Working with partner organisations across the city we will prioritise:
Make sure that children have a good education.
We’ll check this by measuring the number of children with a good level of development in early years; educational outcomes at age 11, 16 and 19; school attendance; OFSTED ratings of schools and early years providers; the number of young people not in education, employment and training; the number of young people involved in, or at risk of being involved in crime; the number of children and young people volunteering, and children and young people’s own views about their lives. We are also developing the ‘curriculum for life’, to give young people more valuable life skills.
Identify families who may be struggling and support the whole family as soon as possible.
We’ve created teams of professionals who work together to do this as early as they can when problems are spotted, including police and probation services, social workers and health and education workers. They sit together in ‘early help hubs’, and work with families to help them solve issues like involvement in crime or antisocial behaviour, children not attending school regularly, adults out of work, domestic violence or health problems.
Make sure children in foster care, or in children’s homes, have all the help they need from health, education and leisure services.
Senior managers and politicians in Manchester have made a promise to children and young people in their care. This includes involving them in decisions and plans which affect their lives, making sure they feel comfortable and supported to attend meetings and reviews, supporting them to stay healthy and making sure they get good health care when needed, whether it’s physical, mental or sexual health. They’ll have accurate advice and help to get services which can help them. A system of regular reviews, which are monitored to make sure that they happen and are effective, help make sure that young people are getting the help they need, and a number of forums and direct links to their social workers allow them to flag up when they are not.
Encourage and support mums to breastfeed and spread breastfeeding-friendly culture in cafés and other public places.
Only around 1 per cent of mums achieve the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of babies being exclusively breastfed until they are 6 months old. Breastfeeding protects babies and mothers against many illnesses, and can reduce obesity later in life, so we must encourage and support women to do it. We’re working with mums to help them breastfeed for longer, and encouraging younger mums to breastfeed (they’re less likely to than mums of 30+) by making sure they have the support and advice they need. We’re also talking to businesses to make the city more breastfeeding-friendly, and to GPs to update them on treatments for common problems which might stop women breastfeeding.
Identify sooner young people who need mental health support.
One in 10 children needs support or treatment for mental health problems, with half of adult mental health problems starting before the age of 14. The vision for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) across Greater Manchester is to offer young people and their families high quality, effective and timely access to joined up services, working in partnership with young people, their families and other agencies to help them maintain social networks, develop healthy relationships and feel positive about their futures.