Althea Efunshile describes how the Children’s
Fund is pushing for a cultural shift in the delivery of services to young
people, and how partnerships are
involving young people.
The £380m Children’s Fund is about
developing preventive strategies for children and young people at risk of
Members of partnerships include organisations
and groups, both statutory and voluntary, who are involved in planning or
delivering services to young people.
We want the fund to support a change in
culture, a move towards a coherent approach to prevention work across agencies
to tackle the issue of social exclusion among the 5-13 age group.
In order to do this, the top tier local
authority areas (at county level) will identify a strategic partnership that
can plan and develop preventive services that meet the needs of local young
The fund is being rolled out to all 149 areas
of England with the 89 first and second wave areas now implementing their
Actively involving children and young people is
a core principle of the Children’s Fund and Children and Young People’s Unit.
We are working with all partnerships to make sure they have effective and
accessible ways of listening to and involving children and young people in
their work. Partnerships are developing different ways of involving young
people including setting up children’s steering groups, with young people
taking part in recruitment of the programme manager for instance.
A number of diverse and innovative services are
up and running, including projects to promote school attendance, peer mentoring
schemes and after-school activities.
Althea Efunshile is director of the
government’s Children’s and Young People’s Unit. See website www.cypu.gov.uk
Haringey Children’s Fund is developing a
strategy based around four themes: language and literacy, play and creativity,
self and others and giving children a voice. The scheme has close links with
the local education authority which, as the lead agency, has embraced the need
to work with voluntary and community groups, for instance Haringey Play
Association, the Kurdish Advice Centre and Alhirja Somali Community
Association, in developing and delivering services. The programme is also
working with literacy-based projects for Kurdish and Somali children and their
parents aiming to help attainments at school and improve health. Links between
identified schools and a local community magazine have enabled the development
of a children’s newsletter, where children are central to the production
Contact: Jay Manyande, programme manager
020 8489 3216
Knowsley Children’s Fund Partnership has clear and robust
commissioning processes that support new ideas for services throughout the
process and are seeking out examples of good practice outside the borough.
Services once commissioned are supported
through service network meetings and training needs are catered for and open to
all Sure Start and Connexions staff and volunteers. Enhanced service funding is
available to all Children’s Fund services to allow for development.
Contact: Julia Smith, programme manager 0151
groups pool resources
Norfolk Children’s Fund Programme is developing
partnership working with a cross-county approach to its delivery. One example
of this is a sexual health project linking four schemes. These include North
Lynn Discovery which runs an activity centre for children disaffected with
school. A recording studio has been created to develop the musical skills of
their young people. The centre welcomed several hundred children through its
doors during the half-term week commencing 3 June. A group of the North Lynn
children are offering musical support to the Thetford Sexual Health Project, a
peer-led drama project that will visit primary schools and the younger children
in secondary school. The Norwich-based Magdalene Group is planning to film this
using the facilities of the Diss School Transition Project which is running
filming workshops. The group will use the film within its own programme, which
presents sexual health education workshops to schools. This is an example of partnership working across a
large county where schemes can sometimes end up operating in isolation.
Contact: Nicky Dawson, programme manager, 01603
Redcar and Cleveland Children’s Fund is
encouraging children to access its services using an imaginative approach making
the best use of the sorts of technology children are increasingly familiar
with. They are developing an internet website and confidential and secure
chatrooms to enable children, young people and families to obtain information
on services and highlight issues. The aim is to develop communication
strategies, highlight sources of information and provide opportunities to
facilitate discussion of personal issues and problems in confidence.
Contact: Carole Moffat, programme manager,