Deb Austin confirmed that they had been used for the Adult Learning Disability Review. It was also confirmed that applications fir national funding had been made, a response regarding whether that had been successful.

 

11.5    Councillor Brown stated that she was very pleased that the Government were supporting this initiative and sought further clarification regarding how the available funds would be allocated in order to avoid unnecessary duplication and overlap. It was explained that co-production lay at the heart of this including active engagement with families and stakeholders as was digital transformation which was intended to improve data sharing across organisations. It was recognised that the pandemic had created additional challenges and that families in these vulnerable groups were disproportionately affected.

 

11.6    The Chair, Councillor Clare commended the work carried out to date and the progress which had been made. It was important that an umbrella approach was used to tackle disadvantage and that a process taking on board many views was to be adopted.

 

11.7    RESOLVED - (1) That That the Committee notes the national requirements of the Supporting Families Programme;

 

   (2) That the Committee notes the proposal for a multi-agency programme to review and develop early help services to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged families. This will include reviewing children’s centres and considering the option of children’s centres delivering services for a wider range of children and families including developing a Family Hub model of support. Consultants will be used to support the review;

 

   (3) That the Committee notes plans to develop a strategy to support children, young people, and families at risk of disadvantage; and

 

   (4) That the Committee agrees to create a new task and finish cross-party Member working group to support and inform the Early Help review and strategy development.

Supporting documents:

 


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