Working together to improve children`s lives

We want everyone to work together to improve the lives of children, young people and families in Sandwell.

To make sure that this happens, we have brought people together who have the power to make and influence decisions. They meet as a Children's Strategic Partnership Board. Members of the board are from organisations such as the NHS, the council, the voluntary sector and the police.

People on the board will decide what needs to be done to get the results we want, and what we should tackle first. They will put plans in place to make sure that there are improvements and that everyone works together. Organisations and services will have to report to the board on the progress they have made. The board will have a complete picture of what's happening in Sandwell, and what needs to be done to make a difference.

There has already been a lot of research in Sandwell and nationally, which shows where improvements need to be made. As a result of what they already know, the board has decided to focus on making sure that:

  • no children in Sandwell live in poverty (tackling child poverty)
  • all children and young people are healthy and safe (child health outcomes)
  • all children and families get help as early as possible if they have a problem (early help)
  • all children and young people feel safe and are protected from harm (preventative aspects of safeguarding).

What will the board do?

There are a lot of issues for the board to cover. It has set up groups to look in detail at different topics. These are:

  • tackling child poverty
  • making sure all children and young people are healthy and safe
  • making sure all children and young people get help as early as possible.

There are also groups that will look at the following areas, which are important if changes are to be made.

  • Giving people who work with children and families the opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones (workforce development).
  • Families and Communities Together Sandwell (FACTS) - to help families with problems such as finding work, preventing young people becoming involved in crime and increasing school attendance.
  • Improving communication with children, young people and families and making sure that they are fully involved in the decision-making process (communication and engagement).

Listening to children, young people and families

It's important that children, young people and families are able to make their views known and take part in shaping their own future. We are committed to making this happen. The communication and engagement group will explore how we can improve involvement.

A young person's group will be set up to bring issues to the board. It will work closely with the Youth Parliament and other groups that already give a voice to our children and young people.

Why the board has been set up

The board has been set up as a result of a review of how organisations and services work together, take responsibility and make decisions about children and young people. Bringing decision-makers together in this way is the most effective way of making sure that we all have the same goals and work together to achieve them.

Useful links for further information