Children and Young People’s Plan 2020-2024

Contents

1. West Cheshire Children and Young People’s Plan on a Page

2. Foreword

3. About the Plan – Vision, Ownership and New Ways of Working

4. COVID-19: Response to date and priorities for recovery

5. Strategic Outcomes for 2020-2024 How we will deliver the Plan

6. How we will deliver the Plan 

7. How we will take forward/ How we will involve children and young people?

8. Annex A – Summary of makeup of Cheshire West and Chester

9. Annex B – What Our Children and Young People Say is important to them

10. Annex C – Governance structure of the Trust

 

1. West Cheshire Children and Young People’s Plan on a Page

Vision
In West Cheshire we will work together to support families to keep children and young people happy, healthy and safe.

 

Strategic Outcomes
Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Ensure emotional health and wellbeing support is available and easily accessible
Ensure the Local Transformation Plan (LTP) is delivered
Improve Children and Young People’s Mental Health
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion
Further improve the quality of provision for children and young people with SEND
Transitions are managed well
All children and young people are included regardless of their need, background or vulnerability
Early Years and School Readiness
Help parents prepare their children by being their child’s first educator
Ensure ‘School Readiness’
The gap for educational achievement is closed
Provide sufficient affordable, flexible high-quality childcare places
Improve health in the Early Years
Early Help and Prevention
Intervening in a joined-up way to prevent problems escalating with children, young people and their families
Embed Team Around the Family approach
Support families to achieve their full potential and thereby mitigate the impact of poverty and health inequalities
Children in Care and Care Leavers
Families supported to avoid children going into care
All Children in Care have access to health interventions
Emotional health and wellbeing needs are met
Achieve potential
Successful Transition to Adulthood

 

Enablers
West Cheshire Children’s Trust – dynamic partnership working
New Ways of Working
A confident and Skilled Workforce
Commissioning, Monitoring and Reporting

 

2. Foreword

As Chair of the West Cheshire Children’s Trust I am delighted to present the Children and Young People’s Plan for Cheshire West 2020-2024. Using information from our current Children and Young People’s Plan, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and what our children and young people have said, the Plan represents our vision for the next four years, highlighting areas where we can do more together to benefit the children, young people and their families of Cheshire West. We want to focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families locally. The Plan will guide our decisions, resources and actions for the next four years.

Councillor Robert Cernik, Executive and Cabinet Member for Children and Families

3. About the Plan – Vision, Ownership and New Ways of Working

Vision

Our Vision is that – In West Cheshire we will work together to support families to keep children and young people happy, healthy and safe.

Ownership

This Plan has been produced by West Cheshire Children’s Trust.

The West Cheshire Children and Young People’s Plan is the single overarching strategic plan for all services which directly support children and young people in the Borough. It shows how the local authority and all relevant partners will work collaboratively and in partnership to improve outcomes and the wellbeing of every child, young person and family in Cheshire West and Chester. We have produced a summary of the makeup of Cheshire West and Chester and an analysis of our children and young people which can be found at Annex A.

Our responsibilities include:

  • Developing, publishing and reviewing the Children and Young People’s Plan;
  • Outlining the strategic framework for how partners will co-operate to improve the wellbeing of children and young people in Cheshire West and Chester (West Cheshire Strategic Commissioning Framework);
  • Monitoring the extent to which the partners act collaboratively to deliver the Children and Young People’s Plan;
  • Work with the Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership (SCP) to keep children and young people safe and protected;
  • Work with and report to the Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB) to ensure that priorities in the Cheshire West Place Plan are reflected in the Children and Young People’s Plan and to act as the delivery mechanism for those priorities.

Practice Model

New Ways of Working underpins ALL priorities and is about developing a common and consistent approach to working with families. Think Family underpins the values and principles of New Ways of Working.

The New Ways of Working model. This is made up of three elements; Trauma Informed Practice, Motivational Interviewing and Multi Agency Group Supervisions & Learning Conversations. The model is underpinned by Think Family. 

New Ways of Working

Our local innovation programme New Ways of Working was launched by Children’s Services together with the wider children’s workforce. New Ways of Working is underpinned by the Safeguarding Children Partnership ‘Think Family’ and is built upon a common and consistent approach to practice across the continuum of need. New Ways of Working is being driven forward by the Children’s Trust and is a transformational approach to strengthening culture and practice across the whole workforce for children, families and adults. This is underpinned by the partnership’s core values and principles of:

  • A ‘Whole Service’ approach across the partnership to meeting need;
  • A strong preventative approach at all levels of need;
  • Preventing children and young people becoming vulnerable and needs escalating;
  • Ensuring sustainable solutions within families which improve resilience, emotional health and wellbeing; and
  • Improving overall outcomes for children and families.

4. COVID-19: Response to date and priorities for recovery

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for public services who have had to respond swiftly to changes in government guidance and the nature of this crisis locally as they have evolved during 2020, working closely with key partners and the community at every stage.

It is good practice to consider recovery at the same time as dealing with the immediate response. A principle of ‘building back better’ has been established by the local authority and moving to a ‘new normal’ suited to the needs and aspirations of the future rather than moving back entirely to the situation before the pandemic. This will require clear leadership, difficult decisions, careful planning and effective public and partner engagement.

The Children and Young People Plan 2020-2024 and associated Strategies and Action Plans will have been delayed due to COVID-19 and all Action Plans will be amended accordingly to reflect this.

5. Strategic Outcomes for 2020-2024

The Children and Young People’s Plan is based on evidence from past performance, needs assessments, and shaped through consultations with children, young people and professionals who work with them (Annex B). The Strategic Outcomes and priorities going forward have been agreed with all partners. The Children and Young People’s Plan sets a clear direction for the West Cheshire Children’s Trust for the next four years. The Trust has agreed the following revised strategic outcomes;

Overarching outcome – children and young people’s voices are embedded in all that the Trust does.

Strategic Outcome
1 To promote and improve the emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families. (Emotional Health and Wellbeing).
2 The needs of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability are met and that West Cheshire and Chester is aborough where all children and young people are included regardless of their need, background or vulnerability. (SEND and Inclusion).
3 To promote the development of children in the Early Years to ensure that they are ready for school. (Early Years and School Readiness).
4 Intervening in a joined-up way at the earliest possible stage to prevent problems escalating with children, young people and their families. (Early Help and Prevention).
5 To support our Children in Care and Care Leavers to enable them to achieve their full potential. (Children in Care and Care Leavers).

 

Strategic Outcome 1
Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Lead: Jamaila Tausif (Cheshire CCG – Deputy Director of Strategy and Partnerships)

To promote and improve the emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families.

Why is this a priority?

  • Our older Children in Care Council, Youth Senate and Clever Champions are telling us that increasing local mental and emotional health and wellbeing services for all young people is a priority and that happiness, self-confidence, self-esteem and feeling empowered are important to them.

What we want to achieve

  • Improve children and young people’s mental wellbeing.

What we will do

  • Be responsible for the co-ordinated provision for children’s mental health ensuring that we respond effectively to children and young people who experience poor emotional wellbeing or mental health problems.
  • Ensure the needs of children and young people who have parents with mental health or substance misuse problems are met.
  • Invest in schools to provide earlier mental health and wellbeing support.
  • Train our workforce so Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services can provide the right support at the right time.
  • Ensure that the Children and Younger People’s Local Transformation Plan (LTP) is published and refreshed on an annual basis and priorities delivered. The LTP, is led by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for Cheshire and co-produced with stakeholders, including, Local Authority leads, schools, younger people, third sector agencies and other partners. It details how local services will invest health and social care resources to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people across the whole system.
  • Improve access to evidence-based support for people of all ages across Cheshire, seeking to provide personalised care and supporting people to manage long term conditions within a community setting.
  • Further develop outreach services for children at risk of developing anti-social behaviours during 2020-2021.
  • Increase Personal Health Budgets for children who have been admitted to hospital and need specialist community support.

Strategic Outcome 2
SEND and Inclusion
Lead: David McNaught (LA – Director of Education and Inclusion)

The needs of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) are met and that West Cheshire and Chester is a borough where all children and young people are included regardless of their need, background or vulnerability.

Why is this a priority?

  • Every Cheshire West and Chester child or young person with or without special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) should have their needs met, as far as possible, in their local community, in local early years settings, schools and Further Education Colleges.

What we want to achieve

  • To improve the educational, health and emotional wellbeing outcomes of our children with SEND by further developing a continuum of provision from birth until their education outcomes are met and to integrate services more across health, education and social care and where possible jointly commission services in order to ensure consistency of offer and provision across Cheshire West and Chester.

What we will do

  • Improve the quality of provision for learners with SEND – Quality of Provision.
  • Enable children and young people to access an appropriate and effective full-time curriculum and environment suitable to their needs –
  • Further develop effective transition from one education phase to another – Transition and Preparing for Adulthood.
  • Improve Quality of Education for learners with SEND – Quality of Education

Strategic Outcome 3
Early Years and School Readiness
Lead: David McNaught (LA – Director of Education and Inclusion)

To promote the development of children in the Early Years to ensure that they are ready for school.

Why is this a priority?

  • To address the needs of those children whose lives, opportunities and ambitions are constrained by the continued existence of pockets of significant deprivation that result in a legacy of poverty, poor health, poor attendance at school and unemployment.

What we want to achieve

  • We want to ensure that all children and young people in Cheshire West and Chester have the best start in life. That all children in Cheshire West and Chester are accessing high quality early education and are ready to continue their learning in school. That the gap in educational achievement between disadvantaged children and their peers is closed.

What we will do

  • Support parents to become their child’s first educator by providing them with the strategies and skills to be able to confidently support their child’s development – Parenting
  • Ensure that children access high quality early education and are ready to continue their learning into school – School Readiness.
  • Support parents, carers and early years practitioners to promote early language development and identify and support children with speech, language and communication needs – Early Communication
  • Close the gap in educational achievement between disadvantaged children and their peers – Educational Outcomes.
  • Provide targeted support to vulnerable groups so that they feel supported and are able to fulfil their potential – Vulnerable Groups.
  • Provide sufficient, affordable, flexible high-quality childcare places for families with 2, 3- and 4-year olds who wish to access their free entitlement across the borough – Childcare Sufficiency Assessment.
  • Live Well Cheshire is providing access to information and support across all services – Access to Services.
  • Support babies, children and their families to improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing, through early identification, the promotion of self-care and the provision of proactive and co-ordinated care close to home – Health and Wellbeing.

Strategic Outcome 4
Early Help and Prevention
Lead: Helen Brackenbury (LA – Director of Early Intervention and Commissioning)

Intervening in a joined-up way at the earliest possible stage to prevent problems escalating with children, young people and their families.

Why is this a priority?

  • To improve the life chances of children, young people and their families with a range of needs that are impacting on them. This includes people affected by domestic abuse and those with abusing behaviours.

What we want to achieve

  • To identify, understand and respond quickly to the needs of children, young people and their families.

What we will do

  • Identify and respond to the needs of children, young people and their families across the continuum of need at the earliest opportunity.
  • Ensure that there is a range of parenting opportunities for families to access support across the continuum of need in line with the Parenting Strategy.
  • Strengthen community involvement in enabling children and families the best start in life and happy and healthy futures.
  • Support the refocusing of resources from crisis intervention to prevention.
  • Support families to achieve their full potential and thereby mitigate the impact of issues such as child poverty and health inequalities.
  • Facilitate multi-agency partnership working to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.
  • Consistently apply assessment processes across all early help agencies working in the borough.
  • Work with commissioner and provider partners across Cheshire West to develop supportive preventative measures to reduce the number of admissions in under 5s for unintentional and deliberate injury.

Strategic Outcome 5
Children in Care and Care Leavers
Lead: Emma Taylor (LA – Director of Children’s Services)

To support our Children in Care and Care Leavers to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Why is this a priority?

  • Professionals, partners and Elected Members in Cheshire West and Chester are ambitious in championing the highest aspirations for children in care.

What we want to achieve

  • Improve the life chances of children in our care by closing the gap between them and their peers in every aspect of their lives.

What we will do

  • Be a good corporate parent and ensure we deliver the outcomes that every good parent would want for their own children.
  • Make sure that children have a positive experience whilst being in care, by affording them good quality care and support, a stable placement that meets their needs, a positive relationship with their Social Worker and access to advocacy services when needed.
  • Promote the health and wellbeing of all our children, young people and care leavers and strive to ensure that they leave care in better health than when they entered care.
  • Ensure that our young people are prepared for a successful future life and work.
  • Support Care Leavers to progress into adulthood in a planned way, with suitable accommodation to live in, having the skills to look after themselves and being able to earn a living or continue in education.
  • All children in care to have their health needs assessed, identified and met.

6. How we will deliver the Plan

Structure

The West Cheshire Children’s Trust structure comprises of the following:

Children’s Trust Executive – The Executive is the decision-making body of the Trust. The Trust is responsible for managing the business processes of the Children’s Trust and delivery of services in line with the agreed priorities.

Children’s Trust Strategic Sub Groups – The sub-groups of the Children’s Trust are accountable to the Children’s Trust Executive. They are responsible for the development of integrated operational delivery, ensuring that services are delivered in line with the priorities and local needs identified within the Children and Young People’s Plan.

Commissioning

Cheshire West and Chester Children’s Trust is a strategic commissioning partnership. On an annual basis the Executive will review the commissioning priorities for the Trust. There is a Joint Commissioning Framework for the Trust.

Governance

The sub groups have detailed Strategies and Action Plans which are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The Executive will receive progress reports at mid-year and year-end. Regular reports are presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board on progress and developments. The Governance structure for West Cheshire Children’s Trust can be found at Annex C.

7. How we will take forward/ How we will involve children and young people?

Cheshire West and Chester Council and partners recognise the importance of co-production and the difference it can make when identifying, understanding and developing how to meet the needs of children and young people and their families and carers. It changes people from being “voices” to partners by involving them directly in the design and delivery of services, recognising that everyone has their own skills and knowledge to offer.

There are different levels of working together (sometimes called participation). If the different levels of working together were put on a ladder, then ‘co-production’ would be the top rung of the ladder. The lowest rung of the ladder would be ’coercion’. It is rare that ‘coercion’ would ever be an appropriate level. The level of working together can be evaluated or measured. Co-production means working with people who use services and their carers as equal partners in the design and development of policy and practice including the commissioning, delivery and review of services in Cheshire West and Chester.

Ladder of Participation

  1. Co-Production – Co-production is an equal relationship between all people involved.
  2. Co Design – People who use services are involved in making decisions only.
  3. Engagement – People who use services give their views and may be able to influence some decisions.
  4. Consultation – People may give their views but may have no power to change.
  5. Informing – Inform people about the services they use and explain how they work.
  6. Educating – The people who use services are helped to understand the service design / delivery.
  7. Coercion – Peoples views are not considered important and are not taken into account.

 

8. Annex A – Summary of makeup of Cheshire West and Chester

Population

Cheshire West and Chester Population (2011 Census). Of the 340,500 people living in Cheshire West and Chester, 61% are aged 16 to 64, 21% are aged 65+ and 18% are aged 0 to 15. And according to the 2011 census, 5% are Black and Minority Ethnic residents. 

Analysis of our Children and Young People

  • Approximately 13 per cent of under 16s live-in low-income families. This is lower than the England average, but in some areas of West Cheshire child poverty is at least 35 per cent.
  • Whilst education outcomes are good for many children, we believe there is room for improvement at primary school level. There is also a gap in attainment between ‘all pupils’ and those who are disadvantaged. In West Cheshire this gap is greater than the national average and it is not being closed quickly enough.
  • There is an increase in children and young people with complex needs, especially where domestic abuse, exploitation and family emotional health and wellbeing are contributory factors.
  • West Cheshire has more children in care than the national average and the cost of specialist placements is escalating.
  • The emotional health and wellbeing of our young people is an area of focus and we have higher rates of self-harm and hospital admissions for mental health conditions than the national average, along with high numbers of unintentional injuries.
  • Demand for services that support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is growing. We have more children in specialist provision and funding is not keeping up with this growth which reflects the national picture.
  • We need to improve transitions between educational settings and from childhood to adulthood, making sure our young people have the skills and qualifications they need. The Social Mobility Commission has found that West Cheshire is amongst the worst 10 per cent of all local authority areas for ‘youth social mobility’ as measured by disadvantaged young people achieving good qualifications and progressing to university.

Data Source: New Council Plan – Play Your Part to Thrive – Support children and young people to make the best start in life and achieve their full potential. 

Schools in Cheshire West and Chester

Type Nursery Primary Secondary Special Total
Community 1 60 1 8 70
C of E Voluntary Controlled 20 20
C of E Voluntary Aided 15 1 16
Catholic Voluntary Aided 11 2 13
Academy 22 10 2 34
PRU’s 2 2
Foundation 5 5
Studio 1 1
Free School 2 2
Totals 1 130 22 10 163

 

9. Annex B – What Our Children and Young People Say is important to them.

Older Children in Care Council top priorities (CW&C ‘Play Your Part’ session):

  • Improving housing options for Care Leavers.
  • Reducing transport costs for young people over 16 years.
  • Increasing local mental and emotional health and wellbeing services for all young people.
  • Enhancing the current youth service offer with more choice for young people.

Youth Parliament – ‘Make Your Mark’ – Autumn 2019 (11-19-year olds).

Top 3 national issues:

  • Protect the Environment.
  • Votes at 16.
  • Tackle Hate Crime.

Local Issues:

  • End Knife Crime – Knife crime and tackling the perceptions of knife crime.
  • Mental Health.
  • Curriculum for Life to increase opportunities.
  • Tackle drug and alcohol problems.
  • Anti-social behaviour and street safety.
  • More activities in their communities and youth service input.
  • Transport – safer cycling, better options for school transport, access to bus services in some locations.
  • Need improved mental health services – waiting times, accessibility of treatment.
  • Climate Change.
  • Affordability of Housing – concerns won’t be able to afford to live in Cheshire in the future.

Feedback from Clever Champions Group.

The Clever Champions is a group of young people from special schools and a resource provision who meet regularly to give their views on various topics.

  • Children & Young People want to feel listened to, they want to feel that their opinion matters and just as importantly they want to know what happens when they have voiced their opinion – what changes has it influenced?
  • Transition to High School and Post 16 provision – supported to take the next step and attend a school or provision they will be happy at.
  • Shorts Breaks – they want to be involved in the design of provision, so it is more targeted to type of need and age range.
  • Happiness, self-confidence, self-esteem and feeling empowered.

Young People’s views on accessing mental health support in schools and more broadly.

  • Universal Early Help and Prevention services that address non-mental illness related concerns e.g. anxiety, curriculum pressure, bullying, relationships.
  • Want more emotional health and wellbeing support in educational settings e.g. drop-in sessions especially at exam time.
  • Easier access to Emotional and Mental Health and Wellbeing services (geographical location).
  • Strategies that bring communities together to support emotional health and wellbeing e.g. more youth services.
  • Universal Trusted Relationships Services.

10. Annex C – Governance structure of the Trust

The governance structure for West Cheshire Children’s Trust