A new plan which sets out how the most vulnerable children and young people in the county will be given the best start in life was unveiled this week.
The plan, which has been co-produced with children, young people, parents/carers and different agencies who work with children, young people and their families under the banner of the Essex Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (ECYPSP), tackles the most important issues and problems facing children, young people and families in Essex and highlights what is going to be done to resolve them going forward.
Cabinet Member for Adults and Children, Cllr Dick Madden launched the plan on Wednesday 8 June at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.
Cllr Madden said: “This plan outlines the way forward and how we can ensure these young people lead safe, happy, healthy lives with access to good education.
“Since our last plan was produced in 2013 there has been significant progress. The numbers of looked after children in the county have reduced to under 1,000 and more of our schools have been judged good or outstanding by Ofsted.
“In addition our last Social Care Ofsted judgement in 2014 was rated as good. Our Family Solutions teams are supporting some of the most complex families in the county and have worked with over 1,800 families since it was established in October 2013. We are confident that the new plan will build on these successes and go from strength to strength.
“Working with the families and the young people themselves has been crucial in developing this plan enabling us to find out first-hand what matters most to them.”
One of the young people who contributed to the plan is Joel Maxell from Great Leighs Primary School: “It has been really good helping to do the plan as I think it is important for young people to get involved and get a chance to break out of their shell and have a voice. I hope it will make a difference to their future and that makes me very proud.”
Fellow pupil Angel Meydan said: “The wish tree we made was really good for expressing our feelings about how we feel and about things like our family or what we want to be when we are older. Now it’s on the tree others can look and relate. We hope that what we have done will change young people’s lives and will help them live life to the fullest.”
Through working alongside practitioners, partners, carers, parents and the young people, five key points were identified as to what is most important to the children and young people, and what they most need to get the best start in life.
- To have stable, resilient and safe families
- To be emotionally healthy
- To be physically healthy
- To feel involved and connected
- To look forward to bright and positive futures
The plan summarises the ECYPSP’s intentions going forward and looks at ways that the priorities could be addressed.