Hampshire Children’s Trust, formerly known as the Children and Young People’s Partnership, was developed to meet the requirements of the Children Act 2004 – specifically Section 10, the ‘duty to co-operate’. This established a statutory duty for the following bodies to co-operate to improve the well-being of children and young people in an area:
The Government has recently strengthened Children’s Trusts by extending the duty to co-operate to maintained schools and academies; sixth form and further education colleges; and Jobcentre Plus. These changes form part of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Children Act 2009, which has also placed the Children’s Trust Board on a statutory footing, with responsibility for developing, publishing and monitoring the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP).
The Children’s Trust is responsible for promoting co-operation in order to improve outcomes for all Hampshire’s children and young people, with a focus on addressing inequalities for those facing the greatest risks and barriers and strengthening support for individual children, young people, their families and communities, where needed. Children’s Trust partners should commission or deliver services which are child and family centred. The Trust is not a separate legal entity - each partner retains its own functions and responsibilities.
The role of the Children’s Trust is to undertake the ‘six essential actions’ of a Trust, as established by statutory guidance (Children’s Trusts statutory guidance on co-operation arrangements, including the Children’s Trust Board and the Children and Young People’s Plan, DCSF Consultation Draft 2009). These are as follows:
Developing and promoting a local, outcome led vision, set out in the CYPP, to drive improved outcomes for local children, young people and families.
Achieving this through better integrated services, which narrow gaps in outcomes for disadvantaged groups against a background of improved outcomes for all.
Putting in place robust arrangements for inter-agency governance (through the Children’s Trust Board).
Developing integrated strategies such as: joint planning and commissioning; pooled and aligned budgets; shared data and other information; and workforce development (through the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP).
Supporting these strategies through integrated processes, supported through effective joint working - sustained by shared language and processes.
Developing and promoting integrated front line delivery, organised around the child, young person or family rather than professional or institutional boundaries.
Hampshire Children’s Trust Board membership meets the statutory requirements of the Children Act 2004 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.
The Board includes representatives from:
All members of Hampshire Children’s Trust Board share accountability for the work of the Trust in addition to being accountable to the organisations that they represent. All members have a mandate to speak for their agency, organisation or sector, meaning that they are able to agree the strategic direction of Hampshire Children’s Trust on behalf of their organisation and ensure that agreements are reflected in their organisation’s plans and strategies.
Hampshire Children’s Trust Board is a statutory body, with specific responsibility for the development, monitoring and review of the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP), with the overall aim of improving outcomes for children, young people and their families. Responsibility for implementing the Plan remains with the individual partners of the Trust. The Board will produce an annual report on the extent to which the partners deliver their commitments in the Plan. The report will also include an assessment of the effectiveness of local governance and partnership arrangements for improving outcomes for children and supporting the best possible standards for safeguarding children. The Children’s Trust Board is jointly chaired by the Director of Children’s Services and the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services.
These groups are responsible for managing or promoting improved outcomes in a particular theme, for example the Teenage Pregnancy Partnership and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Commissioning Group. Groups may also be established to support the work of the Children’s Trust, for example information sharing or data quality. Working groups/sub-groups will report directly to the Hampshire Children’s Trust Board against agreed annual reporting timelines.
Local Children’s Partnerships are the ‘delivery arm’ of Hampshire Children’s Trust at a local level. They are responsible for implementing the priorities of Hampshire’s CYPP through the development and implementation of Local Children’s Partnerships delivery plans. This is outlined in further detail under performance management, below. Members of Local Children’s Partnerships retain accountability to their existing governance and management arrangements; coming together to agree common priorities and action to improve outcomes for local children and young people.
The specific responsibilities of Local Children’s Partnerships are:
guiding and supporting integrated working to focus on key performance improvements, across agencies and boundaries;
strengthening local networks to enable effective integrated working across children’s services in an area, thus enhancing its sense of community and ‘place’;
developing a detailed level of intelligence and understanding of outcomes for children and young people within an area in order to promote a focus on the needs of local communities (including the sharing of data to support needs assessment and performance management);
identifying the contribution of local partners to the priorities of the county CYPP through the development of local delivery plans;
strengthening the links between local partners and Hampshire Children’s Trust;
monitoring, managing and reporting performance against the local delivery plan, including providing support and challenge within the partnership and meeting the reporting requirements of the county Children’s Trust;
ensuring the participation of children and young people in service design, delivery and evaluation, in line with Hampshire County Council’s Participation Strategy;
ensuring educational inclusion;
being the local commissioning and delivery capability of the Children’s Trust – pooling budgets and influencing partners in the deployment of resources;
over time, taking direct responsibility for the improvement of agreed and defined outcomes, such as reducing teenage conceptions and the proportion of young people not in employment, education or training;
co-ordinating early intervention and prevention activities.