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Agenda item

Proposal for a new Children and Young People's Strategy for County Durham - Report of Head of Strategy, Transformation and Partnerships


The Panel considered a report and presentation of the Head of Strategy which outlined the vision, aims and objectives of the proposed new Children and Young People’s Strategy (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes).   Members were asked for their views.


Cllr Scott asked how other agencies will be engaged to deliver the strategy and how to ensure buy-in.  The Head of Strategy informed members that there are some areas where partners are obliged by law to work in partnership, and in addition, there are also common partnership inspection regimes, where partner agencies are often subject to the same areas for improvement as the Council. 


The Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Services has regular meetings with representatives from health and the police which contributes to collaborative working, and, an Integrated Steering Group for children has recently been established to strengthen working relationships.


Cllr Grant expressed concern as to how the Council engages with families who have entrenched generational issues e.g. criminality, neglect, abuse and deprivation, and are unlikely to engage willingly with services.  Cllr Grant stressed the importance of having measures in place to provide support for vulnerable young people.  The Head of Strategy explained that support is available to families through programmes such as the Early Help Strategy and the Stronger (Troubled) Families Programme, where work is focused on providing support, as early as possible, to those who have multiple risk factors.


The Head of the Virtual School informed the Panel that herself and the Strategic Manager for Education Support and Development had attended a meeting with NEPACS, which is an organisation that provides support to families of prisoners.  At the meeting it was agreed that three free training sessions will be provided for education staff on how to support young people whose parents are in prison.   In addition to this, whole school training would be available to buy into.


Referring to the objective to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities Cllr McKeon commented on the number of children entering reception with speech, language and communication difficulties.  The Head of Strategy advised that this issue is being addressed in the Early Years Strategy. 


The Senior Partnerships Officer alluded to the county-wide Speech, Language and Communication Needs Strategy (SLCN) which is in development following the success of the County Durham Youth Offending Service’s SLCN Strategy.




That the recommendation in the report be approved.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714