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Thurrock Services for children and young people

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									Services for children and young people
                          in Thurrock
                          Joint Area Review
                           Self-assessment
                              November 2006
Contents

                                                           Contents

  Part A – Background Information ........................................................................ 3

  Part B – Context and Partnership ....................................................................... 4

  Part C – Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement ............................................. 8
    Being Healthy ........................................................................................................................ 8
    Staying Safe ........................................................................................................................ 15
    Enjoying and Achieving ....................................................................................................... 21
    Making a positive contribution ............................................................................................. 28
    Achieving economic well-being ........................................................................................... 33
  Part D – The Management of Services for Children and Young People ........... 37
  Abbreviations.................................................................................................... 41

  Web Links ........................................................................................................ 42




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                                            Page 2 of 44
Part A

Part A – Background Information
 Name of Children’s Services Authority:     Thurrock
                               Address:     Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Thurrock. RM17 6SL

  Name of Children’s Services Contact:      Colin Stewart, Children, Education and Families
                               Address:     Grays RM17 6SL
                             Telephone:     01375 652585
                                  Email:    cstewart@thurrock.gov.uk

       Date self-assessment submitted:      Monday December 4th 2006

Signed/agreed on behalf of the Children’s Services’ Authority
                                  Name:     Julien Kramer
                                Position:   Director, Children, Education and Families
                              Signature:



This self-assessment represents the views and judgements of the Children and Young People’s Strategic
Partnership. The local authority, in consultation with its partners, including the PCT, police, voluntary sector
representatives, and young people themselves, has led the development of this assessment. It draws heavily on our
Children and Young People’s Plan, the needs analysis developed to underpin that plan and subsequent monitoring
and evaluation activities, including the self-assessment for Thurrock Council Children’s Services Annual Performance
Assessment of May 2006.
Signed/agreed on behalf of the Children’s Services’ Authority ’s partners:
                                  Name:     Mike Fall
                                Position:   Chairperson, Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership Board
                              Signature:


                                                                                                 Making a      Achieving
                                                         Being                   Enjoying and
Areas for judgement                                     Healthy
                                                                  Staying Safe
                                                                                  Achieving
                                                                                                 Positive      Economic
                                                                                                Contribution   Well-Being
Contribution of publicly funded services
collectively in maintaining and improving this            3            3              2              2             2
outcome for children and young people

Areas for judgement
The contribution of the local authority’s children’s services in maintaining and improving this outcome
for children and young people
                                                                                                                   2
The contribution of the local authority’s social care services in maintaining and improving this
outcome for children and young people
                                                                                                                   3
The contribution of the local authority’s education services in maintaining and improving this outcome
for children and young people
                                                                                                                   2

Areas for judgement                                Council Services                       Publicly Funded Services
Capacity to improve                                           2                                       2

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                              Page 3 of 44
PART B Context and Partnership Arrangements

                                                            in Thurrock schools. In 2001 the BME
Part B – Context and Partnership                            population of Thurrock was 7.2%, ranging
                                                            between 2.9% in the lowest ward to 20% in
                                                            the highest. (Based on 2001 census) The
                                                            2006 figures show Primary schools with an
1.   The children and young people living in                average of 16% BME and Secondary
     Thurrock today are growing up in a borough             schools with an average of 11% BME. These
     beginning a journey that will see many                 figures vary across this district with the BME
     aspects of the area transformed in their               ranging from 3% to 40% between schools.
     lifetime and beyond. The Thurrock Thames               (Based on Annual School Census Jan 2006)
     Gateway Development Corporation was               Doc 4. Ethnicity in Thurrock
     established in 2004 at the instigation of the
     Council and is the only Development               5.   However, it is also a borough with areas of
     Corporation co-terminus with a local                   significant deprivation. The socio-economic
     authority. Growth targets of 26,000 jobs and           profile of Thurrock presents some significant
     18,500 new homes will be delivered via a               challenges to improving outcomes for
     strategic regeneration programme which                 children, young people and families,
     sees key developments planned in the five              particularly in some wards, which compare
     main urban areas of the borough.                       extremely poorly on the child poverty index
                                                            and on the education index. 1 in 5 children in
Doc 1. TGDC Thurrock Regeneration Plan
Doc 2. TGDC Corporate Plan                                  Thurrock are affected by child poverty (6445
Doc 3. TGDC web link                                        children). In the most effected wards this
                                                            figure rises to 2 in 5 whereas in the least
2.   We are committed to ensuring that all                  affected wards this drops to 3 in 100. (Based
     children and young people in the borough               on the 2004 IMD)
     are enabled to gain full advantage of these       Doc 5. Child Poverty in Thurrock
     changes and in order to ensure this we know
     that services for children, young people and      6.   Ensuring we are able to maximise the
     their families need to be of the highest               benefits of the regeneration agenda and that
     standards.                                             children are educated and developed in such
                                                            a way that they can benefit both from, and
3.   Meeting the current and future needs of                contribute to, those changes demands
     children and families in Thurrock is a core            effective partnership and joint working. In
     aspiration in the strategic plans linked to the        a small, vibrant unitary authority, best
     regeneration agenda, which focuses on                  outcomes are only arrived at by ensuring our
     increasing participation and attainment in             whole is greater than the sum of our parts.
     lifelong learning and skills development,
     providing modern community infrastructure         7.   The Sustainable Community Strategy has
     and service delivery and increasing                    recently     been    very   comprehensively
     opportunities for entertainment, leisure and           refreshed and three themes have emerged
     culture.                                               from ambitious and detailed consultations as
                                                            central to the commitments of local people.
4.   The attraction for families of living in
     Thurrock is already evident. The population                    a place where people thrive,
     of Thurrock is expected to grow by around                      services that make a difference
     16% by 2021 from the 2001 baseline, and                        developments that support our new
     already the proportion of families coming to                    and existing communities
     Thurrock means the population is becoming         Doc 6. Sustainable Community Strategy (A1)
     increasingly younger. 1 in 5 are now under        8.   The Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) and
     the age of 15, 7% are under the age of 5               its constituent partner bodies – the
     and the number of children and young                   Sustainable Communities Board, the Safer
     people here is increasing at a faster rate             Thurrock Partnership, the Community
     than that seen nationally. As well as                  Involvement    Board,     the     Healthier
     population growth, the profile of Thurrock’s           Communities Executive and the Children
     children and young people is changing with a           and Young People’s Strategic Partnership
     growing black and minority ethnic population           (CYPSP), drive the Strategy. In their

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                    Page 4 of 44
PART B Context and Partnership Arrangements

     strategic planning and in their operational         and their impact on the lives of children,
     work these groups have a coherent and               young people and their families, lies with the
     understood relationship.                            Children and Young People’s Strategic
Doc 7. Shaping Thurrock (LSP)                            Partnership Executive. Individual agencies
Doc 8. Sustainable Communities                           and organisations remain responsible for
Doc 9. Safer Thurrock Partnership                        their individual contribution and performance.
Doc 10. Community Involvement Board                      The CYP Board is also the reporting line for
Doc 11. Healthier Communities                            Thurrock’s Local Safeguarding Children
Doc 12. Children and YP Strategic Partnership            Board (LSCB). The LSCB has been
9.   We have already shown that we are                   operational since late 2005 and is driven by
     successful in a number of areas through joint       an ambitious work plan, supported by an
     partnership working, including with partners        enhanced budget. The Board is building on
     outside Thurrock. Indeed, the challenges we         good outcomes initiated by the ACPC which
     face has meant the culture of joint working         moved away some time ago from a narrow
     has been a feature of this borough since the        definition of ‘child protection’ to a broader
     Council’s Unitary Authority status started in       safeguarding agenda.
     1998. Today, the partners who work with         Doc 14. CYPP – Performance Management
     children and young people across the            Doc 15. CYPP - Minutes
     borough continue to grow their existing         Doc 16. LSCB – Structure and TOR
     successful partnerships and to develop new      13. The participation and engagement of young
     and more effective ways of co-operating with        people is a key priority within our partnership
     each other to meet the requirements of the          arrangements. The directly elected, 40-
     Children Act.                                       member strong Youth Cabinet, has been
10. Part of our current local context has been the       established to ensure the voice of young
    substantial changes faced by some of our             people is at the heart of our consultation,
    key partners especially Health and the               decision-making and service design and
    Learning Skills Council, changes which have          delivery. The Youth Cabinet works well. In
    lost the co-terminosity previously enjoyed.          conjunction with the young people involved
    However, the CYPSP provides an effective             we are continually evaluating the work of the
    forum within which to manage these                   Youth      Cabinet      to   identify    further
    changes and the commitments made in the              improvements and maximise its potential. It
    current Children’s Plan and future intentions        is already recognised as an example of
    captured within the Local Area Agreement             emerging good practice by DfES. Of
    and elsewhere provide consistent long term           particular interest is the programme we are
    strategic objectives which are being                 delivering to secure key strategic links
    delivered.                                           between the Youth Cabinet and the boards
                                                         within the Local Strategic Partnership.
11. The    Children    and    Young   People’s           Representation by young people on the
    Partnership Board and Executive are the              boards is now good with both direct
    foundation of our arrangements for the               participation and regular meetings between
    development of a Children’s Trust, and the           the chairs and Youth representatives.
    OFSTED/CSCI 2006 APA assessment was
                                                     Doc 17. CYPP – Involvement of C & YP
    that good progress was being made in
    Thurrock towards trust arrangements.             14. Our priorities for children and young
Doc 13. APA letter 2006                                  people were developed on the basis of a
                                                         detailed analysis of needs and they now
12. The     Children   and   Young     People’s          form the key outcomes for both the Children
    Partnership Board is accountable for the             and Young People’s Plan and the Local Area
    collective performance of partners and the           Agreement. The CYPP was a one-year plan
    achievement of improved outcomes. The                initially to take account of a number of key
    responsibility for driving the overall               factors – the PCT reconfiguration; the
    implementation of our Children and Young             emergence of the Thurrock Thames
    People’s Plan and for ensuring rigorous              Gateway Development Corporation; changes
    performance management of our services               in the Police Force and, most importantly,

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 5 of 44
PART B Context and Partnership Arrangements

       the development of the LAA. The LAA will              Feel safe, are valued and listened to
       become operational from April 2007 and has
       a strong inter-generational and family                Live and participate in communities where
       engagement theme.                                      everyone is included and all take
                                                              responsibility for their actions
Doc 18. Children and young Peoples Plan
Doc 19. Local Area Agreement                                 Have opportunities to contribute to a
15. For the current CYPP, the draft LAA and the               healthy, thriving community
    next CYPP, there are a number of key
    principles and strategies that underpin our        At Family level we want to provide appropriate
    working. Foremost here is our overarching          and accessible support and information to
    strategy to prioritise early intervention as a     parents and carers to assist them in bringing up
    preventative measure rather than later             their children. We are working to ensure that:
    intervention as a corrective measure. The
    strategic themes that flow from this and                 Children can grow up in a healthy and
    which drive our thinking and planning are to:             supportive environment and reach their full
    Improve quality of provision and its match               potential
       to local needs through joining up                     Most children and young people have their
       programmes such as Extended Schools                    needs met through available universal
       and Children’s Centres to deliver locality             services
       based services
                                                             Some children and families are well
        Improve access to provision by devolving             supported by services which focus on their
         central services to local areas where                specific and more specialised needs
         possible
                                                       At an Achievement level, we want all children
        Working in partnership with schools to        and young people to have a range of
         maximise    resources      and   capacity,    opportunities that allow them to make inspiring
         including   work      with   schools    in    choices and secure positive life chances. We are
         geographical clusters                         working to ensure that:
        Improve the quality of support and the            Children and young people can reach their
         rigour of our challenge to schools                  full potential educationally and within
                                                             society
        Maximise the potential in the innovative
         Children Education and Families structure     At a Vulnerable and Individual Family level,
         to develop creative, imaginative and          we want children, young people and their families
         integrated responses to needs                 to have the most appropriate support at the times
                                                       in their lives when they most need it. We are
        Increase capacity to meet needs of more       working to ensure that:
         children at a earlier point in service             There is always swift and easy access to
         provision                                            services, centred on meeting the needs of
        Linking activities to meet higher levels of          children, young people and their families
         need through common and consistent
         strategies for Looked After Children, those
         engaging in Risky Behaviours, and those       17. Our new CYPP will have at its heart the
         with Special Educational Needs.                   contents of the LAA, which both within the
                                                           children’s block and more broadly across the
16. In delivering the CYPP now and in the future,          document as a whole properly reflect the
     as well as in delivering the LAA, we are              needs and aspirations of our local
     supporting children, young people and their           community However, the key strengths from
     families at four specific levels.                     the development of the current plan -
At Community level, we want all children and               ambitious targets, partner involvement and
young people in the borough to live in child               ownership, extensive consultation with
friendly and mutually respectful communities. We           partners and young people, and good
are working to ensure that they:                           marketing and communication on the plan to


Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 6 of 44
PART B Context and Partnership Arrangements

     the community and all stakeholders – are all     22. We believe the Children and Young People’s
     to be features in the new Children’s Plan.           Strategic Partnership in Thurrock has
                                                          established a strong foundation on which to
18. The Partnership has reviewed and evaluated
                                                          build and has many strengths and
    its structure and the work streams it needs to
                                                          opportunities. We are determined to continue
    ensure it can meet the requirements for
                                                          to exploit it to make more of a difference in
    governance and implementation of the next
                                                          the years ahead.
    plan in the same way that it has done for the
    current CYPP. Proposals for this restructure      23. There is a clear corporate priority focus on
    and creation of new work streams for the              children and young people. The ‘Sustainable
    next CYPP are drafted and are being                   Community Strategy’ prioritises ‘support to
    reviewed.                                             increase the aspirations and educational
                                                          achievement of our youth’ and ‘better access
19. Within the Partnership and its structure, we
                                                          to learning opportunities for skills and
    have actively engaged the voluntary sector
                                                          personal development’. Children, Young
    in planning and delivering services. Some
                                                          People and Lifelong Learning are Council
    good quality local early intervention and
                                                          priorities. The Cabinet agreed to a refresh of
    preventative services are commissioned
                                                          its Corporate Parenting Group using the
    from voluntary organisations through the
                                                          Green Paper, ‘Care Matters’ to drive its
    Partnership and through Council grants to
                                                          future agenda. The progress we have made
    voluntary organisations and others continue
                                                          towards developing a children’s trust is good.
    to be developed.
                                                          The level of engagement from elected
20. The Children’s Centre Initiative has built on         members for the children and young
    the very successful work of our Sure Start            people’s agenda, particularly from the
    programme and has been developed in                   relevant portfolio holders, is sound and has
    close partnership with private and voluntary          been welcomed.
    partners. In three out of our four centres, the
                                                      24. The immediate future offers even more
    childcare delivery is via the private and
                                                          potential for positive change in the borough,
    voluntary sector, with further additional
                                                          not least as a consequence of some fresh
    voluntary sector representation on the
                                                          senior appointments – the new Chief
    governance groups of the centres. The
                                                          Executive in the Council starts on the 2nd
    outcomes have been evaluated and are
                                                          January 2007, new Directors of Children’s
    valued by the service users.
                                                          Services and of Adult Social Care are being
Doc 20. Children’s Centre – phase 1                       appointed and a new senior management
Doc 21. Children’s Centre – capitol – Dec 2006
                                                          team has been formed in the PCT. The
21. We recognise that communication and                   interim Director of Children’s Services is
    engagement with the voluntary sector on the           leading new and creative responses to the
    children’s agenda needs to constantly                 current children’s agenda, with an exciting
    improve, and we are doing this through our            foundation for the future in place. We believe
    new compact with the VCS to make sure that            the plans and commitments we have made
    the voluntary and community sector                    will be driven forward under the new
    continues to plays a full part in the design,         leadership across the services.
    delivery and evaluation of services for
    children and young people across the
    borough.
Doc 22. Thurrock Compact




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                               Page 7 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

                                                            with the Children’s Centres in Phase One.
Part C – Needs Analysis, Impact and                         As well as helping to improve breast feeding
Involvement                                                 rates in the target areas, the parents who
                                                            used the support reported that it had also
Being Healthy                                               helped them to access information and
                                                            advice about parenting, overcome social
                                                            isolation and feel more positive about living
Overall Summary                                             in their local area.
 Addressing Thurrock’s health demographic and          Doc 23. Community Mothers Programme
the related challenges and needs, one of our key       Doc 24. Breast Feeding
commitments is to support children and families        Doc 25. Children’s Centres – Phase 1
in making healthy choices and developing healthy       3.   Partnership work in primary health care has
lifestyle behaviours and attitudes by providing in-         led to real successes in reaching some key
depth information and advice about health,                  target groups. For example drop in antenatal
personal safety and risk taking, all of which are           sessions with midwife support have been
underpinned by our Parenting Strategy. Our                  successful in reaching groups who normally
strategy has recently been produced in                      don’t access antenatal services. The
conjunction with Parenting UK and offers a tiered           feedback from parents involved is positive
model approach to delivering a comprehensive                and this approach is being rolled out for
parenting programme across the authority. Our               delivery across the borough through our
other key commitment within health is to                    Children’s Centres in the future. In
robustly promote and improve children’s mental              Ockendon there is close partnership working
and physical health, and to ensure that these are           including the shared use of a community
met in part by building on the positive work                access point and shared delivery of some
already piloted within the Sure Start programme             support services.
in Tilbury. At this stage in our development, we
                                                       4.   The Sure Start Children’s Centre in Tilbury
judge the overall outcomes for health to be
                                                            has been at the forefront of the development
good.
                                                            of a wide range of programmes to support
                                                            parents and young children. In line with our
                                                            strategy of service user participation and
1.   There is a good range of support provided              engagement, a number have been
     for parents and carers. There is a                     developed and run with local parent support
     comprehensive universal service to support             and involvement, including a parenting class
     pregnant women and new mothers from                    run jointly by a parent and health visitor
     midwives and health visitors. This has                 which has successfully overcome the stigma
     helped to ensure that the number of babies             of parenting classes for some parts of the
     born with low birth weights in Thurrock has            community and led to this universal service
     been consistently lower than in England as a           having been made more accessible for a
     whole. Similarly levels of sustained breast-           wider range of parents.
     feeding across Thurrock are at least              Doc 26. Sure Start
     satisfactory and in places good.                  5.   There is a wide range of service provision
2.   A range of targeted interventions to prevent           promoting children and young people’s
     longer-term difficulties and the need for later        knowledge of and adoption of healthy
     higher-level interventions complements this.           lifestyles. Partnership and joint working has
     Specialist advisor support during pregnancy            ensured better co-ordination of our support
     has had a positive impact on levels of                 to children and families as well as to schools.
     smoking during pregnancy, which has been          6.   The benefits of good co-ordination are
     below the national average since 2003. Our             evident within our Healthy Schools initiative.
     evaluation tells us the Community Mothers              This PCT and Council joint funded
     programme piloted in Tilbury was highly                programme, led by staff from the PCT
     successful and has been extended to                    working in partnership with schools and
     provide    support      in    other  targeted          other agencies, has made considerable
     communities using close partnership working

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                  Page 8 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

     progress. There are 6 schools that have                 confidence. The formal evaluation allowed
     attained complete Healthy Schools Status                us to identify that capacity within the Healthy
     under the new accreditation system and                  Schools team was a significant barrier to the
     overall there are 28 schools that have                  roll out of the initiative across the borough. In
     reached at least level 3, ensuring that                 line with our strategy of addressing capacity
     Thurrock has exceeded the 50% target set                by working in partnership with our schools,
     by DfES. We have resourced and prioritised              we are developing and training instructors in
     this important area as the Healthy Schools              each school and support them through
     programme is an important vehicle to deliver            geographical cluster networks for MIS
     improved health for children so it is built into        instructors, as well as by the use of LAA
     our LAA as one of our stretched targets.                pump priming money to increase capacity in
Doc 27. Healthy Schools – accreditation                      this area further.
Doc 28. LAA – Healthy Schools                           Doc 32. Massage in Schools
7.   Healthy eating is promoted effectively with        10. Section 5 school inspection results and
     100% of eligible schools taking part in the 5-         inspections of nursery and childcare
     a-day scheme making fruit available to more            providers suggest the work in promoting
     than 6500 four to six year olds every day.             healthy lifestyles is leading to improved
     School meals provision through Thurrock                outcomes. Inspection judgements show 90%
     Catering services is increasingly focused on           of childcare providers achieved a satisfactory
     healthy menus and the Healthy Schools                  or good judgement on their provision for
     scheme is bidding for DoH Healthy Eating               young children in health and provision of
     funds towards supporting schools running in-           food and drink and 75% of schools were
     house catering. Again the LAA reflects our             judged good or outstanding in learners’
     robust determination to improve children’s             adoptions of healthy lifestyles.
     health through a stretched target to reduce        Doc 33. Section 5 - Healthy
     childhood obesity.
                                                        11. To maintain user engagement and
Doc 29. Healthy Schools – Implementation Plan
Doc 30. LAA - Obesity                                       participation, the health promotion activities
                                                            through Sure Start’s Healthy Eating Café,
8.   Within the Partnership and the Council we              limiting of snacks to healthy food only and
     recognise the importance of on-going                   their Healthy Eating Research project have
     monitoring and evaluation of the many                  helped to involve parents who are anxious
     projects and initiatives taking place across           about children who have been “fussy” eaters.
     the borough. In line with this, the programme          The success of these activities, with the café
     uses additional support from other agencies            now self-sustaining, and all the children
     to support assessments in the different                eating healthy food, has been noted and the
     components of the standards. For example,              approach will be developed in other
     assessments on the physical activity strand            Children’s Centres.
     are now done through joint observations led
     by the School Sports Strategy co-ordinator,        12. Similarly, the promotion of sexual health
     supported by the Healthy Schools co-                   advice has benefited from an equally well-
     ordinators and the relevant subject                    co-ordinated multi-agency approach. Early
     leader/co-coordinator in the school.                   targeted preventative work with young men
                                                            through the provision of confidential drop-in
Doc 31. Healthy Schools – Physical Assessment
                                                            advice has had a positive impact, with good
9.   Broader evaluations of pilot activities within         take up rates and good feedback from those
     the programme also take place such as the              accessing the services. The availability of
     review of the Massage in Schools initiative            the C-Card has improved contraception
     run through Healthy Schools and funded                 usage and the joint funded sexual health
     through the Thurrock Children’s Fund. This             worker for vulnerable groups has had a
     evaluation highlighted the programmes                  positive impact and helped reduce NEET.
     positive impact on many aspects of                     We have been successful in raising young
     children’s    mental    health,      including         people’s awareness of sexual health. A
     improved levels of social skills and                   consequence of this raised awareness has
     interaction and improved self-esteem and
Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                    Page 9 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    been better understanding among young                  in a range of contacts for families with health
    people and this has partly led to the                  visitors at 10-14 days, 6-8 weeks, 7-9
    fluctuating figures for Chlamydia in Thurrock.         months, 2 years and 3 years. In Children’s
    We are working to reduce the current rates,            Centre areas close working enables the
    particularly in the 16-19 age range, and this          circulation of information through ‘baby
    issue is a key area of our work within the             packs’ from the Children’s Centre that are
    LAA.                                                   delivered via the Health Visitor thus ensuring
Doc 34. C Card                                             that all families in the area are aware of the
Doc 35.                                                    services offered.
13. The Healthy Living Centres initiative              18. Similarly, borough wide promotion of school
    provides significant and successful support            travel plans has been highly effective. All
    for health promotion across the borough,               schools had travel plans in place well ahead
    reaching over 14000 people this year from a            of the government target dates and
    starting point of 1500. It successfully attracts       consequently we were the first authority in
    a wide and diverse audience with                       the country to have all school travel plans in
    involvement of the BME community broadly               place. This well paced and comprehensive
    in line with the proportion of the BME                 approach is resulting in some positive
    population in Thurrock at present. The                 changes in transport to school choices, with
    activities have been evaluated positively and          obvious knock-on benefits for children’s
    many have been adopted and are now self                physical health. Since 2003 the numbers of
    sustaining (e.g. the free bus to sports facility       children walking to or cycling to primary
    initiative)                                            school have increased while the numbers
                                                           travelling by car have been reduced in both
14. The work to promote healthy lifestyles is in
                                                           primary and secondary sectors.
    response to both universal health needs and
    some health inequalities across different          19. The good levels of participation in sport have
    parts of the borough. This health promotion            been recognised by inspectors in the last two
    work coupled with specific services, means             APA inspections of the Council’s services for
    the provision for children and young                   children. A 3-year diversionary project to
    people’s physical health continues to                  tackle anti-social behaviour through sport
    improve and has had a significant impact on            participation is currently targeted at 3
    health outcomes.                                       geographical areas of concern in the
Doc 36. Healthy Living Centres – Annual Report             borough. Over £10 000 funding has been
Doc 37. Healthy Living Centres - Attendance                accessed by a number of young people to
                                                           fund coaching in a variety of sports and a
15. Infant mortality rates in the borough are              joint Council/PCT conference successfully
    falling, are below national levels, and for the        identified gaps in provision for different age
    period 2002-2004, the fall in infant mortality         groups and vulnerable groups.
    rates in Thurrock was greater than that seen
    nationally or in our health comparison             20. Participation levels in sport and recreational
    benchmark group. However we recognise                  activities are supported by the broadening
    the need to improve perinatal mortality rates          extended schools agenda in Thurrock. In a
    across the borough and are working to                  recent survey of over 1000 children, almost
    achieve this outcome.                                  75% reported that they took part in activities
                                                           based in their school or local community.
16. For children overall, there has been a                 Among those who participate less frequently,
    significant decline in the number of child             our analysis tells us that the pupils at Key
    deaths for under-15’s in Thurrock. From a              Stage 4 are less likely to participate
    position above the national average for                regardless of gender, while girls at Key
    1998-2000, Thurrock has seen dramatic                  Stage 3 are also less likely to participate
    improvement and levels are now well below              often. Most of those who participate less
    those of England as a whole and those of               often, felt that providing a greater number of
    our comparison health authorities.                     activities, and by implication a greater
17. Universal screening activity through the               breadth of choice, would be the thing that
    Child Health Promotion Programme results               would help improve participation levels most.

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 10 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

21. In terms of quantity of physical exercise,             review identified that the decline in teenage
    more than 90% of the children and young                pregnancy levels pre-16 was proportionately
    people responding thought it was quite easy            much greater than that in the 16-19 age
    for them to get enough physical exercise. To           range, with the result that this group are now
    improve this further they identified the need          specifically targeted within the strategy
    for more PE to be taught in schools and that       Doc 38. High Risk Behaviour Group - TOR
    the main barrier to accessing facilities
    outside of schools was cost. This barrier of       26. Our support for the health needs of looked
    cost also came up within the recent Youth              after children is good. In 2005/06, the
    Consultation Day and as a result the Youth             average of the percentages of looked after
    Cabinet already have subsidised access to              children who had their teeth checked and a
    facilities as one their priorities for                 health assessment in the previous 12
    consideration within the Youth Opportunities           months was 96% well into the top performing
    and Capital Fund grants allocated to them.             category and the third best in England in
                                                           2004-05. The specialist nurse for Looked
22. To ensure this good work is maintained and             After Children arranges and monitors their
    built upon, the Council has commissioned a             medical assessments and provides health
    full review and evaluation of the impact of            promotion activities. As part of this health
    the Physical Activity Strategy, in line with our       promotion, a drug and alcohol screening
    strategic themes of ensuring projects are              programme has been implemented and
    fully evaluated and of building capacity by            targeted sex and relationship education has
    commissioning expertise and support from               resulted in a reduction in teenage
    schools. We believe that aspects of our                conceptions within looked after children and
    practice are now Leading Edge and we are               care leavers. There is specific provision for
    looking for national recognition in this area.         looked after children’s emotional and mental
23. As well as universal services, targeted action         health through the Supporting and
    is initiated in response to need, both                 Enhancing Local Foster Carers programme,
    geographical and health specific. For                  focused on meeting the needs of LAC and
    example, following a mumps outbreak, the               their carers. It has ensured both holistic
    take up levels for a catch up programme                assessment of needs and timely access to
    were good. In addition early feedback from             appropriate interventions, providing weekly
    an initiative targeted at oral health of the           consultation to level 3 carers, direct support
    under 5’s in certain geographical areas                to children and young people and offers a
    suggests that perception of oral health                service to birth families. The partnership
    importance is improving.                               work is commissioned via a multi-agency
                                                           referral panel involving a consultant
24. We have also targeted specific aspects for             paediatrician, the NSPCC, CAMHS, CEF
    partnership working. The rates of teenage              and the SELF team.
    pregnancy have fallen sharply, due to
    innovative practice developments, with             27. There are key aspects of our services to
    Thurrock recognised nationally as a model of           support children’s physical health, which
    good practice in this area. The trend for              we are working to improve further. While the
    teenage pregnancy rates shows an                       immunisation rates in Thurrock are slightly
    exceptionally good 30% reduction since                 below the national average, we recognise
    1998 and as a result the levels of teenage             the need to improve this further because the
    pregnancy in Thurrock in 2004 were below               rates are low and the levels of measles
    the national average for the first time in 7           among babies and among the population
    years.                                                 under 15 are too high. Improving
                                                           immunisation rates is a key target in the
25. Thurrock has a well-established multi-                 Children and Young People’s Plan.
    agency approach that oversees the Teenage
    Pregnancy Strategy. Following monitoring of        28. Thurrock was designated a high focus area
    the impact on outcomes, the programme is               for drug and alcohol action and the
    being refocused in line with our strategy of           Government Office rating of the service is
    ongoing evaluation of service impact. The              currently amber and therefore needs to
                                                           improve.   We    have    improved    early

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 11 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    assessment and treatment, through training              Similarly, the Behaviour Assessment and
    to develop the competence and skill levels of           Management Clinic has proven to be an
    all staff who work with children and young              increasingly effective service, involving a co-
    people and this has successfully led to                 ordinated approach between the children’s
    earlier identification and referral. As a result        services, schools and health services, for
    the rates of screening of young offenders are           children with behaviour difficulties. The
    high, 100% of young people who require                  Council provides educational psychology
    special assessment access it within 5 days              time to the B.A.M. clinic and family care
    and 100% access treatment services within               worker time to support parents. Between
    10 days. In addition, hospital admissions due           January and June 2006, the clinic saw 304
    to substance misuse among Thurrock’s                    children and young people, with 176
    young people are significantly lower than               between the ages of 5-11 and of which 36
    that nationally.                                        were new cases. We have evaluated the
Doc 39. DAAT – Young Peoples Plan                           satisfaction levels of parents and children
                                                            who have accessed the clinic and taken
29. We have made progress in improving the                  learning from this to inform our practice.
    provision of a comprehensive CAMHS
                                                       Doc 41. Schools Survey - CAMHS
    service, but nevertheless services to improve
    children and young people’s mental                 32. However, waiting times for treatment in the
    health remain a key priority. The Child &              CFCS team have been identified by our
    Family Consultation Service team in Grays              evaluation of the service, as a cause for
    provides the specialist community CAMHS                concern. As a result of our intervention the
    service in Thurrock. This team is part of the          position is improved. Plans for addressing
    specialist tier 3 CAMH service provided by             this waiting list problem were agreed,
    South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation                 implemented and have had a positive impact
    Trust (SEPT) across south Essex.                       on reducing waiting times. The waiting lists
Doc 40. CAMHS Strategy and Update                          have been consistently reduced, and fell to
                                                           90 in early 2006 and by October 2006 it had
30. Commissioning arrangements for CAMHS in                been reduced further to 55. By the end of the
    Thurrock have been relatively complex, with            current financial year the waiting list will have
    responsibility for commissioning the tier 3            been removed.
    services in South Essex previously vested in
    Basildon PCT, with Thurrock PCT retaining          33. It is clear that the rate of improvement has
    control of and responsibility for the CAMHS            been accelerated, maintained as new cases
    development funding it was allocated                   come in and we are confident this will be
    between 2003 and 2006. A Thurrock                      maintained into the future. The improvement
    CAMHS        Commissioning      Group    was           is as a result of an increase in the amount of
    established and based on an audit of need,             clinical time available within the team and
    commissioned services from a Primary                   the introduction of explicit referral criteria for
    Mental Health team, the establishment of a             the service. All children, young people and
    Behaviour Assessment and Management                    families referred to the CFCS team are seen
    Clinic and a CAMHS service for Looked After            within the national 11 week target times for
    Children. We believe that these interventions          first outpatient appointments. From the
    have delivered a good service.                         information gathered at the first appointment,
                                                           the CFCS team decides the relative urgency
31. The work of the Primary Mental Health team             of the referral and whether the CFCS team
    has been effective in offering support to              or another service is likely to be better
    children and young people referred through             placed to meet the family’s needs. Those
    schools and has increased the capacity to              children and young people who are identified
    address emotional and behavioural problems             as having urgent mental health needs are
    that do not require a multi-disciplinary               allocated to a member of the CFCS team
    intervention. As a result, waiting times for the       who continues the work of assessment and
    service are low and falling and Schools                treatment.
    evaluated the service positively in the Audit
    Commission survey of schools in 2006.              34. The Partnership refreshed their steering
                                                           arrangements for CAMHS across the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                   Page 12 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    borough and have re-constituted an inter-               locally, participated in the October 2006
    agency steering group to continue to drive              national evaluation of Pyramid on behalf of
    improvement and to monitor and evaluate                 the National Children’s Bureau. The study
    the impact of the service changes on the                found that 96% of the parents surveyed felt
    young people who need to access the                     that Pyramid Parenting groups had taught
    services. In particular, they have effectively          them something new about having a good
    ensured additional funding has been made                relationship with their child, and 84% felt
    available from the PCT to improve response              they had learned at least something positive
    times and increase the range of services on             about parenting styles in general.
    offer.
                                                     38. There are a range of services targeting the
35. There have been several other significant            health needs of disabled children and
    CAMHS developments in Thurrock over the              young people and those with learning
    last two years that reflect the investment           difficulties. The Partnership recognised the
    made in services and the effective                   need to develop these further and has taken
    partnerships that have developed. The                appropriate action. We have secured a
    introduction of provision for children with          Health Visitor for children with SEN and this
    more complex needs has improved through              has improved links between different
    the development of CAMHS initiatives within          professionals to improve access to services.
    Oaktree Family Centre and feedback from              We recognise the need to improve nursing
    the service was used to develop the service          care in the home for those with complex
    further. A specialist CAMH learning disability       needs and to overcome recruitment
    service was introduced. The Council and              difficulties to provide school nurse support to
    SEPT agreed a partnership venture to                 the two special schools.
    develop a residential therapeutic community
                                                     39. South Essex is a national pilot for a new
    for looked after children aged 7 to 12 and
                                                         dedicated CAMH services for children and
    this decision is being implemented.
                                                         young people with learning disabilities
36. The range of universal service provision             focussed on children under 11 placed in
    focused on improving aspects of children’s           special schools.
    mental health has increased. During 2003-
    05, 9 primary schools in Thurrock were
    involved in piloting the Social and Emotional
    Aspects of Learning programme as part of            Strengths in Be Healthy
    the National Primary Strategy Behaviour and              Impact of the work of the Teenage
    Attendance pilot. The use of these SEAL                   Pregnancy Strategy
    materials has been rolled out to a large
    number of schools across the borough to                  Progress with schools joining Healthy
    ensure universal action is taken to support               Schools scheme
    all children to be mentally and emotionally              Health care for Looked After Children
    healthy.
                                                             Impact of Healthy Living Centres
37. Following the initial success of the Pyramid
    Scheme to support transition at Year 3 and               Participation levels in sport and physical
    Year 7, its use has been considerably                     exercise
    widened across the authority with almost half            Borough wide development of travel plans
    of primary schools and infant schools now                 in all schools
    participating as well as 2 secondary schools.
    As a result over 1100 Thurrock children and
    young people have been screened to date.
    The scheme now has programmes for
    parents to support their children in improving      Impact of joint working and partnership
    their mental and emotional health and the           arrangements
    feedback on these groups from the families               Better co-ordination of support to promote
    who access them is good. A number of                      healthy lifestyles such as promotion of
    Thurrock parents who accessed Pyramid                     sexual health advice

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 13 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

      Improved involvement with previously
       under-represented groups, particularly
       though localised, integrated delivery of
       services such as that seen in Children’s
       Centres
      Use of expertise from the Schools’ Sport
       co-ordinator programme to improve rigour
       of assessment in relevant Healthy
       Schools’ standard
      Building capacity to implement Massage in
       Schools programme borough wide



   Focus Areas for Further Development
      Eliminating the wait times for the Child and
       Family Consultation        Service     within
       CAMHS
      Further improving our capacity to meet the
       health needs of children with learning
       difficulties and disabilities
      Further improvement        in   the   overall
       immunisation rates




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock     Page 14 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

                                                           training on solution focused approaches and
Staying Safe                                               improved information for parents. The
                                                           evaluations also make clear that there has
                                                           been an impact on individual children’s
Overall Summary                                            attendance       and      behaviour,    and
To meet our responsibilities for safeguarding and          overwhelmingly schools suggest the biggest
the needs of children and families in Thurrock,            impact has been on improved relationships
our key commitments are to support parents,                between parents and the school. The
carers and families to provide safe homes and              learning from the evaluation being used to
stability for children and young people and to help        mainstream our work as it is rolled out
establish positive relationships between young             across the borough, linked to our cluster
people and adults, between young people                    based development of extended schools and
themselves and between adults themselves. At               children’s centres and as part of the
present we judge that outcomes overall here                implementation of our Parenting Strategy.
are good.                                             4.   There is a good range of resources provided
                                                           to avoid children and young people
                                                           having to be looked after.
1.   We have clear and robust procedures for          5.   Within CEF, a Family Support Strategy has
     reducing the incidence of child abuse and             been developed to embed the structural
     neglect, overseen by the Safeguarding                 changes made in the service in Autumn
     Board. Many of the child protection                   2005, with the key aim of ‘keeping children
     performance indicators are good. All children         safe at home. Current management analysis
     on the CPR have an allocated social worker            suggests performance is strong. That said
     and all child protection cases are reviewed           we are investing in further improvements to
     on time. The duration on the CPR has                  the service.
     improved significantly since 1999 and is now
                                                      6.   The provision of an ‘information and advice’
     good, and the Probation Inspectorate
                                                           service from the centrally based Initial
     assessment is that probation service
                                                           Response Team stops many initial
     involvement in CP cases in Thurrock is
                                                           approaches becoming formal referrals and
     satisfactory or excellent in all cases.
                                                           we believe this service to be successful.
2.    We have used the implementation of the
                                                      7.   Schools judgement on child protection and
     CAF as a vehicle to improve referral
                                                           safe guarding issues have improved greatly
     pathways between agencies and in particular
                                                           over the last year. “the effectiveness of local
     to clarify referral thresholds especially for
                                                           services working together in safeguarding
     social care input. This system, known as
                                                           children and protecting them from harm and
     ‘Assessment and Referral of Children
                                                           neglect” saw a high number of schools now
     System’ (ARCS) was commended by the
                                                           rating us better than satisfactory and, when
     APA inspectors. We have trained over 400
                                                           compared to other authorities, we moved
     practitioners and managers in ARCS and the
                                                           from 3rd to 2nd quartile. “The effectiveness
     use of the CAF, and have constructed and
                                                           of the training, advice and support on child
     disseminated a tool kit for practitioners in
                                                           protection provided or commissioned by the
     frontline agencies. To date, over 100
                                                           council for designated members of staff and
     children in Thurrock have had a common
                                                           governors“schools now rated us as good
     assessment, with the information held on an
                                                           placing us in the 1st quartile (3rd last year)
     interim database for practitioners from all
                                                           and “The clarity of guidance on when to
     agencies.
                                                           make a child protection referral to the
3.   The ARCS was used in three pilot projects             relevant service” was 4th quartile in 2005,
     focused on developing strategies for multi-           schools judgements now places us in the
     agency working in three areas of the                  2nd quartile.
     borough. The three pilot projects have been      Doc 42. Schools Survey - Safe
     evaluated and these identified a number of
     areas for development, such as the need for      8.   The good advice and guidance means that in
                                                           spite of the levels of deprivation in the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                    Page 15 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

     borough, the number of referrals per 10,000             Pressures on staffing impact upon
     is lower than nationally. Similarly the                 performance although the recruitment of
     effectiveness of the advice on making                   additional staff and the management re-
     referrals means it is generally well used by            designation of some posts as family support
     other agencies and the public. The 3-year               workers ensures action is being taken to
     pattern for the number of referrals leading to          maintain staffing levels. Workloads in the
     initial  assessments       in   Thurrock      is        teams are high and we are reviewing
     consistently better than the national average.          resource levels to address this. Again
     Re-referrals rate are this year running in line         manager’s analysis is that core assessments
     with our target of 22% down from 24% in                 are routinely of a good quality.
     2005 although still slightly higher than
                                                        12. The changes in our population are
     national averages.
                                                            increasingly showing themselves in referrals
9.   Of those referrals that move on to become              and caseloads. Nearly 10% of current
     initial assessments, currently 55% are                 referrals are from the African communities
     completed within 7 days, in line with our              (against just over 4% in 2004-05. We are
     target although again below national                   completing an Equality Impact Assessment
     averages. We are determined to exceed the              into our child protection work and will be
     current level of performance and to improve            ensuring that the results are embedded into
     further. Managers report that the quality of           practice. We have also identified the
     those assessments are consistently good                changing population profile and the
     however and are accurate in identifying                implications of this as a training issue to
     children’s needs. Cases that require further           ensure practitioners undertake assessments
     work are transferred to one of the two Family          that reflect and value diversity.
     Support       teams,      now       organised      Doc 44. Ethnicity in Thurrock
     geographically to be co-terminus with the
     Education Welfare Service and with the             13. Work programmes between the fieldwork
     Extended Schools and Children’s Centres                teams and the Family Centre are
     programmes.                                            increasingly harmonised. Currently the
                                                            centre provides a service to over 70 children,
10. All allocated cases are subject to multi-               either through individual or group work
    agency planning and since April 2006, over              programmes. In addition, 20 parents attend a
    400 Child In Need meetings have been held               positive parenting group. The Centre has
    and multi-agency plans constructed and                  undertaken an audit of satisfaction. The
    reviewed with full parental attendance. The             analysis of this shows that feedback is very
    CiN Planning Process sits as a parallel                 positive with some helpful suggestions for
    process to our child protection procedures              future work programmes.
    and is contained within our child protection
    procedures. Core assessments are only               14. This contributes to the relatively low levels of
    commissioned in certain circumstances –                 looked after children and the high proportion
    child protection, children becoming looked              of LAC placed with relatives and friends. As
    after or where there are complex needs - as             a result while the actual numbers of looked
    the emphasis is on intervention rather than             after children are rising, they have fallen
    assessment.                                             each year as a percentage of the total child
                                                            population in Thurrock.
Doc 43. SET child protection procedures
                                                        15. We are working to ensure that Looked After
11. The low numbers of core assessments
                                                            Children live in safe environments and
    completed     are     therefore   a    direct
                                                            are     protected     from    abuse       and
    consequence of our approach but clearly
                                                            exploitation. We believe our services to
    there is a need to improve timetables.
                                                            Looked After Children are amongst the best
    Managers        have       constructed     a
                                                            and we will be seeking Beacon status to
    comprehensive case tracking system
                                                            drive the proposals in ‘Care Matters’ forward
    designed to improve performance and
                                                            when the future programme is announced.
    training plans are in place to ensure
                                                            Each Looked After Children have an
    practitioners are fully equipped to deliver
                                                            allocated social worker and this helps to
    good quality and timely assessments.

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                      Page 16 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    ensure stability of placement is good.               and public understanding of the key risks to
    Although longer-term stability dipped slightly       children and young people.
    in 2005-06, performance has improved this
                                                     18. The partnership work between Community
    year and currently the long-term stability
                                                         Police Officers and teachers in schools
    level is 12% better than at April 2006. Our
                                                         provides a comprehensive range of
    performance against the 3 or more moves
                                                         information sessions, targeted at different
    indicator has remained consistently in the
                                                         issues and age groups. A review of a pilot
    top performing category .The numbers
                                                         Safer School partnership between the police
    looked after in residential accommodation
                                                         and one of our secondary schools identified
    continue to be significantly lower than those
                                                         a number of positive outcomes and the
    seen       nationally.  Consequently      the
                                                         feedback from staff and young people in the
    proportions looked after in foster care or
                                                         school concerned was good. As a result we
    placed for adoption in Thurrock are
                                                         are extending this initiative to other schools
    consistently good and as a result of our
                                                         in the borough.
    prioritising local and extended family
    placements wherever possible, the numbers        19. Feedback on existing safety guidance
    placed with families and friends have risen          indicated the need to make it both more
    steadily for the last 3 years in succession.         comprehensive and more widely available.
    The numbers adopted within a year after the          As    a    result  the    Partnership    has
    best interest decision is made are high but          commissioned the production of a safe
    performance on the proportion of LAC                 parenting handbook and planned a
    placed for adoption dipped in 05-06. While           marketing and distribution strategy that will
    this was in the main due to 13 cases waiting         see the book delivered to every home in
    on court decisions, we have nevertheless             Thurrock where there are children over the
    conducted a review of permanency planning            next 2 years.
    to review other aspects of performance in        Doc 45. Parenting Handbook
    this area. We are confident that this action
    will return Thurrock to the top performance      20. As part of our focus on user participation and
    level.                                               engagement, extensive consultation with
                                                         children and young people identified safety
16. Regulatory inspections into our fostering and        as their key priority above all other
    adoption services are routinely good. We             outcomes. This importance placed by
    have one residential unit, which has recently        children and young people themselves on
    been judged as ‘excellent’ and is subject of         safety is reflected in the priorities within the
    an innovative partnership with a local health        Children and Young People’s Plan, the Local
    trust to be re-provided to run as a                  Area Agreement and in the contributions of
    therapeutic unit for younger children. The           the Youth cabinet representatives on the
    partnership involves the inputting of £200k          Community Safety working group.
    new money from health and beds are being         Doc 46. CYPP – Safe
    marketed across the region to neighbouring       Doc 47. LAA - Safe
    authorities.
                                                     21. It is also reflected in our work to ensure
17. With service provision improvements, we              children and young people are provided
    believe that across Thurrock, children,              with a safe environment. Thurrock is an
    young people and their carers are                    increasingly safe borough for children and
    increasingly well informed about key                 young people, with lower than national
    risks to their safety and how to deal with           average crime rates, although there are still
    them and this is a priority for further              safety, crime and fear of crime issues to
    development. The Local Safeguarding                  address for particular geographical areas
    Children Board is increasingly raising               and for particular age groups.
    awareness that safeguarding is everybody’s
    business and a priority for everyone and the     22. We have significantly reduced the number of
    Board is the steering group for much of the          children under 16 killed or seriously injured
    improvement activity in ensuring professional        in road traffic accidents by 44% since the
                                                         1994-98 average level, which is more than
                                                         the national improvement rate. However the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 17 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    proportions of accidents involving children as         development of a baseline to identify
    cyclists and as pedestrians are too high. The          develop specific priority actions and as a
    LSCB have analysed this data by geographic             measure for tracking and evaluating the
    area to target cross agency initiatives at             impact of our work. This baseline audit will
    higher risk areas.                                     be evaluated in February 2007.
23. In the Audit Commission Schools Survey             28. While monitoring of racist incident returns
    schools judged the support from local                  from our schools shows a slight rise in racist
    services for road safety very well placing us          incident levels in some schools, we believe
    in the first quartile when compared to other           the levels may be under-reported because
    LAs. This follows well received work under             the overall levels show little change and
    the LPSA.                                              there are some nil returns. Recent
Doc 48. Schools Survey – Road Safety                       consultation feedback from a group of 100
                                                           young people confirmed this belief. In
24. By improving resources and the co-                     addition to a gap analysis of nil returns, we
    ordination of work amongst our partners, a             are devising an innovative scheme to build
    good range of group support is in place for            best practice.
    victims of, and children exposed to, domestic
    violence, including two joint funded workers       29. We are currently working with NSPCC
    in the refuge. However tackling domestic               nationally to devise a kite marking system for
    violence remains a priority and our LSCB               schools, which we believe is nationally
    Safer Relationships sub-group is linked to             unique. It will run in a way similar to the
    the Safer Thurrock Partnership to ensure we            Healthy Schools programme and will be
    exploit the potential and opportunity for joint        awarded to those schools who can evidence
    working arrangements. We have worked with              they are doing all they can to keep children
    colleagues in the STP to ensure that an                safe. The criteria for the awarded of the kite
    improved response to domestic violence is in           mark will include evidence of safe
    the LAA as a stretched target and in receipt           recruitment practices, effective responses to
    of pump priming money – locally we know                bullying including racist bullying and
    over 60% of Looked After Children and those            protection of children from Internet abuse.
    on the register have experienced domestic              One off shoot of this work will be a
    violence so it is a substantial priority for us.       programme of development that can be
Doc 49. Domestic Violence – Plan                           disseminated to other local authorities by the
Doc 50. Domestic Violence - Strategy                       NSPCC and ourselves.
25. We conducted an audit of adult need within         30. The Council’s Educational Psychology
    families where child protection is a concern.          Service provides a critical incident service to
    The outcomes will be used to refresh our               schools and other settings in the local
    working relationship with the Council’s Adult          authority. This service has been used by
    Services, to construct protocols for working           twelve schools or other services over the
    and to support joint commissioning of family           past two years and has provided support
    services.                                              on issues such as the sudden death of
                                                           children, death of members of staff or other
26. As part of our initial and ongoing consultation        adults, suicide attempts by children and
    with young people, the issues of racial abuse          other urgent situations where there has been
    and levels of bullying in our schools and in           a need for psychological support. This is a
    the wider community have been consistent               highly valued service that has received very
    concerns for all groups and ages.                      positive feedback following all of these
27. The views of young people have led to the              interventions.
    prioritisation of developing and multi-agency      31. The Local Children’s Safeguarding Board
    strategy for tackling bullying. We have made           oversees     agency    collaboration    to
    progress with the creation of an anti-bullying         safeguard children. The Board monitors the
    steering group and activities to explore the           effectiveness of collaborative working to
    problem and raise awareness of it as a                 safeguard and promote the well-being of
    significant risk factor. We have recognised            children and young people in Thurrock.
    the need for robust data collection and the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 18 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    Partner agencies are well represented and it         to improve procedures and practices in this
    is delivering an ambitious plan to meet              area. We established a system for tracking
    safeguarding needs, with the extra resources         pupils and clarified the definitions for both
    available to ensure it can implement that            identification and reporting concerns on
    plan. We also have a community safety sub-           children who may be “missing”. This strategy
    group of professionals and community                 is subject to regular review and was last
    representatives, whose role is to ensure             evaluated in November 2006.
    collective community responsibility for and      Doc 54. Children Missing Education
    contribution to, safeguarding children. As
    part of this work the LSCB has developed         35. Secure arrangements for sharing information
    relationships with the local media to elicit         are in place for children on the Child
    their support in promoting the principle that        Protection Register who move across
    safeguarding children is the responsibility of       boundaries, in line with “Working Together”
    everybody in the community.                          guidelines. We are one of the first areas in
                                                         the country to develop agreed procedures
Doc 51. LSCB – Groups
                                                         following the publication of “Working
Doc 52. LSCB – Business Plan
Doc 53. LSCB – Monitoring                                Together”, which has been done in
                                                         collaboration with Southend and Essex. In
32. The Council has carried out a review of              addition, by effective promotion, we have
    procedures in schools and within the Council         significantly increased the number of schools
    itself and identified generic and school             using the Common Transfer Form and
    specific areas for improvement, to ensure            missing children database.
    that people that have contact with children in   Doc 55. SET Child protection Procedures
    schools and/or looked after children are
    enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)           36. We recognise that disabled children and
    checked before they start work. The                  young people, and those with learning
    Management Planning process in place to              difficulties, are particularly vulnerable.
    respond to allegations or concern about staff        Children with special needs, who live away
    working with children and young people is            from home and are looked after, are subject
    robust and was recently identified as an area        to statutory reviews, which track their
    of good practice by the DfES Safeguarding            progress and safety and protecting disabled
    Unit                                                 children training is a part of a rolling
                                                         programme of training. We have ensured
33. Key recommendations from the Bichard                 that all contracts with external providers
    Inquiry are being responded to vigorously,           require all out of borough placements to
    particularly on safer recruitment. On-line           have child protection procedures in place.
    recruitment and selection training are all           We provide guidance to parents on the need
    available and initial participation levels are       to be stringent when accessing services in
    very good, with almost half of all schools           their use of Direct Payments.
    having completed or in the process of            37. We have continued to strengthen our
    completing safer recruitment training this           transition procedures, protocols and practice
    year. This will continue to be promoted and          to ensure they meet the needs of our young
    monitored to ensure all schools have                 disabled population. Over the past two years
    accessed the training by 2008. We have               a complete transition service has been
    developed CEF guidance on safeguarding               developed to provide a multi agency
    and assessment in line with recent DfES              response to disabled young people’s
    guidance to schools and to ensure                    assessed needs which includes the young
    consistency we are using this as a template          person at the heart of it. To complement the
    to roll out across the Council.                      previous range of Children and Family teams
34. A review of procedures to establish the              and adult services, we added a wraparound
    identity and whereabouts of children and             multi agency transition option, which can be
    young people was commissioned by the                 accessed by young people at any time
    Council’s CEF Director. As a result a new            during the years between 14 and 25,
    multi-agency steering group has been set up          according to their individual need. Through


Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 19 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

       this service we attend every education
       review for over 300 pupils with Statements of       Improving timescales for completion of
       Educational Need in Thurrock and provide a           initial assessments
       service for vulnerable young adults who             Increasing the number of and improving
       have been in the care system. As a result of         timescales for completion of core
       the creation of this service no young person         assessments
       left school in July 2006 without a person           Using national best practice model from
       centred plan, the number of young people             NSPCC to ensure consistent application of
       aged 14+ who have a transition plan in place         anti-bullying strategies
       to support their move from Children’s to
       Adult Services improved by 15% between
       2005 and 2006 and we are clear about the
       potential needs of school leavers for the next
       several years and are developing resources
       to meet them.


   Strengths in Stay Safe
        Provision of information and advice from
         centrally-based Initial Response Team
        Use of CiN meetings and planning to
         avoid unnecessary escalation onto the
         child protection register
        Thurrock’s  own    Assessment      and
         Recording Responses to Children System
         (ARCS)
        Support for Looked After Children
        Quality of core assessments and initial
         assessments carried out
        Fostering and adoption services



   Impact of joint working and partnership
   arrangements
        Successful piloting of strategies for multi-
         agency working on common assessment
         using ARCS
        Joint approach to raising awareness of
         safeguarding agenda across agencies and
         with public through LSCB.
        Cross boundary procedures for sharing
         information from the Working Together
         guidelines



   Focus Areas for Further Development



Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                              Page 20 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

                                                             with parents supporting their children
Enjoying and Achieving                                       through the Sure Start targeted work in
                                                             Tilbury and Chadwell. This has been an
                                                             effective method of engaging parents,
                                                             particularly those who we have previously
                                                             had limited success in engaging. In addition
Overall Summary                                              within the considerable range of activities run
To ensure children and young people attain their             to support parents, Sure Start has also
maximum potential educationally, our key                     worked to take services to parents and
commitment is to support and challenge our                   families, through basing some services in
schools to ensure that all young people, of all              Community       facilities  within  particular
abilities, receive every opportunity to achieve              neighbourhoods, in line with the Partnerships
formal qualifications. We are refreshing our                 strategy of local delivery wherever possible.
School Improvement Strategy and building on our              Many of the services and activities piloted
commitment to ensure we maximise the good                    through Sure Start, as well as the key
capacity within our schools (through the work of             features of localised delivery and a focus on
the Design Group) to ensure the skills of our best           positive education outcomes rather than
leaders are used widely across the authority; to             parenting gaps, are now features of the
purse       amalgamations      and      federation           parenting support provided in all Children’s
arrangement s wherever desirable; to recruit the             Centres across the borough.
best School Improvement Partners and drive their
                                                        Doc 59. Sure Start
work forward and to ensure internal services that       Doc 60. Children’s Centres
support the work of schools are of the best
possible standard. We have the determination to         3.   Additional advice and guidance is provided
become good though at present outcomes                       through the Parent Partnership scheme,
overall are adequate.                                        which is well established and consistently
                                                             marketed. Its funding per head of population
                                                             is high, the ratio of Independent Parental
                                                             Supporters to parents/carers is good and as
1.   Across the Partnership agencies, there are a            a result it has been widely accessed in the
     range of services delivering support to                 last 2 years, supporting more parents and
     parents and carers in helping their                     carers per 1000 people than in any other
     children to achieve. In Early Years and                 authority.
     Childcare, a range of programmes have
     successfully delivered universal support           4.   Attainment levels for Looked After
     through childcare providers to help parents             Children are good overall. All LAC have
     improve children’s “readiness” for school.              nursery placements and Personal Education
     Transition processes for all children                   Plans from 3 years of age to track early
     identified as having SEN have been                      years development .The numbers sitting at
     implemented by the Early Years SENCO. To                least one GCSE in 2006 was again above
     build on this practice transition support is            the national average and that of statistical
     available for children where English is an              neighbours. Results at GCSE have more
     additional language and the uptake of                   than doubled since 2003-04 and are now
     nursery education by traveller children has             good as were the results at the end of Key
     increased following targeted work by the                Stage 2 in 2006. Alongside the improvement
     early years Inclusion Officer, as well as the           in attainment levels, the attendance levels
     additional benefits of the contacts resulting in        for LAC have also improved. The use of the
     some parents accessing basic skills training.           First call service has resulted in a
                                                             considerable improvement in their absence
Doc 56. Early Years – Traveller nurture days
                                                             levels, from over 20% missing more than 25
Doc 57. Early Years – Basic Skills
Doc 58. Early Years – Play days                              days of school in 2003 to only 12% with the
                                                             same absence level in 2006.
2.   The strategy of focusing on each child’s
     education rather than focusing on parenting        5.   Childcare in Thurrock continues to expand
     problems has underpinned much of the work               as we seek to ensure our Early Years
                                                             provision       promotes        children’s

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                   Page 21 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

     development and helps them to meet the                will ask for accreditation for entry level and
     early learning goals, but the number of new           Level 1, to allow 14-19 year olds to access
     providers is being developed at a much                this training and we plan to explore linking
     slower rate than in previous years to ensure          the work to improving opportunities for
     that sustainability is embedded into any new          teenage mothers and to linking with the work
     settings. Partly to meet the demands of our           for Father Direct to allow male carers to
     growing population of families and children           undertake training through the CACHE
     under 5, the number of childcare places               college.
     available has nevertheless increased             Doc 61. Early Years – Raising the quality
     consistently, with the trend in places for
     three-year-olds rising rapidly both within and   8.   The 2006 Foundation Stage profile results
     outside of the maintained sector.                     show some improvement in the young
                                                           children in Thurrock’s readiness for school
6.   This increase is to be welcomed, though the           as they begin Key Stage 1. Overall, the
     numbers of places per hundred three and               results in Thurrock have improved
     four-year-olds available in Thurrock is still         sufficiently between 2005 and 2006 to take
     below that seen nationally. We are working            standards in some areas of learning above
     with partners and the Development                     the national average for the first time.
     Corporation to ensure that meeting the
     growing demand for childcare is an integral      9.   Despite this overall improvement, there is a
     part of the plans for regeneration in                 need for further improvement within the key
     Thurrock. The development of capacity for             learning goals on mathematical development
     nursery provision has been prioritised in             and on communication, language and
     particular for areas of disadvantage with             literacy, as standards in Thurrock are on
     increases in three of our most disadvantage           average slightly below the national levels.
     areas.                                                Across these areas of learning Thurrock’s
                                                           average points scores are lower than is the
7.   The rapid increase in childcare provision             case nationally. However we are closing the
     brings with it the need to ensure that                gap between Thurrock and national levels
     provision is of good quality. Through                 within this challenging target, through good
     targeted work of our Early Years team, we             alignment between the Early Years team and
     are continuing to increase the numbers of             the Primary Strategy, as well as targeted
     childcare providers who successfully meet             through Children’s Centres and other
     the required standards at initial registration        settings. The increasing effectiveness of this
     inspections. Regional Foundation Stage                targeted approach is evident in the
     Advisors have recognised that robust                  acceleration in the rate for closing the gap
     monitoring by the Early Years team is                 for boys in particular and was acknowledged
     providing a comprehensive overview of the             as a key improvement by the FS Regional
     private,    voluntary    and     independent          Advisor.
     inspections and that this monitoring is well     Doc 62. Engaging Fathers
     used for targeting advisory work and training
     at specific settings. In addition, recent        10. We continue to focus on closing the gaps to
     inspections of our childcare settings have           national levels and in particular are targeting
     shown some improvement, but we recognise             the work on areas where socio-economic
     the need for further improvements,                   and linguistic factors are still complex
     particularly in the proportions of settings          barriers to improving the performance of
     such good or better. Raising qualifications          some Thurrock children in the early years.
     and improving the quality of leadership in the       There has been effective partnership
     PVI sector is a significant challenge for the        working with local Speech and Language
     local authority. However we are confident            therapists to develop training for early years
     that the newly opened CACHE college will             practitioners on developing children’s
     provide the range of qualifications needed,          communication, language and literacy skills
     as well as helping us to build much needed           at the beginning of 2007.
     capacity, and our confidence in this is shared   11. The increasingly effective analysis of FS
     by the FS Regional Advisor. As a result, we          profile data and the increasing use of

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                  Page 22 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    baseline assessments on entry to the                    education framework in particular scored at
    Foundation Stage are allowing us to                     95%.
    determine specific school-by-school needs.
                                                        17. To complement the focus on the Early
    This improved analysis and targeted support
                                                            Years, we are working with our schools to
    has been extended to childcare providers,
                                                            ensure that educational provision for
    which feed into schools, to ensure that areas
                                                            children aged 5 to 16 is of good quality.
    for development are tackled in a co-
                                                            Results for Thurrock pupils have improved
    ordinated way across all early years settings.
                                                            significantly at the end of Key Stage 4 in
12. Within support for Early Years, we continue             2006, building on the improvement trend
    to implement strategies to support for pupils           from previous years, and making Thurrock
    with learning difficulties and learning                 one of the most improved authorities in the
    disabilities.    Our     applied      behaviour         country at GCSE for 05-06. The numbers
    analysis/verbal behaviour programme is an               attaining 5 GCSE’s at A*-C have risen
    early intervention programme for pre-school             sharply and are now above the 50%
    children with autism and is the first of its kind       threshold for the first time. In addition the
    to be run by a local authority in England.              proportion of Thurrock students gaining 5
                                                            GCSE’s at A* - G has also improved and the
13. It has resulted in good pupil progress with
                                                            numbers attaining one GCSE at A* - G is
    skills development and communication
                                                            high compared to the levels at least
    throughout the programme. Consequently,
                                                            nationally and in our statistical neighbours.
    as a result of this early intensive support, a
    number of children have been able to access         18. Results in Key Stage 3 are more mixed. In
    mainstream education on reaching statutory              English the gap between Thurrock and
    school age, which they would not have been              national standards at level 5+ was reduced,
    able to do without the early support.                   with boys attainment at level 5+ the highest
                                                            to date and sufficient to move standards out
14. There is now a borough-wide portage
                                                            of the bottom quartile. At level 6+, standards
    service for children with learning difficulties
                                                            rose by more than the national average with
    and disabilities, providing a regular home
                                                            boys moving out of the bottom quartile and
    visiting service. The service currently
                                                            the considerable improvement in girls’
    supports 34 families in Thurrock and
                                                            results moving them from the bottom quartile
    includes support to 8 very young children
                                                            to the 2nd quartile.
    making the transition to nursery settings. The
    initial 3-month evaluation and the follow up 6      19. In Maths, results improved by 4% at level 5+,
    monthly reviews indicate high levels of                 with boys and girls standards of attainment
    parent and family satisfaction with the                 both improving by more than that seen
    service. All of those commenting reported               nationally. In Science standards in Thurrock
    that they found the service helpful, flexible           at level 5+ improved by 4%, compared to a
    enough to fit well with their family life and           2% nationally. Again the performance of
    effective in making a difference to their               boys in Science rose in line with that of their
    children’s progress, with 75% judging that it           peers nationally and the performance of
    was an excellent way of joining up support              Thurrock girls was better than that of their
    from a range of different agencies for their            peers nationally.
    family.
                                                        20. However, in spite of these improvements,
15. The ICAN Nursery is a resources base for up             there remain gaps, and in some areas large
    to 15 part time nursery aged children who               gaps, between standards in Thurrock and
    have a moderate to severe specific speech               those nationally at the end of Key Stage 3. In
    and language disorder, integrated in to the             addition    we     recognise     that   these
    nursery at Chafford Hundred Campus                      encouraging improvements in 2006 only
    primary school.                                         return attainment levels to on or just below
                                                            the levels seen in Thurrock in 2004.
16. In March 2006 the service was reviewed
                                                            Consequently, targeted work focused on
    under the ICAN National Accreditation
                                                            specific schools at Key Stage 3 will continue
    scheme. The service a full accreditation
    award with an overall 87% rating, with the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                  Page 23 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    to be a priority for the Secondary Strategy in       and KS2 and we are working collaboratively
    Thurrock.                                            with the primary sector in particular to
                                                         develop and deliver a refreshed and
21. Firm action has been taken to raise
                                                         reinvigorated school improvement strategy.
    standards in some of our lower achieving
                                                         We recognise the need to increase capacity
    secondary schools through the recent
                                                         to support schools. Proposals for enhancing
    designation of academy status for one
                                                         our capacity are being drafted in consultation
    school and the innovative appointment of a
                                                         with schools, elected members and partner
    joint head teacher between a high achieving
                                                         agencies.
    secondary school and another secondary
    school in the borough.                           Doc 63. LAA – Raising Attainment

22. At the Council’s APA inspection in 2006,         26. Although the numbers are small at 3
    CSCI/Ofsted recognised the significant               schools, the % of schools in Ofsted
    improvements in the way the authority                categories is now a concern. Our analysis of
    worked with schools and the impact on                section 5 inspection judgements for 2005-06
    results from this rigorous and well-targeted         show that across the schools inspected, the
    intervention. This has been maintained into          best performing areas were enjoyment,
    the 2006 results in Key Stage 2 and the              learners making a positive contribution,
    trend since 2003 now places Thurrock                 adoption of healthy lifestyles and safe
    among the most improved authorities in the           practices, and behaviour of learners. The
    country.                                             weakest areas overall were standards and
                                                         attendance. We recognise that school self-
23. The longer-term trend in results at Key Stage        evaluation in the schools inspected to date is
    1 shows little or no change and in 2006              not good enough overall and we are working
    results are slightly down overall from 2005.         to support schools with this aspect of their
    Results in reading and writing at level 2 and        leadership and management.
    3 in 2006 are generally lower than in 2005       Doc 64. Section 5 – Enjoy and Achieve
    and Maths standards fell at level 2 and 3.
                                                     27. The evidence from Section 5 inspections is
24. In spite of the improvement trend at Key             that pupils enjoy going to school in Thurrock.
    Stage 2, further improvement work is needed          However there are aspects where we need
    to raise standards in Thurrock schools by the        to improve the extent to which children and
    end of key stage 2 and we intend to focus on         young people encouraged to attend and
    lower attaining and under-performing                 enjoy school.
    schools with an extension of the National
    Primary Strategies Intensifying Support          28. Pupil enjoyment of education seems to be
    Programme. In addition the lack of progress          good. Section 5 inspection judgements for
    in standards at Key Stage 1 means we have            05-06 showed pupil enjoyment of their
    refreshed our school improvement work in             education to be one the strongest features
    the primary phase and we have provided               across the schools inspected as a whole,
    extra capacity in this priority area to              with 92% of our schools inspected judged at
    challenge under-achievement. In addition we          good or better on this aspect. In addition,
    recognise the need to improve the                    from a recent on-line survey for pupils, 97%
    attainment of boys in a number of areas and          of the 1000+ respondents indicated that they
    girls participation in further and higher            had positive views on how enjoyable they
    education. Our analysis of results shows that        found education. Lack of enjoyment seemed
    in spite of the overall improvement in English       to be slightly more common in secondary
    standards at Key Stage 2 and 3, standards            schools than in primary and slightly more
    in reading are proportionately weaker than           common among boys than girls. Through the
    those in writing and a growing concern               survey, pupils identified that the most
    across Key Stages 1 to 3, particularly for           common key factors for making their
    boys.                                                education more enjoyable would be a more
                                                         interesting curriculum and more interesting
25. We are committed to working with our                 lessons.
    schools to improve outcomes for children.
    The LAA includes stretch targets for KS1

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 24 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

29. In 2003, we introduced the “Impact Learning”          and as a result the attendance levels in 2006
    programme as a pilot for a small group of             are now at their highest levels for 4 years. In
    primary schools, and focused on improving             spite of this improvement, rates of absence
    children’s self-esteem, confidence, and their         are still too high compared to national and
    knowledge and understanding of learning               statistical neighbours, particularly the levels
    and how to learn. This approach, run over             of unauthorised absences. Addressing and
    the two years between 2003 and 2005, and              improving these are a key goal as we
    aimed at utilising the current research into          implement our revised attendance strategy
    acceleration of learning and the application          through a restructured and re-staffed service
    of learning to learn strategies, had a                with extra capacity at key points.
    significant impact in the pilot schools. The     Doc 65. Attendance – visit notes regional advisor
    schools saw standards rise on average by         Doc 66. Attendance –Summary regional advisor
    9% at Level 4 in English and by 10% at           Doc 67. Attendance - Benchmarking
    Level 4 in Maths, standards rise at Key          33. While no Thurrock school was judged less
    Stage 1 by an average of 4% in Writing and           than satisfactory in terms of the behaviour of
    Maths at level 2B and by an average of 8%            learners, improving support to manage
    at 2B+ in Reading over the two years, as
                                                         behaviour is a key part of our priority focus
    well as improvements in average attendance
                                                         on promoting inclusion with both the Children
    levels across the schools.                           and Young People’s Plan and the LAA.
30. Other authorities have visited to review the         While levels of permanent exclusion are low
    work in Thurrock and subsequently adopted            in both primary and secondary schools, the
    “Impact Learning” as part of their school            levels of fixed term exclusions in our
    improvement strategy. Within Thurrock we             secondary schools are too high and rising.
    are now using the approach in another group          We have already made progress in
    of low attaining and under performing                addressing this with a refreshed pupil
    schools, where schools report it has already         support service, a good example of the
    had an impact on classroom ethos, pupil              effectiveness of our strategy of using our
    self-esteem and on attendance levels.                best school leadership teams to deliver
                                                         services to their communities and other
31. Programmes such as “Impact Learning”
                                                         schools. The improvements have been noted
    show that within Thurrock we recognise the
                                                         by schools, which rated the support for
    need to improve standards and to raise
                                                         behaviour as the most improved aspect in
    expectations of schools, teachers, students
                                                         the 2006 Audit Commission Survey and are
    and their parents and carers. At Secondary
                                                         evident in the falling numbers of referrals to
    level, the Aim Higher programme has
                                                         the Pupil Referral Unit
    successfully been extended and now
    includes an additional 5 secondary schools       Doc 68. Schools Survey - Behaviour
                                                     Doc 69. Fixed Term Exclusions – Benchmark
    to those who started the programme. In
                                                     Doc 70. Fixed Term Exclusions
    2005-2006, the programme successfully
    encouraged 79% of young people into FE,          34. Two separate projects to promote Behaviour
    ahead of the annual target and there was             and Attendance at Primary and at Secondary
    more than a 50% increase in the number of            have both been highly effective. The Primary
    young people taking up a place at University         pilot resulted in a substantial improvement in
    summer schools with all of the places                attainment and progress levels. This positive
    allocated filled and with 3 schools getting          outcome led to elements being rolled out
    more than their allocated numbers into the           across the borough. In secondary the focus
    summer schools. However we are also                  was on schools where attendance had fallen
    acutely aware that there remain significant          below 92%. There was a considerable
    challenges to address such as developing             improvement in average attendance rates
    staff knowledge of Aim Higher and getting            and in levels of attainment, with several
    parents to value HE and the different routes         target pupils achieving grades higher than
    into HE.                                             had been predicted
32. Pupil attendance rates improved in 2006 in       35. In addition the work of the Tilbury and
    both our primary and secondary schools,              Chadwell Excellence Cluster has included a

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 25 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    key focus on management of behaviour                     confidence in the service they and the young
    through    the      Behaviour   Improvement              people concerned can expect however, and
    Programme in the cluster. The work of the                as a result we are negotiating with schools
    cluster and the BIP are included in a                    over extra funding for the service from the
    separate evaluation report on services and               Dedicated Schools’ Grant.
    their impact for Tilbury and Chadwell, as it is   Doc 72. EOTAS – Policy
    the area chosen for the Neighbourhood             Doc 73. EOTAS - Guidance
    Study.
                                                      41. The borough offers children and young
36. In conjunction with Creative Partnerships, 16         people access to a range of recreational
    of our schools are engaged in the Accelerate          and voluntary learning activities, including
    programme working with artists ranging from           play and voluntary learning provision,
    garden designers, photographers and                   activities provided through the Youth
    filmmakers to architects.                             Service, libraries and the play service, and
37. Within our education provision for pupils             voluntary and community provision.
    who do not attend school we have also             Doc 74. sports
    seen the benefits of our strategy to build
    capacity by working in conjunction and               Strengths in Enjoy and Achieve
    partnership with our schools.                             Improvement trend in results at the end of
38. A recent HMI inspection of our Pupil Referral              Key Stage 2 over the last 3 years
    Unit, which is now led and managed by the                 Improvement in GCSE results at the end
    leadership team from one of our primary                    of Key Stage 4
    schools, identified that this approach had
    resulted in a significant improvement in the              Transition support into nursery education
    quality and quantity of the education on offer.            for young children, including those from
    From a position of being in an Ofsted                      specific vulnerable groups such as those
    category in 2005, the unit was judged to                   with EAL and those from the traveller
    have made good progress and be delivering                  community
    good standards across Key Stage 3 and 4,                  Attainment levels of Looked After Children
    and judged to have made outstanding
    progress, with outstanding standards at Key               Pupil enjoyment of, and engagement in,
    Stage 1 and 2.                                             education
Doc 71. PRU – HMI summary                                     Low levels of permanent exclusion in
39. In addition, to meet an identified need, we                primary, secondary and special school
    have     completed     the    provision    of              sectors
    accommodation and recruited staff to open a
    16 place unit for pupils with Emotional,
    Social and Behavioural Difficulties. We are          Impact of joint working and partnership
    on track to open the 5 place Key Stage 1             arrangements
    and 2 unit in January 2007 and the 11 place
    Key Stage 3 and 4 provision in April 2007.                Improved quality of provision and better
                                                               outcomes for children and young through
40. An increasingly rigorous programme of
                                                               commissioning schools to deliver services
    monitoring of pupils educated at home has
                                                               such as the Pupil Support Service and the
    ensured challenge where necessary. As a
                                                               Pupil Referral Unit
    result an effective partnership has been
    established with parents and carers and in                Increasingly good partnership working with
    10 instances has resulted in children                      schools on a range of school improvement
    returning to school. However in spite of the               strategies
    positive developments in the Pupil Support
                                                              Use of specialist support from Speech and
    Service, the numbers getting 21 hours or
                                                               Language specialists helping to develop
    more of provision is a key target area for
    improvement. The recent rapid improvement
    in the PSS has given the schools in Thurrock

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 26 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

       strategies to improve early language and
       communication skills across all children



   Focus Areas for Further Development
      Quality of childcare provision in some
       areas and further improving quantity on
       offer in some areas
      Closing the gap further between standards
       in Thurrock and those nationally at the end
       of the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1,
       Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.
      Building capacity to support school
       improvement through both centrally
       managed       services   and    through
       commissioned services from good schools
       in the borough
      Levels of unauthorised absence in some
       schools
      Levels of fixed term exclusion overall in
       our secondary schools
      Boys achievement across subjects and
       key stages
      Girls achievement in Maths at Key Stage 2
       and their access to further and higher
       education at the end of Key Stage 4




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock   Page 27 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

                                                             in outcomes for children between those
Making a positive contribution                               affected by poverty and other children. A
                                                             number of parents contacted the project and
                                                             are supported by the Wishes mentors and
Overall Summary                                              have access to childcare and transport to
In line with our strategic priority to promote and           help them to study. Over 120 learners have
encourage user participation and engagement,                 enrolled with the project over the last 18
our key commitments are to ensure the voice of               months and of these 51 have achieved
youth is used formally and informally to shape               accredited qualifications at Level 1,2 or 3,
policy and to educate young people about the                 11are enrolled on vocational training courses
political process and their role within it. At               and 5 have gained employment.
present we judge that outcomes overall here             5.   The Primary Mental Health team has made a
are adequate, with some improving elements.                  significant contribution to support for children
                                                             and young people. They have increased the
                                                             number of pupils they support and extended
1.   Children and young people in Thurrock                   the support to a wider range of schools and
     are increasingly well supported in                      to the PRU. The work has increasingly
     developing socially and emotionally.                    focused on social and emotional support with
     Extensive mentoring support is available                almost 60% of referrals related to addressing
     across most schools in the borough from                 behaviour and aggression. The feedback
     statutory and voluntary sector organisations.           from parents/carers and children reports that
     Previously, we had identified a gap in the              the service is achieving good levels of
     North East of the borough, which has been               success with consistent improvements in
     addressed, and so access is now borough                 emotional well-being and behaviour. In
     wide.                                                   recognition of this success the team won an
                                                             award from the South Essex Partnership
2.   There has been an increase in the number of             NHS Trust in 2005
     schools using learning mentors and                 Doc 76. CAHMS
     evaluation feedback suggests this work is
     having an impact on raising self-esteem, as        6.   The involvement of fathers and other male
     well as improving attendance and punctuality            carers with children and young people is a
     for some children and young people.                     challenge in Thurrock as it is elsewhere.
                                                             Three Children’s Centres are working
3.   None of the schools inspected during 2005-              towards achieving the Fathers Direct Quality
     2006 were judged less than satisfactory in              Mark, with some working in partnership with
     the way they cared for, supported and                   Health Visitors to offer baby massage for
     guided learners and 67% were judged good                fathers. A ‘Heroes Week’ was provided to
     or better. Similarly, all schools were judged           offer male role models in children’s lives the
     as at least satisfactory in the way they                chance to participate in activities with their
     supported pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and          children of all ages, not just those aged 0-5
     cultural development and 58% were graded                years. Through a series of activities and
     as good or better, while the judgements on              group sessions, they engaged with 30 men
     schools     support      for   the    personal          and their children. Feedback was positive –
     development and well-being of learners                  “this is great”, “I hope this will continue” –
     rated all as at least satisfactory and 67% as           and subsequently a ‘Dads Mag’ is offered in
     good or better.                                         the Ockendon and Aveley Children’s Centre
Doc 75. Section 5 Inspections – Positive Contribution        to encourage the involvement of fathers and
4.   The CEF led multi-agency Wishes Project                 male carers.
     addresses the need to provide non-                 Doc 77. Engaging Fathers
     accredited and accredited Basic Skills or          7.   We have made significant progress in
     equivalent training for adults of 19 years and          making sure that children and young people
     over whilst removing the barriers to                    have opportunities for participating in
     accessing learning. It is a key element of              decision-making and in supporting the
     children’s centre strategies to close the gap

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                   Page 28 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

     community. Children and young people are           12. Levels of participation of Looked After
     increasingly involved in shaping services              Children in influencing plans and services
     through their involvement on each of the               delivered to them are good. Through the
     Boards within the Local Strategic Partnership          Advocacy Project (URSAY), they took up
     and their involvement in feeding back on               over 100 cases in 2005/06, supporting
     planned services through the Youth Cabinet.            individual children in challenging decisions
                                                            made that related to their future. On a
8.   As a result of the first phase of implementing
                                                            number of occasions it led to decisions being
     our    strategy      for    involvement   and
                                                            overturned and redefined in keeping with the
     engagement of young people, a fully elected
                                                            young person’s wishes and feelings.
     Youth Cabinet was established, with elected
     representatives for all secondary schools,         13. The work of the Youth Service and other
     colleges and young people at work living in            partner agencies has resulted in the number
     Thurrock. It has a good range of                       of young people being reached doubling
     representation and through further work is             between 2003 and 2005, an improvement
     being extending to younger children and                rate significantly better than the national
     minority groups.                                       average and which has resulted in the
                                                            participation rates in Thurrock going above
9.   To ensure the voice of young people is
                                                            the national average.
     helping to drive service provision, particularly
     for services for youth, the responsibility for     Doc 83. Youth – Community Work
     the Youth Opportunities and Youth Capital          14. The Partnership has a range of services in
     funds have been delegated to the Youth                 place to help Looked After Children to
     Cabinet giving them a budget of over 170K.             make a positive contribution and to be
     The delegation of all of this funding has              involved in decision-making. Through a
     necessarily meant that progress in                     range of integrated approaches, including a
     identifying priorities and commissioning               drama group producing an annual Looked
     provision of services on behalf of other               After Children’s Christmas Pantomime,
     young people has been slower than had                  secure arrangements for transition in
     officers progressed spend directly. However,           placements, priority admissions in schools
     it has ensured that the decision making for            for LAC on transition from primary to
     service provision over things to do and                secondary education and mentoring support
     places to go lies completely with the young            provided for young people leaving care in
     people of Thurrock.                                    conjunction with the VCS, the focus is on
10. The Council have reviewed the involvement               raising self-esteem, raising attainment and
    of young people and the work of the Youth               engaging looked after children in reviewing
    Cabinet in conjunction with the youth cabinet           and designing services provided to them.
    members, and further strengthened the               15. We are especially proud of our Looked After
    impact of the Youth Cabinet, improving the              Children’s pantomime, running for the fourth
    extent to which it is representative of the             time this year. This has so far involved over
    demographic profile of Thurrock’s young                 120 children and young people, performing
    people.                                                 to over 2000 people. The effect on the self-
Doc 78. Youth Cabinet Minutes - 1                           esteem and confidence for those involved
Doc 79. Youth Cabinet Minutes - 2                           has been substantial and one young person
Doc 80. Youth Cabinet Minutes - 3                           went on to achieve a GCSE in Drama and
Doc 81. Youth Cabinet Minutes - 4                           another was enrolled in a prestigious
Doc 82. Youth Cabinet Minutes - 5                           regional performing arts school.
11. Beyond the Youth Cabinet, all secondary             16. Specific support is provided for Looked After
    schools, and most primary schools have a                Children who offend or who are at risk of
    student council. Of the schools inspected               offending. While the rate of final warnings,
    between 2005 and 2006, 83% were judged                  reprimands and convictions seems high, the
    good or better in terms of the extent to which          number of looked after children involved is
    learners make a positive contribution to the            very small at 4 children and this is half the
    community.                                              number of LAC involved in crime in 2005.

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 29 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

17. The number of Looked After Children              21. In addition, tackling anti-social behaviour is
    participating in and contributing to their           now a central Council commitment through
    reviews is very high at over 90%. Within their       the formation of a joint (with the Police) ASB
    feedback, they have raised issues about the          Team. The STP structure supports two
    structure and format for carrying out reviews        relevant sub-groups – a Youth Prevention
    and we plan to address this in conjunction           Group which brings together planning for our
    with them in the future.                             prevent and deter duties, looked after
                                                         children, the youth inclusion and support
18. The marketing and recruitment of carers
                                                         panel, positive futures and safeguarding
    campaign has continued to be highly
                                                         duties (addressing the needs of young
    successful and so placement choice has
                                                         people as victims of anti-social behaviour).
    improved further, with 19 new carers
                                                         The other group is a Community Safety
    approved this year, more than double the
                                                         Delivery Group which is the operational
    average number of new carers recruited
                                                         group looking at responses to individuals
    prior to the start of the campaign. The
                                                         and local hot spots. This latter group will
    campaign has successfully increased the
                                                         build on a successful programme of
    proportion of carers from minority ethnic
                                                         intervention carried out in 2005 where an
    groups but we intend to continue to prioritise
                                                         anti-social hot spot was targeted through
    this within our recruitment work to keep
                                                         some joint intervention with the Police, the
    apace with the rapidly changing profile of
                                                         YOT and the ASB team which engaged with
    Thurrock’s population.
                                                         a group of young people and their parents.
19. The Partnership is currently working with            The consequence was that anti-social
    young people in a variety of ways to identify        behaviour significantly reduced in the
    ways of taking action to reduce anti-social          community and the partnership work was
    behaviour by children and young people               subsequently delivered in another area of
    and to improve public perceptions of the             Thurrock.
    problem. A recent scrutiny report by elected     Doc 86. Safer Thurrock Partnership
    members has focused on anti-social
    behaviour and related issues. The Safer          22. The work of the Thurrock Youth Offending
    Thurrock Partnership campaign against anti-          partnership to prevent offending and to
    social behaviour has taken action to focus           reduce re-offending by children and
    attention on the protection and safety of            young people has had some positive impact
    victims, many of whom are young people as            on outcomes. The Youth Justice Board
    well as against perpetrators of anti-social          regional assessment of September 2006
    behaviour.                                           recognised that the performance of the
                                                         service showed an upward trend and that it
Doc 84. Anti Social Behaviour - Scrutiny
                                                         was better than that of the family group, the
20. The findings from the scrutiny review and the        regional and the national levels. Although the
    existing work to tackle anti-social behaviour,       improvement score against the key
    have in part led to the Partnership’s decision       indicators was low at 45% in December
    to have the development of restorative               2005, this has risen to 51.5% at the end of
    justice approaches and principles as a key           September 2006, an improvement noted by
    improvement strategy throughout the                  the    YJB     Regional     manager.      This
    Children and Young People’s block of the             improvement is to be welcomed. While more
    LAA. Thurrock is the first local authority in        remains to be done we are committed to
    the country to use restorative justice as a          maintaining this momentum.
    key strategy within its local area agreement     Doc 87. Youth justice plan
    and the Youth Justice Board advisor to DfES      Doc 88. Youth prevention delivery group
    recently confirmed at a national conference
    that Thurrock’s approach is to be highlighted    23. There has been a reduction in first time
    for other authorities to consider within their       offending and in rates of recidivism. Since
    LAA’s in the near future.                            April 2005, the number of first time offenders
                                                         in the youth justice system has fallen each
Doc 85. LAA
                                                         quarter and in March 2006 there were 49
                                                         compared with 95 in March 2005, with

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                Page 30 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    targets for young people as direct entrants to          specialising in caring for disabled children as
    court and for those receiving reprimands                well as a number of Shared Carers and
    both achieved.                                          befrienders.
24. Unique to Thurrock, there is now a Final            29. A joint initiative between the Council’s
    Warning and Reprimand Panel and it is                   Disabled Children’s Team and a local
    having a sustained impact. The cohort                   service provider, Conscire, targeted 10
    reporting at the end of 2005 showed an                  young people with Tourettes and Aspergers
    overall recidivism rate of 50.6% compared to            Syndrome for a series of Saturday fun and
    54.4% the year before. This is however,                 learning workshops. The feedback from the
    slightly above the average recidivism rate for          young people and their parents was very
    the Thurrock Youth Offending family group               positive, with the knock-on result that they
    and for England as a whole.                             have continued to meet up regularly for
                                                            activities within the community after the
25. The YOT were able to achieve their LPSA
                                                            sessions ceased.
    stretch target to reduce re-offending and the
    rate of reprimands and final warnings was           30. As part of the statutory assessment of
    well below the predicted rate of 20% for the            special educational needs, the views of
    cohort reporting at the end of 2004.                    individual children and young people are
                                                            always sought and incorporated into their
26. As part of our strategic priority to promote
                                                            statements. We are supporting the
    the participation and engagement of young
                                                            involvement of pupils with learning difficulties
    people we have identified the specific need
                                                            in target setting and reviews for School
    to help children and young people with
                                                            Action and School Action Plus.
    learning disabilities and difficulties to
    make a positive contribution. Young people          31. Support for families has focused on
    have been able to maintain control over the             providing respite care which is highly rated
    plans that affect them through the support of           and on which the feedback is consistently
    2 staff from the Disabled Children’s Team               good. We have increased our Shared Care
    who have been trained in Person Centred                 capacity and can now offer the service to 40
    Planning Process. Following the success of              disabled children and have in the last year
    this, there is now a rolling programme to               developed a Befriender scheme and have
    ensure the whole team are trained by March              approved 5 new befrienders this year. In
    2007. In line with the priority we place on             addition, we support 19 children in receiving
    partnership working with schools, a member              regular respite care residentially. We have
    of the Disabled Children’s Team sits on the             also increased direct payment provision and
    senior management meetings at Beacon Hill               as a result, 23 children and young people
    Special School on a half-termly basis, while            are now able to buy in and direct their own
    joint working is facilitated by the allocation of       support packages. – this service is very
    a Social Worker to each of the special                  positively assessed by families.
    schools in the borough.
                                                        32. Similarly, raising awareness of the Inclusion
27. Students from Beacon Hill school who have               Grants for pre-school providers has resulted
    severe and complex needs are now offered                in 24 providers accessing the grant in the
    a 2-week block of supported work                        last 2 years. To support those accessing the
    experience in conjunction with local                    grant further, the early years SENCO advise
    businesses. 8 young people accessed it this             all providers on appropriate actions to
    year with very positive feedback from                   improve access and on appropriate
    parents, the businesses involved and the                specialist equipment.
    young people themselves.
                                                        33. We recognise the need to improve our
28. Joint working between the Disabled                      support to Young Carers. Until January
    Children’s team and fostering services have             2006 a Young Carers project run by a
    had an impact on foster carers awareness of             national voluntary sector organisation (CSV)
    the support available to them when caring for           operated in Thurrock. At the time that this
    disabled children. This joint working has also          project ceased there were only 14 children
    resulted in the recruitment of 2 carers                 accessing the service, which mostly provided

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                   Page 31 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

       respite activities in the form of a club run
       once a fortnight.       In the interim, the         The impact of the work of the Primary
       Partnership provided services to Young               Mental Health Team on children’s
       Carers from Bluebell Family Centre on a              emotional well-being and behaviour
       temporary basis whilst further research and         Emerging potential of the Thurrock Youth
       scoping work was undertaken to develop a             Cabinet
       better understanding of the needs of Young          Consultation with young people in the 13-
       Carers in the Borough. The scoping shows             19 age range
       that awareness raising of the issues faced by
       Young Carers needs to take place across a           Support to involve looked after children in
       broad range of agencies; that a greater level        decision making
       of inter-agency work needs to be developed          The impact of the Final Warning and
       in order to both identify these young people         Reprimand Panel on youth offending rates
       and to meet their needs in a holistic manner;
       that there is a need to develop further
       dedicated provision within the voluntary
       sector and that links with adult services need   Impact of joint working and partnership
       to be strengthened. As a result, a multi-        arrangements
       agency Young Carers Strategy Group was              Agency wide recognition of need to
       formed and a draft strategy for Young Carers         involve male carers and the increasing
       in Thurrock was developed. All agencies are          numbers being engaged as a result
       currently undertaking work to identify
       numbers of young carers known to them and           Reductions in anti-social behaviour levels
       an on-line survey has been undertaken                in hot spot areas through targeted work of
       specifically for Young Carers.                       police, YOT and the Anti-Social Behaviour
                                                            Team
34. We have been proactive in reviewing the
    service that was being provided for young              Improved awareness of support available
    carers in the Borough previously and in                 for foster carers supporting young people
    decommissioning this. Whilst progress has               with disabilities through linkage of work
    been     slower     than    anticipated    on           from Disabled Children Team and
    redeveloping provision, more children are               Fostering and Adoption services
    now receiving support than previously and
    we are confident that through closer multi-
    agency working the needs of Young Carers
    will be better met in the future. The service       Focus Areas for Further Development
    currently being offered by the Bluebell                Further improving consultation with
    Family Centre is supporting approximately               children and young people aged 7-13, with
    20 young people at present. The NSPCC                   those from vulnerable groups and with
    Tilbury Children’s Project offers a dedicated           families
    therapeutic service to children and young
    people affected by Parental Substance                  Broadening consultation and engagement
    Misuse within the borough and work with                 to develop better levels of participation of
    approximately 25 children and young people              primary age children, families, and
    each year and on average 20 young people                vulnerable groups in decision making
    attend the Siblings Group for children who             Strategic linkage between the Youth
    have a disabled brother or sister each year.            Cabinet, the Youth Service and School
                                                            Councils
   Strengths in Positive Contribution                      Inter-agency work to identify and improve
        Range of mentoring activities across the           support on offer to young carers
         borough and the impact of Learning
         Mentors



Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                               Page 32 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

                                                             been established to provide a range of free
Achieving economic well-being                                access to sports and arts programmes in the
                                                             most deprived wards.
                                                        Doc 89. Help for Talented athletes
Overall Summary
In preparing young people for their transition to       3.   The actions to help children who are
adulthood, our key commitments are to support                looked after to achieve economic well-
schools, colleges and all relevant agencies in               being are focused on providing support and
providing our young people with appropriate                  fostering independence. The numbers of
routes in to the world of work and to support                young people leaving care who access
young people in acquiring financial literacy and             education, employment and training are high
finance skills. At present we judge that                     at the outset, with good advice available
outcomes      overall  are    adequate       with            through the inclusion of a Connexions
improving trends.                                            advisor within the Leaving Care team. The
                                                             proportion of care leavers in education,
                                                             employment or training at 19 has fallen since
                                                             last year, mainly due to the statistical effect
1.   There is an increasing range of mechanisms              on a small cohort of young unaccompanied
     in place to support families in maximising              asylum seekers who left the borough in an
     their economic well-being. The support                  unplanned way and for whom there is
     and information to parents on early years               currently no information on their involvement
     and childcare services for children aged 0-16           levels. Removing them from the KPI
     years is excellent as demonstrated by the               calculation leaves our performance at very
     Quality Award for the provision of                      good levels.
     information, advice and guidance recently
     achieved. The range and quality of                 4.   There is a broad range of support from the
     information about childcare facilities is good,         Leaving Care team through group work,
     well publicised and increasingly effective in           holiday activities, a residential week and a
     meeting the needs of vulnerable and harder              newsletter for young care leavers to
     to reach families through the availability of           contribute to. This work has been successful
     outreach services. We have extend this good             with the young people who have accessed it.
     practice to include a broader range of                  We now need to expand it, particularly for
     information by increasing resources within              minority groups, and develop closer links
     the     Children’s    Information       Service,        with leisure activity providers, to secure
     broadening its scope and remit considerably,            further increased involvement from young
     it is now well placed to fulfil the requirement         people.
     of a Children’s Services Directory by 2008.        5.   The service is complemented by other
2.   To meet the need for economic support for               agency services available to those Leaving
     many families, the provision of information             Care, including access to Sexual Health
     and publicity for parents and carers about              Nurses, with the service widely used and
     out of work benefits and tax credits is good,           highly regarded by young people. We
     and as a result there has been a rise in the            identified the need for CAMHS provision for
     numbers accessing these benefits. As                    young people leaving care to be more
     consultation with children, young people and            consistent and addressed this through
     families has identified that cost is a                  linking a designated CAMHS worker to the
     significant barrier to accessing services,              Leaving Care team.
     particularly sport and leisure facilities, there   Doc 90. CAMHS
     is now a growing range of support activities,      6.   Care leavers are provided with financial
     which are accessed by children and young                support they need.      A setting up home
     people from low-income families, the Youth              allowance is given when the young person
     Cabinet have identified subsidised access               moves into independence, although all
     and transport to sport and leisure facilities as        young people who wish to remain with their
     one of their priorities for funding, and an             Foster Carer post 18 are able to do so as a
     extended Positive Futures partnership has               supported lodgings placement.

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                    Page 33 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

7.   Young people still find it difficult to move          wider partnership. As at November 2006
     successfully to independence and we are               unknowns had reduced to 8.6% compared
     trying to improve the standard of                     with 28.8% for November 2005.
     independence training offered and to further
                                                       11. However the levels remain too high and a
     encourage carers to start independence
                                                           commitment to reduce our NEET figures is
     training much earlier. We have developed
                                                           another stretch target within the LAA and
     an excellent relationship with a local property
                                                           pump-priming money will be used to
     provider and have started our own
                                                           increase capacity in this area.
     Supported Lodgings Scheme.
                                                       Doc 92. LAA - NEET
Doc 91. Supported Lodgings
                                                       12. Information, advice and guidance for young
8.   Our second current Equality Impact
                                                           people is delivered by Connexions with the
     Assessment is into our Leaving Care
                                                           Open Door voluntary agency and is
     services and lessons from it will be shared
                                                           extremely well used, over 13,000 young
     with staff and other partner agencies early in
                                                           people accessing aspects of the varied
     2007. We have enabled some of our young
                                                           service they provide. As well as this
     unaccompanied asylum seekers to make a
                                                           universal service, work targeted at specific
     DVD about their experiences and this will be
                                                           groups through Open Door is having a very
     shared with relevant staff groups as well.
                                                           positive impact. The mobile information
9.   Within the area of helping young people               services’ regular visits, with a Connexions
     11-19 prepare for working life, there is a            personal advisor, to three traveller sites,
     range of services provided but more needs             have effectively begun to break down initial
     to be done to reduce the levels of those not          barriers and the proactive targeting of
     in education, employment or training. The             vulnerable young people within the PRU
     numbers of Thurrock’s young people in the             client group resulted in 11 young people
     16-18 and the 19-year-old groups who are in           accessing support for substance misuse.
     education, employment or training are well
                                                       13. Connexions advisor support is available to
     below the national averages. In addition the
                                                           all young people in secondary schools and
     proportion of teenage in education,
                                                           has been extended to young people in the
     employment or training is also too low
                                                           Pupil Referral Unit. Most Key Stage 4 pupils
     compared to national levels, although this
                                                           have access to work related learning or work
     has been an area of considerable
                                                           experience through the Trident business and
     improvement to date. Within our NEET
                                                           enterprise specialists. We have extended the
     figures, the numbers that became NEET
                                                           breadth of this work to include a new
     from compulsory education improved
                                                           collaboration with the Pupil Referral Unit,
     between 2004 and 2005 but by less than that
                                                           resulting in one day a week of work
     seen nationally so the gap remains wide,
                                                           experience for all Key Stage 4 students.
     while the numbers who became NEET from
     employment rose between 2004 and 2005             14. The impact of the action we have taken to
     and this is now well above that seen                  ensure that 14–19 education and training
     nationally.                                           is planned and delivered in a coordinated
                                                           way, and to ensure that education and
10. However while the pattern for the adjusted
                                                           training (16–19) is of good quality has
    numbers of young people not in education
                                                           been the subject of a recent Ofsted
    employment or training across 2006 to date
                                                           inspection of 14-19 provision in the borough
    is the same as the pattern for last year, the
                                                           as part of a programme of pilot 14-19
    actual numbers have been consistently lower
                                                           inspections in a small number of authorities
    since April 2006, and by November 2006
                                                           across the country. The report acknowledges
    there were 85 less on the adjusted NEET
                                                           some of the progress made towards the
    figures than at the corresponding time last
                                                           development of a 14-19 strategy and
    year. There has been a significant
                                                           implementation plan. However the report
    improvement in the tracking of young people
                                                           also makes clear that progress continues to
    over the peak period August to October
                                                           be too slow and inconsistent. The Council’s
    reflecting improvement in systems and the
                                                           Children’s Service Directorate had already
    ownership of the importance to NEET by the

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                               Page 34 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

    recognised the need for a co-ordinated                project focusing on regeneration. This
    series of actions to be put in place, in              Billboard Project will involve young people
    conjunction with its partner agencies,                from one of our secondary schools and its
    secondary schools, colleges, training                 feeder primary schools in a multi-media arts
    providers, local businesses and the Essex             project focused on the theme of regeneration
    Learning and Skills Council. This work began          in their local community and will seek to
    with a comprehensive review within the                engage the whole of the community in
    Council, which identified a number of                 recording their views, thoughts and feelings
    strategies for improvement and which are              about regeneration and its implications and
    subject to consultation and discussion with           potential impact on their community and their
    all relevant partners and agencies. The               day-to-day lives.
    Cabinet has endorsed plans to develop sixth
    form provision within our local school
    community and also approved the provision         Strengths in Economic Well-Being
    of a new FE/HE and Adult Community                     Information for parents and families
    Learning resource.                                      through the Children’s Information Service
15. Community regeneration initiatives to                  The delivery of a range of services and
    address the needs of children and young                 advice for children and families through
    people are linked closely to the strategic              our Children’s Centres
    plans for the Thames Gateway development.
    The need to provide facilities for statutory           Person centred planning for those leaving
    functions such as schools are explicit within           care and for those with learning difficulties
    the master plans as is the need for                     and disabilities
    community based facilities. . The growth in            Secondary School Revisioning Strategy
    population and capital funding offers an
    exciting opportunity to create new schools as
    well as improving the fabric of our existing
    provision. We are developing an ambitious         Impact of joint working and partnership
    secondary school replacement programme            arrangements
    which if accepted by DfES will see a new
                                                           Linked support and advice through
    generation of 21st century secondary schools
                                                            Connexions and Leaving Care teams
    fit for the purpose.
                                                            encourages good initial entry levels to
Doc 93. TGDC - Transforming Thurrock                        education, employment or training for
16. A particularly exciting development is the              young Care Leavers
    agreement to develop in Thurrock a                     Support for mental health and sexual
    Production Campus for the Royal Opera                   advice for young Care Leavers is valued
    House and a National Skills Academy. Not                by the young people themselves
    only will this offer a new employment
    opportunities in the borough, there are                High numbers of young people access the
    commitments within Stage One (Sept 2006 –               Open Door/Connexions service providing
    July 2007) of the project to deliver some               information, advice and guidance
    work in our schools and for our young people
    – examples include a Prop making
    Workshop for secondary schools, scenic
    painting workshops in FE and HE and a             Focus Areas for Further Development
    Design Workshop for local primary teachers             Further development and implementation
    based on ballet culminating in a performance            of 14-19 strategy
    at the ROH in July.
                                                           Improving the standard of independence
17. In line with our drive to involve young people,         training offered and encouraging carers to
    the Youth Cabinet have been working                     start independence training much earlier
    alongside partner agencies and the
    Development Corporation to plan a East of
    England Development Agency funded

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                               Page 35 of 44
PART C Needs Analysis, Impact and Involvement

      Continuing to reduce numbers of young
       people not in education, employment or
       training




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock   Page 36 of 44
PART D - The management of services for children and young
people

                                                                 Youth MP’s and the Youth Cabinet. We have
Part D – The Management of                                       drafted a strategy for participation and
Services for Children and Young                                  engagement aiming to build on this solid
People                                                           base,      increasingly    wide    ranging
                                                                 arrangements for continued consultation
                                                                 through local area Youth Forums, bi-annual
1.   The Children and Young Peoples Strategic                    consultation events, School Councils and
     Partnership has clear and challenging                       service user focus groups.
     ambitions for the quality of the services that
                                                        5.       There are clear and robust priorities for
     all agencies working in Thurrock will provide
                                                                 action within the ambitions we have set for
     and clear ambitions for this work to impact
                                                                 the CYPSP. Although the CYPP is a one-
     on outcomes for the children and young
                                                                 year plan, the ambitions it sets out are longer
     people of Thurrock
                                                                 term and within these there are specific
2.   The ambitious targets and actions within the                priorities and accompanying targets and
     Children and Young Peoples Plan (CYPP)                      milestones where appropriate. We have
     agreed by Cabinet, the Local Strategic                      extended     this    with    additional     and
     Partnership and the Youth Cabinet, were the                 complementary priorities for action within the
     result of comprehensive consultation with                   draft Local Area Agreement.
     young people, who demonstrated through             Doc 95. Local Area Agreement
     this that they have high expectations for
     themselves and their peers. The vision set         6.    To meet the CYPP priorities and the
     out in the CYPP has the challenging                      priorities for action in the LAA, the
     ambitions that young people demand of our                Partnership has identified a robust
     services and our partners’ services. Ofsted              overarching strategy and key strategic
     and CSCI acknowledged that these                         objectives in order to ensure its priorities
     ambitions were challenging in their recent               are delivered. Within the overarching
     inspection of the Council’s Children’s                   strategy priority of “Early Prevention Rather
     Services                                                 Than Later Interventions”, the key strategic
                                                              objectives to deliver on our priorities are:
Doc 94. Children and Young Peoples Plan
                                                              Integrating the roll-out of the Extended
3.   Similarly, in evaluating the extent to which                Schools      and     Children’s      Centres
     our ambitions are based on a shared                         programmes
     understanding of local needs amongst
     partner     organisations and with the                       Devolving central services to improve
     community, we welcomed that inspection’s                      ease of access and integration provision
     judgement that the ambitions and targets in                   at a local level
     the Children’s Plan were based on an                         Working with schools in geographical
     analysis of need and gap identification. The                  clusters to ensure holistic planning and the
     vision, entitlement statement, and priorities                 best use of collective resources
     of the CYPP were the result of wide ranging
     consultation and a thorough needs analysis                   Improving the quality of challenge and the
     across partners, the VCS, schools and the                     impact of support to schools
     Council. There is a shared commitment to           7.       Maximising      the    innovative   Children’s
     addressing these needs across all partners                  Services structure and the Partnership
     and this commitment is underpinned by good                  structure to ensure creative, imaginative and
     relationships with partners and by improved                 integrated service responses to children and
     joint working arrangements                                  families. This will be achieved through the
4.   Consultation with young people on our                       prioritisation within CEF of cross-Directorate
     priorities and ambitions has been a                         working on improving educational outcomes
     significant strength, initially through specific            for 3-11yrs old; pursuing inclusion and
     consultation events and latterly through                    inclusive practices; early identification of
     ongoing consultation with School Councils,

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                       Page 37 of 44
PART D - The management of services for children and young
people

     need within families and transition to healthy         of 10% - this despite a slight increase in
     adulthood.                                             numbers of Looked After Children.
8.   The Partnership has already demonstrated           11. The structure developed within the Council’s
     that it can, and will, take robust action to           Children’s Services has allowed Thurrock to
     deliver the strategic objectives. The                  take a lead role in developing a regional
     Council has demonstrated it is prepared to             commissioning strategy thanks to the dual
     take decisive action to address shortcomings           responsibility for one of our Strategic
     in the quality of education in schools in              Leaders of both Looked After Children and
     Ofsted categories, through school closures             SEN services. As a result, the IFA market
     and amalgamations where necessary and                  has been extensively mapped, there is now
     appropriate. The Council has also acted to             an approved provider list with criteria to
     accelerate improvements in one secondary               agree regional cost/volume and long-term
     by securing additional funding and                     placement contracts, there is an agreed
     “Academy” status in conjunction with a                 business case and consequently more
     charitable    organisation.     Similarly,    in       focused local procurement activity leading in
     conjunction     with     partners,    effective        turn to more room for negotiation over costs.
     application of strategies to reduce the use of
                                                        12. In terms of Residential Provision Thurrock is
     out of borough placements for SEN pupils
                                                            actively involved with Essex, Southend and
     and for LAC has led to improvements in
                                                            the NHS Trust working on the development
     service provision and in cost effectiveness
                                                            of a feasibility study for a jointly
     and the Partnership has accelerated the
                                                            commissioned Residential and Educational
     development of Children’s Centres to
                                                            resource for young people with highly
     improve locality-based provision.
                                                            complex BESD.
Doc 96. Children’s Centres – Phase 2
                                                        13. We are aware of the challenges inherent in
9.   The first phase of Children’s Centres is               being a small unitary authority and recognise
     building on-going evaluation of the quality            the need to build and sustain our capacity to
     and impact of services provided in the local           improve quality of the services we provide
     area into their work. Recent evaluations with          and their impact on outcomes. We have
     parents and carers accessing the Children’s            developed a structure for decision making
     Centres in Aveley and Ockendon indicated               and accountability between the Children
     that user satisfaction levels are broadly              and Young People’s Strategic Partnership
     good. However they also make it clear that             Board, Executive and Outcome Steering
     parents and carers in these two communities            Groups. We are now taking stock of this
     had need of some services the current core             structure, reviewing its impact, strengths and
     offer. As a result we are now working across           areas to develop and improve, to ensure we
     the partnership to look at extending the offer         continue to have effective arrangements for
     to services such as financial support and              monitoring and tracking performance and for
     debt advice, access to adult learning                  designing and planning the implementation
     (particularly in ICT) and provision of                 of new work streams.
     Jobcentre Plus workshops and support into
     employment.                                        14. We already ensure existing capacity is
Doc 97. Children’s Centres Phase 1                          used efficiently and effectively with the
                                                            new CEF structure, which has integrated
10. The Council has very effectively reconfigured           management between children’s social care
    its placement provision for Looked After                and education and made effective use of the
    Children through a comprehensive strategic              capacity that existed within both areas, as
    approach. This has resulted in the reduced              identified in the 2006 APA inspection. The
    usage of placements with Independent                    CEF structure allows the Council and
    Fostering Agencies resulting in a 30% drop              Partnership to be creative in bringing
    in spend and only 5% of our LAC population              together services in ways that reflect the
    in residential care against a national average          needs of service users and offer the potential
                                                            for genuinely creative service delivery – for

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                 Page 38 of 44
PART D - The management of services for children and young
people

    example, bringing together SEN and Looked            working and priorities for action and a
    After Children or Youth Service, Social Care         workforce development strategy will be
    for adolescents and Connexions. We hold              drafted by the end of the year. The need to
    regular Staff Workshops, which allow direct          strengthen integrated working is also being
    dialogues between senior managers and                taken forward by the LSCB and the
    around 100 of our staff, offering briefings on       directorate    strategy   group.    Training
    new service developments and celebrating             programmes from both will widen their target
    positive outcomes and achievements. All              audience to meet the needs of the private,
    staff are now able to access a web-based             voluntary and independent sectors as well as
    forum which allows them to share                     extending the traditional sector based
    information with each other and ask                  training.
    managers for news on policy and service          Doc 98. Workforce development
    developments.
                                                     19. Within CEF, we are committed to improving
15. Equally the Partnership structure has been           our performance through a combination of a
    effective in promoting joint working                 commitment to innovation and creativity as
    arrangements, which have in turn increased           well as a focussed attention on the areas of
    our impact in areas such as tackling                 our work that need most development.
    substance misuse and the provision of
    housing advice for young people in               20. CEF has developed a strong values
    conjunction with the voluntary sector.               statement, available to all staff through the
                                                         intranet and developed from the corporate
16. However we recognise the need to look for            values statement. Performance Management
    ways of continuing to extend and build our           is increasingly well embedded throughout
    capacity. Acting on the professional advice          the Directorate, again via a strategy
    of the Interim Director for CEF, the Council,        developed from the recently agreed
    with the support of its schools, has agreed to       corporate work, and teams are developing
    draw down available but previously                   their   own    performance      plans.   The
    unallocated schools revenue (up to 2 million         implementation of the new 1:1 appraisal
    pounds). This will accelerate our progress           scheme is being rolled out across the
    across a range of key priority areas and the         Directorate.
    programme resulting from it is being rolled
    out across the service.                          21. Results from a recent staff survey show that
                                                         we are scoring above or significantly above
17. We aim to improve recruitment of quality             benchmark levels in a number of key areas,
    staff and recently used an expo in March             with high levels of morale, job satisfaction
    2006 to raise the profile of employment with         and satisfaction with immediate and senior
    children, young people and families across           management. The prime areas of concern
    all sectors, showcasing a range of                   relate to induction (which will be addressed
    employment opportunities in Thurrock. We             via our new common induction standards)
    continue to offer bursaries to qualifying            and pay and rewards which will be explored
    social work students and the Care                    within our budget constraints.
    Ambassadors scheme involving schools,
    provides young people with the opportunity       22. We have established the principle of building
    to learn about work in the care sector.              capacity for improvement by commissioning
    Recruitment and retention capacity is                services from schools and to good effect,
    underpinning our implementation of new               with the transformation in provision within the
    Common Induction Standards for Children’s            Pupil Referral Unit as a prime example of
    Services.                                            what has been achieved to date. We are
                                                         also exploring ways to expand our capacity
18. We are investing in training opportunities to        further through partnership working with our
    build capacity within our existing staff             best schools and school leaders, particularly
    complements across all agencies. A                   to increase our capacity and resources to
    Children’s Services Directorate workforce            support     and    challenge      on    school
    group has identified common areas of                 improvement. Alongside that we are now

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                               Page 39 of 44
PART D - The management of services for children and young
people

    looking more creatively at ways of building
    capacity for school improvement within the
    limitations for the CEF Directorate that arise
    from the high levels of funding delegation
    that schools in Thurrock enjoy.
23. The pace of change locally and nationally,
    the rise in the number of children and young
    people in Thurrock and the populations’
    rapidly changing profile combine to produce
    challenges which ensure that resources in
    Thurrock have to be maximised and used
    creatively but effectively. However the
    contribution from children and young people
    has given us clarity about their ambitions
    and their subsequent expectations of the
    services we provide now and will have to
    provide in the future. The commitment of all
    partners and agencies to meeting those
    expectations is consistent and constant and
    within this increasingly growing culture of
    joint working and partnership arrangements,
    the providers of Children’s Services in
    Thurrock are approaching the future with
    both the confidence and the determination to
    ensure that we succeed.




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock   Page 40 of 44
Abbreviations

Abbreviations


    ARCS - Assessment and Referral of
                Children System
    ASB - Anti Social Behaviour
    BESD - Emotional, Social and Behavioural
                Difficulties
    BIP - Behaviour Improvement Plan
    BME - Black and Minority Ethnic groups
    CACHE -
    CAF - Common assessment framework
    CAMHS - Children's Mental Health Service
    CEF - Children, Education and Families
    CFCS - Children and Families Consultation
                Service
    CiN - Child in Need
    CP - Child Protection
    CPR - Child Protection Register
    CRB - Criminal Records Bureau
    CYPP - Children and Young Peoples Plan
    CYPSP - Children and young Peoples
                Strategic partnership
    DfES - Department of
    DoH - Department of Health
    EAL - English as an Additional Language
    FE, - Further Education
    FS - Foundation Stage
    HMI - Her Majesty's Inspectors
    ICAN -
    IFA -
    KPI - Key Performance Indicators
    LAA - Local Area Agreement
    LAC - Looked After Child
    LPSA - Local Pubic Service Agreement
    LSCB - Local Safeguarding Children Board
    NEET - Not in Education, Employment or
                Training
    NHS - National Health Service
    NSPCC - National Society Prevention
                Cruelty to Children
    PCT - Primary Care trust
    PRU - Pupil Referral Unit
    PSS - Pupil Support Service
    PVI -
    SEN - Special Educational Need
    SEPT -
    STP - Safer Thurrock Partnership
    YJB - Youth Justice Board
    YOT - Youth Offending team

Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock   Page 41 of 44
Web Links

Web Links

Topic / Organisation                                             Web Link

Thurrock School Jobs                                             www.thurrockschooljobs.org.uk

Thurrock Primary Care Trust - local healthcare and social care   www.thurrock-pct.nhs.uk
Thurrock Play Network - play and recreation Advice/support       www.thurrock-community.org.uk/playnetwork
Thurrock Parent/School Partnership Service                       www.thurrockparents.org.uk
Thurrock Parent Governors                                        www.thurrock.gov.uk/education/parents
Thurrock Music Services                                          www.thurrock.gov.uk/music

Thurrock Local Business Initiative                               www.thurrock.gov.uk/business/initiative
Thurrock Learning Partnership                                    www.thurrocklearningpartnership.org.uk

Thurrock Grid For Learning                                       http://www.tgfl.org.uk/
Thurrock Council Youth And Play Service                          www.thurrock.gov.uk/youthandplay
Thurrock Council Social Care                                     www.thurrock.gov.uk/socialcare
Thurrock Council for Voluntary Service (TCVS)                    www.thurrock-community.org.uk/tcvs
Thurrock Council Education Service                               www.thurrock.gov.uk/education
Thurrock Council - local unitary authority                       www.thurrock.gov.uk
Thurrock compact                                                 http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/i-know/content.php?page=compact
Thurrock Children's Information Service - childcare provision    www.childcarelink.gov.uk/whitebox/cis.asp?cisid=5002&mapid=75
Thurrock C.V.S. (Council for Voluntary Services)                 www.thurrock-community.org.uk/tcvs
Thurrock Business Forum                                          www.thurrockbusinessforum.org.uk
Thurrock Association of Governors                                www.thurrock-community.org.uk/tag


Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                       Page 42 of 44
Web Links

Topic / Organisation                                                            Web Link

Thurrock Adult Community College                                                www.thurrock.gov.uk/adultcollege

Surestart                                                                       www.thurrock-community.org.uk/surestart
South Essex Rape And Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC)                              www.thurrock-community.org.uk/sericc
Shaping Thurrock (LSP)                                                          www.shapingthurrock.org.uk
Open Door - advice/counselling for young people                                 www.thurrock-community.org.uk/opendoor
NHS in South Essex                                                              www.southessex.nhs.uk
Grangewaters Outdoor Education Centre                                           www.thurrock.gov.uk/grangewaters

Essex Police                                                                    www.essex.police.uk
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service                                            www.essex-fire.gov.uk
Essex Ambulance Service NHS Trust                                               www.essamb.co.uk
Community Mothers - enabling parents to help themselves                         www.communitymothers.org.uk
Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust                              www.basildonandthurrock.nhs.uk
AskThurrock -directory for children, young people and childcare professionals   www.askthurrock.org.uk
Anti Social Behaviour                                                           http://www.unwelcome.co.uk/cms/
Basildon And Thurrock College                                                   http://www.tab.ac.uk/ASP/
Connexions                                                                      http://www.estconnexions.co.uk/
Thurrock Fostering                                                              http://www.thurrockfostering.gov.uk/
Essex Police - Thurrock                                                         http://www.essex.police.uk/yourarea/y_ds_thu.php
Youth Music                                                                     http://www.youthmusic.org.uk/Action_Zones/thurrock.jsp
Thurrock Young Health Site                                                      http://www.younghealth.co.uk/index.html
Thurrock Arts                                                                   http://arts.thurrock.gov.uk/project_page.php?projectId=1



Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock                                     Page 43 of 44
Web Links

Topic / Organisation                                 Web Link

Impulse Leisure                                      http://www.impulseleisure.co.uk/index.cfm
Sports and Leisure                                   http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/sports/
Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation      http://www.thurrocktgdc.org.uk/
Thurrock Council Meetings                            http://democracy.thurrock.gov.uk/cmiswebpublic/




Thurrock Council       http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/




Services for Children and Young People in Thurrock          Page 44 of 44

								
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