Lancashire Children, Young People and Families Partnership
This page explains the arrangements in place in Lancashire for working in partnership across all organisations which have an interest in supporting children young people and families. The page explains some of our history of working together, why partnership is important and our ways of working as well as outlining some of the current priority projects and programmes creating change.
To make change real at a local level, the partnership work will continue to evolve, providing a framework for change and transformation in the culture of organisations. This will make outcomes better for children, young people and families, and bring in fresh and new ideas from outside the area, from national and international examples of practice. This work commenced in early 2022 and will help practitioners in the area of children and families work to understand how they fit within the overall system and to be able to build the voice of children young people and families into the planning for the future.
Our partnership's key shared outcomes are:
Why this is important
To prevent the need for children to become looked after and with compassion, step in when necessary to keep children and young people safe from harm. We must work relentlessly to identify the risks of harm to the welfare of our children and young people and tackle those factors which risk harming their life chances, including domestic violence, mental health issues, substance misuse, youth crime, family and youth homelessness and road casualties. We want strong, resilient families, and helping parents to improve their economic security and to increase their household income must be part of our solution to enhance children’s life chances.
- Reduce number of reported incidents of domestic abuse reported to police in previous 12 months
- Children looked after per 10,000
- Children subject to a Child Protection Plan per 10,000
- Children in Need Plan per 10,000
- Percentage of assessments that result in No Further Action (NFA) after assessment
- Rate (per 100,000) of first-time entrants into the youth justice system (links to Youth Offending Team)
- Number of children and young people missing from home
- Number of children and young people persistently missing from education
- Children killed or seriously injured on the roads
- Increase the number of family support cases which are stepped up to statutory level from Early Help
- Increase number of children whose identified needs were met successfully after receiving Early Help support
- Reduce percentage of cases where withdrawal of consent/engagement by family occurred after work was commenced
- Reduce rates of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children (aged 0-4)
- Reduce rates of hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children (aged 0-14)
- Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in young people (aged 15-24)
Why this is important
We need to support children, young people and their parents to make healthy lifestyle choices and to build strong families, friendships and healthy relationships. Promoting exercise and activity and creating an environment which makes it easier for children and young people and their families to be active regularly is central to better health. We want to make it easier for lifestyles which support good health to be achievable for everyone. Supporting the emotional and mental wellbeing of children and young people is key.
- Reduce the rate of infant mortality
- Reduce smoking status at time of delivery
- Reduce the under-18 conception rate per 1000 girls (aged 15-17)
- Reduce the incidence of low birth weight in babies born at term (>= 37 weeks gestation)
- To increase the number of babies who receive a first breastfeed
- To increase the number of babies breastfed at 6-6 weeks (breastfeeding fully or partially)
- Reduce the prevalence of children who are obese or overweight in reception at age 4-5 years
- Reduce the prevalence of children who are obese or overweight in Year 6 aged 10-11 years
- Reduce the number of children with decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth at age 5, figures improve and at faster rate in deprived areas
- Reduction in self-harm admissions (10-14yrs)
- Reduction in self-harm admissions (15-19yrs)
- Hospital admissions for mental health conditions in 0–17-year-olds
- Reduce rates of unintentional and deliberate injuries in children (aged 0-4)
- Reduce rates of unintentional and deliberate injuries in children (aged 0-14)
- Reduce rates of unintentional and deliberate injuries in young people (aged 15-24)
- Reduce the rate of under-18 hospital admissions (alcohol)
- Hospital admissions as a result of self-harm (10-24 year olds)
- Percentage of school children who are identified as having social, emotional and mental health needs
Why this is important
We must provide children and young people with a good quality education and learning opportunity which matches their talents, ambitions and aims and enables a positive transition to adulthood. Improving education outcomes is essential so that they do well at all levels of learning, have the skills for life for them to be successful in the future to get the training and/or job that they want. We must prepare our young people for life and work and ensure that they have the resilience to face the inevitable challenges in their journey. We must equip our young people to learn and adapt as the world of work continues to change so that they have the right skills at the right time to help Lancashire’s economy thrive.
- Ensure children have improved language and development at age 2.5 years within the home so children are school ready
- Increase percentage of 2-year-old children benefitting from free funded education
- Increase percentage of 3- and 4-year-old children benefitting from free funded education
- Increase number of children achieving a good level of development at Foundation Stage
- Increase percentage of pupils achieving expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
- Increase percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals achieving expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
- School absence – reduce the percentages of unauthorised sessions missed (all schools)
- Reduce the total of permanent exclusions from school as a percentage of the school population
- Reduce the total percentage of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), broken down by the percentage with Special Educational Needs support compared with an Education and Health Care Plan
- Increase Key Stage 2 Attainment of children with SEN support (Achieving standard+ in Reading, Writing and Mathematics (RWM)
- Increase Key Stage 2 Attainment of children with an EHCP (Achieving standard+ in RWM)
- Increase Progress 8 score – children with SEN support
- Increase Progress 8 score – children with an EHCP
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 2 qualification by age 19 – young people with SEN support
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 2 qualification by age 19 – young people with an EHCP
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 3 qualification by age 19 – young people with SEN support
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 3 qualification by age 19 – young people with an EHCP
- Increase Average Attainment 8 score per pupil
- Increase Average Attainment 8 score per pupils eligible for free school meals
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 2 qualification by age 19
- Increase percentage achieving a Level 3 qualification by age 19
- Increase percentage of children entitled to Free School Meals (primary)
- Increase percentage of children entitled to Free School Meals (secondary)
- Reduce percentage of children in low-income families
- Reduce number of 16–18-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET)
- Increase the number attending university and narrowing the gap for vulnerable groups
- Children and young people go on to high quality employment – increased high level job figures
- Ensure early years provision of high-quality education through the proportion of early years settings achieving good or better outcomes in their Ofsted inspections increases to at least meet the national averages, particularly in deprived areas
- Increase the number of children, young people and parents engaging with early help group-based learning and support
- Increase the number and percentage of families attached to the Supporting Families programme (TFP) evidenced as making 'significant and sustained progress'
Why this is important
We support children and young people to influence decision making and bring about positive change for themselves and others. The voice of the child is important to Lancashire because it is vital to hear a child's opinion about their case when a decision is made that could ultimately affect them for the rest of their lives.
- Annual audit of 100 case files to establish the extent to which the voice of children and young people are heard in their own case planning
- Report to Children and Families Partnership identifying where the voice of children and young people has influenced strategic or operational practice
- Children, young people and their families report feeling resilient and supported to tackle issues and problems as soon as they arise
Why this is important
To improve the environment in which children and young people live, learn and work. Lancashire is a place where people are valued and will feel able to have their say. It will be a county where housing meets the needs of all ages, where people are safe and feel safe, surrounded by clean, green spaces where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life and be happy.
- Increase the percentage of people who agree that their local area is the place where people live together harmoniously
- Percentage of care leavers in suitable accommodation
Our partnership priorities
Our partnership priorities must reflect our overall vision. Our long-standing priorities are:
- To improve the environment in which children and young people live, learn and work.
- To support children, young people and their parents to make healthy lifestyle choices and to build strong families, friendships and healthy relationships.
- To provide children and young people with a good quality education and learning opportunity, which matches their talents, ambitions and aims and enables a positive transition to adulthood.
- To prevent the need for children to become looked after, and with compassion, step in when necessary to keep children and young people safe from harm.
- To support children and young people to influence decision-making and bring about positive change for themselves and others.
Our partnership ways of working
- We will focus on the children, young people and families who need our
- We will focus on strategic priorities which raise aspirations and enable people to work locally to build on the strengths of people and their communities.
- We will build on what works
- We will collaborate and share information, exploiting digital solutions where appropriate.
- We will provide critical challenge to improve practice and outcomes.
Measures of impact against our greatest challenges.
- Improve the healthy life expectancy for children and young
- Increase the number of children who achieve a good level of development at the end of the reception
- Increase the number of 16-17 year olds in education, employment or
- Show clear evidence of improved outcomes as a result of family
- Ensure the right number of children are in the care of the Council.
The key themes from our shared outcomes framework are:
- Vulnerability supported by trauma-based work*
- Children missing education
- Engagement with families
- Oral health
- Mental health
- School readiness
- Those not in education, employment or training (NEET) and skills development (particularly children looked after)
*Vulnerability themes include:
- Living in poverty
- Hunger/ free school meals
- Domestic abuse
- Abandonment and bereavement
Download our Plan on a Page (PDF 379KB) for a printable summary of our annual priorities and our:
- ways of working
- measures of impact against our greatest challenges
Who we are
Our collaborative governance
The Lancashire Family Safeguarding Operational Group meeting is a monthly multi agency operational meeting. The meeting is chaired by Barbara Bath, Interim Director of Children's Social Care. The purpose of the group is to review the project plan to ensure the implementation of the family safeguarding model is timely and effective. The group is an opportunity to celebrate success and identify challenges. The group reports on a quarterly basis to the Keeping Children Safe Board.
The Keeping Children Safe Sub-group meets 6 weekly and is chaired by the Director of Children's Social Care. It is a multi-agency meeting that oversees the keeping children safe plan and supports the success and challenges of the plan. This is also the multi-agency Ofsted preparation group. The group reports directly to the partnership.
This is a statutory partnership outlined within Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. It is a multi-agency tri partite covering Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire. An Independent Scrutineer, Stephen Ashley, was appointed by the Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council and is a direct report to the Chief Executive. The CSAP has several subgroups that report into the CSAP Executive Board. The Executive is representative of the three Local Authorities and the statutory partners.
The SEND Partnership Board involves representation from all the accountable stakeholders with a responsibility to improve outcomes for children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities in Lancashire. The objective of this board is to deliver and implement the Lancashire SEND Plan. This board is chaired by Dr Julie Higgins, Joint Chief Officer for NHS Blackburn with Darwen and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
his group drives the implementation of the Alternative Provision Strategy agreed by Cabinet in 2020. The strategy delivers the statutory duty to provide alternative provision under s.19 of the Education Act 1996. Membership includes all the alternative providers in Lancashire as well as representatives from the Inclusion Service, Children's Social Care and the Violence Reduction Unit, this group is chaired by the Interim Director of Education and Skills, Julie Bell and is a task and finish group.
Provides strategic direction to Lancashire County Council's ambitions for children and young people to fulfil their potential in their educational journey, from Early Years Foundation Stage, Primary, Secondary, post 16 and to 25 years for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This is chaired by the Executive Director of Education and Children's Services, Edwina Grant OBE and meets termly.
Team Around the School and Settings Partnership Group is a monthly operational meeting including representatives from: Clinical Commissioning Group, Inclusion service, Children and Family Wellbeing service, school nursing and health visiting, public health, school improvement, and children's social care. The objective of this meeting is to address issues that impact on the education of our children and young people. This is chaired by the Director of Policy, Commissioning and Children's Health, Dave Carr.
This is a new element of governance for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) with responsibility for improving the lives of children, young people and families across the ICS. This will partly be accomplished by implementing the National CYP Transformation Programme, which aims to deliver the commitments in relation to Children and Young people (CYP) as set out in the NHS England Long Term Plan (2019) as well as other partnership plans including the Mental Health Programme, Transforming Care and recommendations of external inspections. In addition, the board will oversee specific projects relating to locally identified needs and the recovery phase following the COVID pandemic such as elective surgery. The meeting is chaired by Dr Lindsay Dickinson, Chair and Clinical Leader of the Greater Preston, Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group and meets monthly.
The Lancashire and South Cumbria Children and Maternity Commissioners' Network is part of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) structure. It has a role to provide a forum to facilitate collaborative commissioning across the area and sharing of best practice, bringing together commissioners from the Clinical Commissioning Groups and four upper tier local authorities. The Network is chaired by Hilary Fordham, Chief Operating Officer from Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group and meets monthly.
Setting the foundations for health and wellbeing during pregnancy and in the early years is crucial to ensure we give every child the very best start in life including school readiness and a smooth transition into adulthood. This group will consider Public Health transformation and integration of children's services to address priority health areas including an evidence and outcomes-based approach to targeting and prioritising areas of greatest need and inequality. The Best Start in Life Group meets 6 weekly and is chaired by the Director of Public Health and reports to the partnership and various other Strategic Boards. The aim is to provide strategic direction and leadership to reduce inequalities in health and support babies, children, young people and their families to stay healthy and improve health and wellbeing using a system approach. This supports the objectives in the Early Years Strategy and Infant Mortality Action plan as well as reform and recovery following the pandemic.
The Lancashire Children, Young People and Families Partnership is made up of key organisations whose shared priorities are the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Lancashire. Our members keep us on track and accountable for the outcomes from the Children's Services plan to ensure we are meeting their needs and that children, young people and their families are safe, healthy and achieve their full potential.
The story so far
In August 2018, the results of our Ofsted inspection in June 2018 were published – the outcome was that 'Children’s services in Lancashire require improvement to be good'. Our partners recognised the shared responsibility of the whole system in supporting children to remain safe. The 'Getting to Good' plan was implemented and overseen by the partnership. This work is still ongoing via the Keeping Children Safe group in order to move services in Lancashire to an Ofsted rating of 'Good'.
Recognising the importance of families in children and young people's lives, the partnership organisations submitted a bid to the Department for Education (DfE) to develop family safeguarding as a set of social work and multi-agency approaches to supporting families. This has since created a step change in our work with families and means that children and young people grow up in their own families wherever it is safe for them to do so.
To ensure we learn from how we have worked during the pandemic, the partnership commissioned the Local Government Association (LGA) to review its ways of working. We recognised that as well as having an overarching vision, we needed to make this living and real for local communities and those working and living in our neighbourhoods. This forms the basis of our new work together in 2022-25, which will build a common language across the partnership and understanding of how partners work together to improve outcomes for families. The aim is to improve collaboration, develop an evidence-based approach to our work together and fully engage our children, young people and families in plans for the future.
The Multiagency Early Help strategy led to a revision of the teams and structures within the council to make services more responsive to families and to our partners. This aligned to the changes in Family Safeguarding and created greater joint working with schools and communities.
Following the development of the multi-agency early help strategy, partners reviewed how evidence was used to measure progress and proposed a set of shared outcomes by which to measure progress. The measures are used at both the Partnership and at Partnership sub groups to identify areas for change and when developing action plans together to address needs.
In June 2021, partners across Lancashire reviewed and revisited the arrangements for working together on safeguarding children matters and have published details of how these arrangements will work in the future.
Changes to the ways of working in the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs will mean improved access to early help and preventative support for children, young people and families in need of help and support. The new arrangements are being embedded during 2021/22 and will ensure that the right services are available at the right time.
To make change real at a local level, the partnership work will continue to evolve, providing a framework for change and transformation in the culture of organisations. This will make outcomes better for children, young people and families, and bring in fresh and new ideas from outside the area, from national and international examples of practice.
This work commenced at the beginning of 2022 and will help practitioners in the area of children and families work to understand how they fit within the overall system and to be able to build the voice of children, young people and families into the planning for the future.
Lancashire has a long history of working in partnership ways to improve outcomes for children and families and in engaging children, young people and families in planning service developments.
The Children, Young People and Families Partnership was formed in 2019 and aims to ensure that children, young people and their families are safe, healthy and achieve their full potential.
It is a multi-agency partnership led by Lancashire County Council. The partnership meets bi-monthly and works together with partners to achieve the five outcomes and priorities set out in our vision.
Our current projects
Early Years Strategy was approved by Cabinet in February 2020 for implementation from April 2020 to March 2023. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the strategy was paused in relation to all internal and external partners meeting the challenge of service delivery during lockdowns and delivery restrictions. Oversight of strategy is provided by the Best Start in Life Group, now meeting at 6 weekly intervals, and driving forward outcomes of the Early Years Strategy. The Education Scrutiny Committee was updated on the position and progress of the strategy in February 2020. Outcomes are to be measured using 63 individual data sets from multi agency stakeholders and partners.
In July 2019, our partners agreed to develop a Violence Reduction Network to reduce serious crime, spread awareness of the impact of adverse childhood experiences and support understanding and trauma-informed practice across the professionals and groups working with children, young people and families. This work continues to positively impact on crime and on the safety of communities and individuals, including those experiencing domestic abuse.
In September 2019, the partnership placed focus on the importance of prevention and early help and undertook work with wider communities and professionals to review the ways of providing early help to families. This led to changes in service delivery in local areas to establish Community Support teams and Intensive Family Support services. There is now ongoing work to implement new Early Help Assessments for families who need early help and to develop capacity in partner organisations to provide help at the earliest stage.
This partnership programme is designed and delivered in partnership with specialist adult workers working in Children's Social Work teams to provide wrap-around support for parents needing help with domestic abuse, substance misuse or mental health related issues. This major change programme is part of a national roll-out of Family Safeguarding which was established and designed in Hertfordshire County Council. The Probation service, recovery agencies CGL and We are With You, alongside Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, work alongside social workers to create a motivational and support approach to work with children in need and children in need of protection.
In March 2021, recognising the importance of information sharing across professional groups as a way of supporting families to get early help and to avoid family life worsening, the partnership bid for involvement in the Family Hubs and Growing up Well (Department for Education) initiative.
Lancashire County Council is one of five local authorities nationally working to find ways to make information sharing better through digital means. This will improve information sharing and create local Family Hubs as centres within local areas designed in partnership to signpost to support and help for families and key places where help can be directly provided for children and young people ages 0-25. To create the conditions for change, three groups are working at Partnership level across Lancashire to deliver change in the outcomes for families.
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Partnership was formed following the Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) joint inspection of SEND services in the local area in November 2017.
In September 2021, the SEND Plan 2021-2025 was approved. It is a co-produced document which includes the five key priorities that are important to children and young people, their families, and the staff who support the SEND journey. The SEND Plan was produced using information and feedback provided by over 160 people through 'Think SEND' events held in April and May 2021 and was consulted on at events, through online surveys and via email.
The plan will be delivered through the Lancashire SEND Partnership. This Partnership brings together all the agencies in Lancashire which provide SEND services for children, young people, their parents and carers. Members of the Lancashire SEND Partnership are part of an equal partnership involving education providers, Lancashire County Council, Health Provider Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), Lancashire Parent Carer Forum, POWAR and Project Search. The Partnership has developed through the creation and promotion of agreed values/principles to ensure everyone is included and all contributions are valued.
Children who become looked after are the responsibility of everyone, but the local authority acts in the role of what we call a 'corporate parent'. Recognising the importance of the places and spaces where children who are looked after live, a new programme of change will review the current children's homes which are provided by the county and will create new homes fit for the 21st century. Recognising the importance of where our children live and the need for a variety of types of provision linked to different needs will be completed in partnership over the next two years, so that multi-agency plans for children can be delivered in the right places and spaces in our local communities.
The Partnership has agreed to establish a new way of working in local communities, and part of this is an approach where local partners can come together to share information, review intelligence about an area and plan for any changes needed, so that families in need do not fall behind or through gaps in services. This new approach is known as the Team around the Schools and Settings (TASS) and will create local plans for change where needs are identified and challenge any structural arrangements which are causing worsening of vulnerability. It will also seek to optimise the opportunities for improvements in the local children's partnership system.
Following work during the pandemic, where the most vulnerable children and families were supported by partner agencies, a new programme will work to ensure that the most vulnerable, including those aged 0 to 5 growing up in vulnerable households and areas, and those whose health may be a cause for concern, will receive special help or support. We will bring together partners to ensure that progress can be made to bridge the gap between those who do well and those who experience more challenging situations, either because of personal complex needs or due to a complexity of structural inequalities which can predetermine health outcomes.
Lancashire Family Hubs will build on our wider, long-term vision, providing a universal family support service where mothers, fathers, children, young people and families can access the early help and support they need to build stronger and more resilient families.