Children and young people have helped shaped a new plan which sets out a vision to make Knowsley a place where all children have the best start in life, where every family thrives and where all young people aim high and achieve their potential.
A series of virtual conversations and workshops took place with children and young people to ensure they were at the heart of developing the Knowsley Children and Families Plan 2021-2024. Their views and ideas are central to the plan and its priorities.
The impact of the pandemic and the successive national lockdowns have heightened some of the pre-existing concerns and challenges faced by children, young people, and their families in Knowsley.
The plan has been developed with this increased challenge firmly in mind and sets out three priority areas to bring about improvements for children and their families in relation to:
- Prevention – to give children the best start in life;
- Education – to improve life chances; and,
- Family – supporting families to thrive.
The prevention priority is focused on equipping families with the resources and skills which they need to thrive through the provision of effective universal services.
Where challenges do occur, evidence demonstrates that timely interventions can stop problems from reaching crisis point and therefore the plan places early intervention and prevention at the heart of how services work with Knowsley’s children, young people, and their families. Prevention is therefore not just an individual priority but is a central focus throughout the plan.
Priority two, education, is about ensuring that the education provided in Knowsley will equip children with the cognitive, emotional, and social skills to improve their later life outcomes.
As young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have lower levels of academic achievement and face additional barriers to learning the focus will be on raising aspirations. Improving the quality of the local education and training offer is another way the plan will help mitigate against disadvantage to ensure that Knowsley children can reach their full potential.
The final priority, supporting families to thrive, recognises that children can flourish when their families are able to provide home environments which are positive, nurturing, and safe.
Whilst most families in Knowsley are able to thrive through the provision of strong universal services, some families have more complex needs which require services to work in partnership to address challenges.
The aim is to improve multi-agency working and increasing communication between professionals so that families experience a seamless journey when moving between different areas of support.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“Our children and young people have had a lot to deal with over the course of the pandemic but we must not let this set them back in the future.
“I am confident that with all of us working together; council services, local partners and the wider community along with children, young people and their families – we can deliver the ambitions for our children and young people set out in the plan.”
The Knowsley Children and Families Plan 2021-2024, which builds on and replaces the Children and Young People’s Plan 2017-2020, was formally approved at full meeting of Knowsley Council on Wednesday 21 July.