The Emotional Health of Children is a strategic priority. Delores Macpherson, from Off Centre and Taylan Shabazz, DayMer represented the VCS during the early part of the year. Thelma Matthew, Off Centre has taken over from Delores Macpherson. There is a high level of interest in children’s emotional health. The forum has worked in partnership with public sector teams to support the VCS to make earlier referral to agencies such as First Steps.
The CYPPF has identified there is still a high degree of stigma and concerns about over representation in the mental health system and a need for more talking therapy rather than drug dependency. In addition to underlying fear that once young people enter the system it is hard to be released from it.
The forum recognises a need for workforce development training so that young people’s emotional health needs are addressed earlier, it is important to add here that Emotional Health is also a priority for the safeguarding board.
CYPPF has worked with Youth Participation for Inclusion in Camden, which aims to engage and empower disabled teenagers to shape their own lives and address their social and emotional needs. As a result of our initial work and sessions that enabled disabled teenagers to access Paralympics sports such as Boccia, we learnt that disabled teenagers can play a key role in assessing whether public services meet their needs. Supporting the need for out of hours provision requires dedicated resources. Funders will need to recognise there is a need for a longer recruitment phase and measure change over a long time. It is very important to engage the right stakeholders, such as parents.
The VCS has taken part in a range of consultation events in preparation for the Get Hackney Health Grants programme which aims to increase low income residents awareness of the impact of poverty and obesity. The programme aims to increase cooking skills, access to physical activities and increase knowledge about health and wellbeing. The programme is focused on the early years providers and adopts a whole family approach to educate the community.
The forum members have adjusted from structural changes and the dissolution of the Children's Trust Board. There remains a great concern about the high level of underachievement amongst BAMER groups. Our Education providers have maintained an active participation in the education agenda working with the national supplementary schools resource centre. 5 – 6 Hackney organisations are regularly represented at pan London regional events on education. This has been a challenge in terms of multi agency working some of the previous public and VCS partnerships no longer exist. Over the past year we have developed a strategy for working with schools directly and worked closely with the Hackney Learning Trust parent’s involvement officer to ensure VCS education providers to understand the national curriculum.
- David Blagborough from Inspire EBP has been actively involved in the Youth Participation for Inclusion which focus on statutory changes in compulsory school leaving age now up to 19 years.
- In October 2013 over 70 participants attended the parents influencing children's education conference which engaged parents, mentors and VCS organisation. The session was led by CYPPF education providers, Hackney Unites, CEN and funded families’ first programme. Key areas
- Supporting parents to raise their children's aspiration
- Increasing parents understanding of school governance
- Reducing over representation of exclusion in Black communities
- Increasing access to programmes that support parents earlier.