Council sets out seven-point action plan to improve Children’s Social Care

Children’s Services’ leaders at City of York Council will share a seven point action plan setting out how the council will further improve its services for children and young people later this month (28 June).

The draft action plan has been drawn up following an inspection of the council’s Children’s Social Care services earlier this year [March].

Whilst the inspection recognised a number of areas of strength within the service, including the support provided to children and families throughout the covid pandemic and the council’s commitment to ensure that the needs of children are prioritised, the overall inspection judgement was that York ‘Required improvement to be good’.

Members of the council’s Children, Education and Communities Policy and Scrutiny Committee will get the opportunity to comment on and provide additional recommendations on the draft action plan at their meeting next week. Children and young people from York’s Children in Care Council [Show Me That I Matter] and Care Leavers’ Forum [I Still Matter] will also input into developing the plan, before it is before it is submitted to Ofsted in August.

The plan sets out how improvements will be made in seven areas of Children’s Social Work:

1.The consistency of written records so that they provide an accurate account of decision-making for all children.

2.The quality of assessments to ensure that they consistently inform care planning.

3.The effectiveness of social work supervision in progressing plans for children and addressing practice shortfalls.

4.The analysis of return home interviews.

5.Responses to children aged 16 and 17 who present as homeless.

6.The pace of planning for children in unregistered children’s homes.

7.Children’s influence and attendance at the corporate parenting board.

The majority of recommendations made by Ofsted had already been identified locally and work to address these is already underway.

Cllr Andrew Waller, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

Work to develop areas of the service has been ongoing for some time and the action plan provides us with an opportunity to further refine our commitment to continuous improvement, and to demonstrate the changes that have already been implemented to achieve these goals.

“The pandemic provided unprecedented challenges for children’s social care, to which the service responded, and there were positive steps taken even under those pressures.

 “I want to thank my predecessor in this role for starting that work. As the new Executive member for Children’s Services, I am clear that my focus and drive will be on delivering the required improvements, at pace, and in the interests of families and children in communities across the city.

“This draft Action Plan will help us to continue our ongoing work with partners to further improve our services so, together, we can ensure that every child in York receives a better start in life, and to involve young people and families in the process.”

Adult Learning in York Week gives residents a taste of what’s on offer

The breadth of lifelong learning opportunities available in York will be showcased later this month as part of the city’s second Adult Learning in York Week (27 June – 3 July).

Organised by adult learning providers across the city, the week-long event will include a series of one-off learning events, including sessions on how a steam engine works, an introduction into family history and uncovering the legend of Dick Turpin. The aim is to showcase just some of the activities and courses that run throughout the year in York.

This is the second year the event has been held, building on the success of the inaugural Adult Learning in York Week last September.

For full details of the events on offer during the week, including information on adult learning courses in York, visit www.york.gov.uk/AdultLearningYorkWeek

Improvements to environment for pedestrians and cyclists on Ostman Road

The Council has launched a consultation to ask local residents for their views on the proposed changes to resident, cyclist and pedestrian safety and amenity on Ostman Road.

This is specifically around the vicinity of Carr Infants and Junior Schools on Ostman Road.

Known as ‘People Streets’: Local residents and businesses will soon receive information about the proposed changes and residents from outside the local area can join the conversation via the online consultation form at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/OstmanRoadSurvey

Ostman Road is known to get congested with traffic during peak school drop-off/pick-up times, as many parents drive their children to school and park on the street.

The council is proposing some changes to the area around the main entrances to Carr Infants and Junior Schools, including improving safety and amenity for pedestrians and cyclists, and reducing the impact of traffic and on-street parking. The proposed design options aim to encourage active travel and make the environment more appealing for users.

Proposed work includes:

Finalists announced for 2022 York Sports Awards

After a record entry of nominations, the finalists for the 2022 York Sports Awards, have been announced. Booking to attend the awards has opened too.

The judges met at the LNER York Community Stadium to determine the 46 finalists across the 16 different awards.

The judges included Clint Goodchild, Owner and Chair of York City Knights; Paula Stainton Foundation Manager York City Foundation; Paul Ramskill, Community Sports Development Officer at the City of York Council and Sharon Shortle from BBC Radio York.

The York Sports Awards event is organised by Active York supported by partners, City of York Council, with sponsors York Sport, York City Foundation, GLL, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, University of York, York City Knights and Rugby League World Cup 21.

The York Sports Awards will take place at the Roger Kirk Centre at the University of York on Thursday 30 June. Tickets for the awards event are now available from http://www.yorksportsawards.co.uk

The full list of finalists is:

Young Achievers

Young Female Sportsperson (sponsored by GLL Better)

Hannah Langford

Paris Smith

Freya Vidal

Young Male Sportsperson (sponsored by GLL Better)

Maks Makowski

Tom Moss

Freddie Tomlinson

Young Disability Sportsperson (sponsored by GLL Better)

Matthew Brough

Charlie Dickinson

Senior Achievers

Sportswoman (Sponsored by Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate)

Anna Docherty

Lucy Edmunds

Lorraine Pearey

Sportsman (Sponsored by Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate)

Alex Botterill

Will Jeffrey

Scott Lincoln

Disability Sportsperson (Sponsored by Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate)

Beth Moulam

Harry Patient

Lydia Wrightson

Student Sportsperson (Sponsored by Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate)

Cameron Campbell

Beth Moulam

Will Jeffrey

Special Contribution

Coach

Lindsay Anfield

Erin Dominguez

James Fitton

Volunteer (sponsored by York City Football Club Foundation)

Georgia Briggs

Alan Drewer

Lily Rowntree

Sofia Spongano

Participation Team/Club

City of York Athletics Club

Uni of York Boat Club

York RI Templars

Performance Team/Club

York City FC Ladies

York City Knights Women

Active Primary School (sponsored by York Sport)

Acomb Primary School

Clifton Green Primary School

St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School

Active Secondary School

Manor CE Academy

St Peters School Hockey Team

Wellbeing Engagement Project/Event (sponsored by RLWC21)

City of York Hockey Club – Back to Hockey Project

York Bike Belles – Cycling Without Age Project

York City Football Club Foundation – Lifting Spirits project

Community Champion of the Year

City of York Hockey Club

GoGet York

York Sport at the University of York

Outstanding Contribution (sponsored by City of York Council)

Kirsty Parr

Yvette Shepherd

Andy Snell

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services review.

Children and young people in York with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families, will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the support they receive using a new framework.

Launched jointly this week by City of York Council and the NHS Vale of York CCG, the ‘7 SEND outcomes’ sets out what children, young people, their families, and the organisations they’re working with, want to achieve.

Developed in partnership with local children, young people and their families, the 7 SEND outcomes for York are: 

  1. I am healthy
  2. I have a choice and I am heard
  3. I am safe
  4. I achieve my goals
  5. I am included
  6. I can overcome challenges and difficulties on my own or with support
  7. I am becoming independent

Each outcome will look different for each child depending on the nature of their disability, so a more in-depth list of descriptors is available at Outcomes Framework (yor-ok.org.uk)

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What’s on in York: Nature Story Time

Monday, 6th June 2022

10:00am – 10:30am

Acomb Explore Library, Front Street

Register (click)

Celebrating World Environment Day! We’ll share songs and stories exploring the nature around us and end with a simple craft suitable for little ones. Story time is a fun way to introduce your child to books, stimulates their imagination and is a great way to learn.

The session will take place in the garden (weather permitting) and is suitable for children aged 0-5 years. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.

This session is part of the York Cares Big Community Challenge where businesses and local volunteers are working to create green corridors for wildlife in the area.

Advice from the Police as half term approaches

Make it a trouble-free half-term break for school kids 🏫

Many youngsters will be enjoying a half-term holiday away from school next week – but others will still be in the midst of exam stress.

Either way, we can all take responsibility to ensure that young people are safe and stay out of trouble.

Without a doubt, most young people are well-behaved and act responsibly when they’re away from school. But we’re asking parents and carers to make sure, by knowing know where their children are and what they’re up to next week.

Our Neighbourhood Policing Teams have plans in place to respond to any reports of youth-related anti-social behaviour promptly and proportionately.

PCSOs in a park in Scarborough

Should you need to, you can of course report anti-social behaviour to us. You could call us, or save time and make your report online here: https://orlo.uk/h0wEi

With your support, we can ensure everyone stays safe! 👍

And if you live in York, then make sure you’re signed up to our ‘Be Informed’ service.

If our officers attend any antisocial behaviour incidents in your local area, parents and carers can receive an email and SMS alert to you can contact your children, check their whereabouts, make sure they’re okay and reassure yourself that they’re not involved in the incident.

To sign up, you need to join our North Yorkshire Community Messaging service (search this on our website) and then email: BeInformed@northyorkshire.police.uk with the following info:

➡️ Your full name

➡️ Your mobile number

➡️ The name of the area you live

➡️ The name/s of the area or areas your child frequents

We will let you know by email once we have added you to the scheme 👍

Police announce programme of free online sessions for Safeguarding Week 2022

Partners from Safeguarding Adults Boards, Children’s Safeguarding Partnerships, Community Safety Partnerships across North Yorkshire, the City of York and East Riding have come together and developed an extensive programme of learning events, seminars and interactive sessions which all underpin this year’s Safeguarding Week theme – ‘Safeguarding is everybody’s business’.

Spurred on by the success of last year’s event, the safeguarding partners have worked to extend the range of topics being covered this year. While a number of the sessions are open only to professionals working in the safeguarding sector, the majority of the sessions are also open to the public. The week-long programme of over 50 sessions caters for members of the public who want to learn more about safeguarding.

Covering topics such as support for children and young people impacted by Domestic Abuse, signs of radicalisation, keeping children safe on-line, fraud awareness and protection, the power of the bystander amongst many other safeguarding areas. The sessions have been designed to stimulate discussion, spark innovation and share best practice. Each session will be delivered by inspirational and motivational speakers, all of whom are experts in their field.

The full programme of events is open for viewing and booking, and early registration is recommended to avoid disappointment.

 Book now via EventBrite

All the agencies involved will be sharing information across their social media channels and website in the run up to Safeguarding week and throughout the week. To follow along look for the hashtag #safeguardingweek2022

T/Assistant Chief Constable Lindsey Butterfield, Chair of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership, said:

“It is a real privilege to represent the work of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership as we stride towards Safeguarding Week running from 20 to 24 June.
“Our strength is in our values and objectives delivered collectively by our partnership, who have come together to deliver a real depth and spread of events that span Community Safety, Hate Crime, Prevent and Domestic Abuse.
“We have a number of sessions covering domestic abuse with our focus on the key themes to support professionals and public alike understand the journey the impact of domestic abuse on adult victims and survivors and their children and our approach to challenging and pursuing perpetrators of abuse.
“This is an incredible opportunity for all to gain knowledge, confidence and skills in managing this key area that affects so many within our community. I encourage everyone to have a look at the programme, there really is something there for everyone who has an interest in safeguarding their family, friends and community.”

£950k funding boosts puts new families’ hubs at the heart of services in York

Families in York will be able to access services, support and advice from a wide range of child and health professionals in new Family Hubs in the future thanks to a £950k transformation fund.

City of York Council is one of seven areas in the UK to be awarded the funding to develop a Family Hub model by the Department for Education. The new hubs will deliver support services for the whole family, from conception, through a child’s early years, until they are 19 years of age (or 25 if they have special educational needs and disabilities).

The hubs will enable services such as midwifery, health visitors, mental health support and services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to be provided in one place for the first time.  The aim is to ensure that everyone is able to access the help and support they need at an early stage, tackling any issues before they escalate, reducing disadvantage and achieving better outcomes for all children and young people.

Detailed proposals for the hubs will be developed in conjunction with local children, young people and families, but the council has committed to the Family Hubs being up and running by March 2024, as well as ensuring that they will involve partners from organisations across the city.

The council’s vision for the new Family Hubs is that they will:

  • Be both a physical and virtual ‘single point of access’ offer of help and meaningful support that makes a positive difference in children’s lives.
  • Provide services and support that take the strengths of the city’s services and voluntary sector and pulls them together into seamless support for families; and is governed in a way that sees families and young people continually represented
  • Prioritise the crucial first days of children’s lives – delivering the strategic ambition of York’s Health and Wellbeing Board to reduce inequalities, building strong trusting relationships as a platform from which 0 – 25 support can be built.
  • Provide a citywide focus for services and support around:
    • Early language development / home learning environment
    • Teenagers and adolescence
    • Mental health

Ashley Mason promoted to York Council Executive

Cllr Ashley Mason

Cllr Ashley Mason, the City’s retiring Sherriff, is set to be promoted to a position on the Councils Executive according to papers published by the Council today.

He will take over responsibility for Economy and Strategic planning from Andrew Waller who moves over to take on the Children and Education portfolio. Ian Cuthbertson leaves the Executive.

The appointment of Ashley Mason is likely to be widely welcomed in the City following a successful Civic year.

There may be some surprise that a reorganization of responsibilities has not gone further, with concerns about street level public service standards, such as highways maintenance, as well as growing problems with Council housing management and anti social behaviour in the City,.

Elections for a new Council are due to take place in May 2023.

Moves are afoot to hold a referendum, to coincide with the elections, to decide if the City should adopt a modern committee system of decision making. The Sheffield Council decided to take a similar the step some 12 months ago.