This Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) is the overarching strategy for Hampshire’s Children’s Trust, which represents all those working for, and with, children, young people and their families. It reflects a shared commitment to improving the lives of all children and young people in Hampshire, enabling every child and young person to be talented and successful, making Hampshire an even better place in which to enjoy childhood.
This strategic document cannot, and does not, refer to everything we all do for all children. It sets a framework for what we must do together. The CYPP is relevant to all services, universal, targeted and specialist, but its emphasis must be how we collectively ensure that every child in Hampshire, regardless of their circumstances, has access to the best services and outcomes.
We have work to do. Most of our children and young people achieve good outcomes and go on to lead successful lives as adults, but there are some who do not. In particular, children from poorer backgrounds often do not achieve the success of others. We need to be focused and innovative to make sure that we help – and challenge – them to achieve more.
The Plan is not prescriptive and does not seek to capture every service or initiative. Instead, it provides a strategic framework for local activity, setting out a shared sense of purpose and direction. It is supplemented by a more detailed action plan to guide partners and provide a frame of reference to measure our collective success.
The focus of this Plan is on early help: working together to identify when a child or family need support and helping them to access that support before their difficulties become so great that specialist services are required. This means doing what works best in each community, children’s centre and school, and adopting a whatever it takes attitude. We need to use our collective resource wisely and make a much needed difference to children’s lives.
The Plan also represents Hampshire’s Child Poverty Strategy, recognising the nature of the range of circumstances that can impoverish the lives and outcomes of the county’s children.
To that end, Section 1 of the CYPP sets out some features and circumstances of children and young people which may indicate (not define) vulnerability. Clearly, the more that apply to any individual child, the greater the risk and greater the need for collective action. Therefore, the Plan encompasses childhood poverty in all its forms, not just financial.
What is in the plan?
There are four key components to this Plan:
- Vision and Priorities – sets out the Children’s Trust’s shared vision and priorities. This section also translates the priorities into a summary of activities, describing what this priority means.
- Making it happen – outlines the key ingredients for delivering the Plan, the things that need to be in place for it to be a success eg: integrated working.
- Needs assessment – informs the priorities and ensures that activities are targeted to those groups and areas in greatest need. There are two key needs assessments: the Child Poverty Needs Assessment and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
- Action plan – establishes the overarching activities for delivery of each of the priorities, providing the framework for monitoring success. This is available online at: www.hants.gov.uk/cypp
We have made significant progress against the priorities in the CYPP 2009-12, including:
- strengthening the Children’s Trust arrangements
- developing children’s centres across the county, providing support for the most vulnerable or disadvantaged families, including those in poverty
- reducing obesity among primary school children
- improving levels of health assessments and checks for children in care
- providing parent/carer support programmes that have a strong track record of success
- commissioning a new provider of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), promoting equal access to services across the county
- year on year improvements in key national tests for school pupils
- increasing proportions of good and outstanding schools inspected by Ofsted
- reducing persistent absence among secondary school pupils
- strengthening safeguarding arrangements, with good and outstanding inspection judgements from Ofsted
- reducing rates of first-time young offenders, the use of custodial sentences and re-offending
- delivering the first Children in Care Pledge developing and supporting apprenticeships and internships for disadvantaged or vulnerable young people.