Labour is deeply committed to tackling disadvantage in all its forms in the city and this was clearly stated as a priority in the Corporate Plan put forward by the Labour Administration in 2019.

Disadvantage generally starts at birth and carries on through life, with one disadvantage leading to another. Labour is committed to breaking this cycle and is aware that disadvantage for a child and their family is made up of many factors such as poor housing, poverty, mental health, or physical disability, SEND, being BAME, drug and alcohol abuse.

The major strategic policy that was agreed by the Children, Young People and Skills Committee at its last committee meeting in June, is based on targeting those families most at risk of being disadvantaged and providing help from day 1 of a child’s life.

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are regarded as especially critical, and this area will receive very strong support. However, early years are just one aspect of the Supporting Families policy, the other areas are health and wellbeing, educational disadvantage, SEND and anti-racist education.

The current Children’s Centre’s (all of the previous Sure Start centres created by Labour), of which there are 7, will be utilised to create the Family Hub structure with 4 main Hubs and children from 1-19 years and their families, will be provided support by these Hubs where a whole series of professionals and experts from many areas such as Health, Education, SEND will be working in partnership to improve the outcomes for these children and their families.

These professionals would be using whole family assessment and outcome measures.
The best news we received regarding this policy was that there had been a successful bid for £980,900, to be used over the period 2022-24. This money means that the policy can be implemented more fully and especially in the area of data transformation, which is key to the success of this policy as it will enable information to flow more freely and be more targeted.

We are proud of the fact that this policy is being implemented in the city as it has deep roots in Labour’s long-term aims of eradicating disadvantage and enabling people to live their best lives.

Cllr Jackie O’Quinn, Labour’s spokesperson for children, young people & skills

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