The Knowsley Children and Families Board (on 26 September 2023) received an update tonight on the progress being made against three key priorities – prevention, education (improving life chances) and supporting families to thrive.
Access to support has been enhanced with the opening of the Family Hub at the Pride Centre in Northwood, Kirkby which opened its doors on Monday 4 September, providing invaluable help and support to children and families. The Family Hub brings families, services and professionals together under one roof providing a range of support targeted at the needs of the local community. The aim is to ensure the right support is available at the right time and prevent issues from escalating. This includes support around parenting, weight management, stop smoking, antenatal classes, breast feeding and mental health.
The Early Years WellComm speech and language screening tool is fully embedded across health and early years education settings and is already being extended to all primary aged children from this month.
The Mental Health Support Team continues to be embedded within some of the borough’s schools, helping to identify issues and support pupils, with positive feedback received from both the schools and families.
Knowsley’s Youth offer continues to develop with Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) delivering a full programme of youth activities. Work to further develop the offer is underway ensuring the offer is aligned to local needs and utilising existing youth activity settings through detached youth work.
Work is also progressing to support children with disabilities to prepare for adulthood. More children aged 14 years and above have a dedicated Adult Social Worker to help them and their family manage the transition from children’s to adult’s services.
Funding has been secured for two Elklan lead practitioners to work the borough’s secondary schools. Elklan are national leaders in training education practitioners, other professionals, and parents to help children and young people develop their life skills.
The local offer for Care Experienced People has been reviewed and will be relaunched shortly. The local offer has been developed by the Council, partners and care experienced people. It identified the issues that are important to young people as they move away from care and move towards independence. This includes access to housing, employment and health services as well as support to manage your money.
In addition, the Council has secured Staying Close Department for Education funding which aims to provide safe and secure homes for young people who are leaving care. It provides an offer of move-on accommodation, alongside a package of practical and emotional support. You can read more about Staying Close here.
Young people are also supported into education, employment and training through the Council’s Knowsley Works team.
Julie Moss, Executive Director for Children’s Services, said “The Board has received a very positive update on the work that the Council and partners are doing to provide the very best support and services to our children and families.
“We are continuing to ensure the support and interventions are aligned to local need and the establishment of our Family Hub has been pivotal to ensure the right support is being provided at the right time by having services working together under one roof.
“We all want the very best children and families in Knowsley and we will continue to do all that we can to support them to achieve and thrive.”