A new partnership has been formerly established to plan services for children and young people across Northern Ireland.
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) has been set up to improve the wellbeing and the realisation of rights of children and young people across the province.
The new regional group is a cross sectoral, strategic partnership, consisting of the leadership of all key agencies who have responsibility for improving outcomes for all children and young people in Northern Ireland including health, social services, education, policing and housing as well as representatives from the voluntary and community sectors.
Following the recent inaugural meeting of the Partnership, CYPSP Chair John Compton, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board said: “The lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland cannot be wholly improved by any single agency. Working together as a partnership is an important part of modern service delivery. I welcome the level of commitment which has been shown across organisations and agencies in becoming involved in this new Partnership.
“The overall purpose of the CYPSP is to lead integrated planning and commissioning of supports and services aimed at improving outcomes for children and young people across the province. These six high level outcomes were set out in the ten year strategy entitled ‘Our Children and Young People – Our Pledge’, developed by the Northern Ireland Executive.”
The six outcomes are:-
Mr Compton continued: “This new regional approach will build on the previous Children’s Services Planning process which was led through the former area Health and Social Services Boards, prior to the Review of Public Administration changes to health and social care arrangements in Northern Ireland.
“The potential strength of this new partnership is the diversity and strategic focus of its cross sectoral membership. Each member brings a different perspective and represents different sectors and interests which place children and young people at the centre of planning and the delivery of services.
“Most importantly, children, young people, families and communities will be enabled to participate in the planning process. Listening to children and young people is key to understanding what works well for them and will be central to how outcomes are to be improved in the future.”
Pauline Leeson, Director with Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI) added: “The voluntary and community sectors welcome the establishment of this new planning process for children and young people. We believe that it is a golden opportunity to enhance the lives of our children and young people through joint working with statutory bodies and local government by focusing on agreed outcomes.”
Also attending the inaugural meeting of the Partnership Liam Hannaway, Chief Executive Officer with Banbridge District Council commented: “Local government welcome its involvement in the children and young people’s services planning. The proposed introduction of community planning at a local level will provide a vehicle for the realisation of children and young people’s services planning. Local government can ensure that the outcomes of the Partnership can be achieved at ground level.”
Mr Compton concluded: “The intention of this Partnership is to develop fully integrated services, addressing the rights and needs of each and every individual child and young person residing in Northern Ireland.” he said.