An EU INTERREG IVA funded cross border initiative, developed by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) cross border health partnership, is supporting agencies and those working at community level in coming together to plan services in order to make improvements to children’s lives. At a recent cross border workshop, the CAWT ‘Outcomes for Children’ initiative launched two resources to support those planning and providing services at a regional, local and cross border level for children and young people.
Firstly the website www.outcomesforchildren.org has been relaunched with new features to enable both strategic and more localised information to be accessed more easily. The website maps indicators relating to children’s outcomes, and services to support children. It is designed to help those planning services for children and young people across agencies to do so more easily. The second resource is an information management tool aimed at helping people to effectively access and utilise meaningful information for the purposes of planning, implementing and measuring activity.
Launching the new resources John Compton, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board said: “The Health and Social Care Board has recently set up a high level partnership – the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership – which is carrying out integrated planning to improve the lives of children and young people across Northern Ireland. The resources launched today will assist the partnership and all other planning groups to use information to plan services better. This event has brought people together across a range of services to hear about and understand how they can use these new resources so that life chances for children and young people are improved through developing local multi agency solutions to meet specific areas of need.”
Conor McArdle, Coordinator with Sure Start South Armagh commenting on the workshop said: “Outcomes based planning is enabling local statutory, community and voluntary agencies to use information to improve facilities and services for children and young people in the South Armagh area. It makes sense that services are planned at locality level by the people who engage locally with families and understand the needs of the community”
Also speaking at the workshop, Gordon Jeyes, HSE’s National Director for Children and Family Service highlighted the benefits of the new resources to the planning of children’s services. He said: “These add to the range of resources available so that we can continue to take collective action to improve the quality of children’s lives. We can only be effective in our work if we engage whole communities in that process so that our young people can become confident and resilient members of society who have the skills and attitudes to embrace change.” The workshop was chaired by Rose McCaffrey, from the HSE Local Health Office in Cavan/Monaghan. Other contributors at the event included Valerie Maxwell, Information Manager, Social Care and Children, HSCB and Tom Daly, HSE and Director General of CAWT who closed the event.