Children need more co-ordinated help

The government is to issue a consultation paper on care services
available to children at risk of social exclusion, as part of a
wider programme to tackle deprivation and poverty.

The initiative will further encourage local authorities to develop
overarching preventive strategies for young people that cross all
departments of local government.

The green paper will focus on how best to deliver services that can
improve the life chances of young people. Breaking down divisions
between departments and joined up working between health, social
and education services is key to that.

Althea Efunshile, director of the government’s children and young
people’s unit, told the conference that establishing new ways of
working to also include the police and voluntary sector was the
“minimum” the government expected councils to do when drawing up

“Increasingly local authorities and agencies are looking beyond the
boundaries to services,” Efunshile said. “But there’s a common
obligation on every agency to do better in delivering

She said children’s services needed to “shift forwards” from being
process-driven to focusing on tested, outcome-based evidence.

“We must ensure that young people receive the services they need
and that they won’t fall through gaps in services,” Efunshile said.

The government’s proposed new children’s trusts would be one way to
address this, she added.

Alison King, chairperson of the Local Government Association’s
social care and health executive, said cross-cutting services would
work best where council chief executives took a lead role.

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