Early children’s trusts are failing to fully involve children, young people and their parents in their development.
The findings of the first phase of the national evaluation of children’s trusts, published this week, reveal a lack of systematic approaches to the participation of children and families and a lack of clarity about the type and extent of user participation required.
“In a few areas they are involved in strategic groups and some have made arrangements to consult users, but many are still devising their participation strategy,” it says. “There is much to be learned about promoting participation from existing programmes such as the Children’s Fund and Sure Start.”
Frontline staff in the 11 areas studied remain concerned about sharing information and about the purpose and workings of common assessment frameworks.
The findings also reveal that the police and the youth justice system are under-represented in children’s trusts’ inter-agency governance arrangements, and that GPs and the private sector do not feature in any of the 11 studied.