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									TAMESIDE CHILDREN’S FUND EVALUATION 2005




                                 July 2005
Contents
                                        Page


Executive Summary


Section 1 Introduction and Background     3


Section 2 Tameside                        6


Section 3 Evaluation2005                  9


Section 4 The Projects                   11


Section 5 Qualitative Information        22


Section 6 Conclusion                     33


Appendix                                 35




                                    2
Section 1                               Introduction and Background
What is the Children’s Fund?

The Children‟s Fund was launched in November 2000 as part of the Government‟s
commitment to tackle disadvantage among children and young people aged 5-13.
The programme aims to identify children and young people at risk of social exclusion
at an early stage and make sure they receive the help and support they need to
achieve their potential.

The Children‟s Fund has 3 underlying principles:

         Prevention – to address the gap in preventative services for children and
          young people at risk of social exclusion, by providing increased and better co-
          ordinated preventative services for 5-13 year olds and their families
         Partnership – to take responsibility at local level for the delivery of the
          Children‟s Fund plan, involving partners from the statutory and voluntary
          sectors, community and faith groups and ensuring that the views of children
          and young people are represented
         Participation – the voices of children and young people are at the heart of the
          Children‟s Fund, with children and young people being involved in the design,
          operation and evaluation of the programme.

The original outcomes of the Children‟s Fund were that children would grow up:

         Healthy
         Emotionally secure and confident
         Having succeeded at school
         Having stayed out of trouble
         Living in a safe place
         Having the opportunity to succeed in achieving their dreams

The specific objectives of the Children‟s Fund are:

         To promote attendance in school by 5-13 year olds
         To achieve improved educational performance among 5-13 year olds
         To ensure fewer young people aged 10-13 commit crime and fewer children
          aged 5-13 are victims of crime
         To reduce child health inequalities
         To ensure children, young people and their families feel the services are
          accessible
         To develop services which are experienced as effective
         To involve families in building the community‟s capacity to sustain the
          programme and thereby create pathways out of poverty1

There are radical changes taking place in local government which should dramatically
improve the services offered to children, young people and their families. The
objectives of the Children‟s Fund link in with these changes.


1
    Taken from www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/strategy/childrensfund.htm




                                             3
Every Child Matters & The Children Act

The death of Victoria Climbie exposed many weaknesses in statutory services. The
resulting Green Paper of September 2003 – Every Child Matters – recognised that
children are failed by the system when, although they are known to a number of
services, nothing is done to help them. The paper notes that too often children
experience difficulties at home or at school but receive too little too late, once
problems have reached crisis point. The Green Paper outlined the way forward for
preventative services that support every child to develop their full potential. A new
direction was set out for children‟s services to ensure that agencies work more
closely together in the best interest of the child. Highlighted areas include
developing the following areas:

       Full service extended schools
       Increasing mental health provision
       Keeping young people out of custody
       Tackling homelessness
       Supporting parents and carers

The Children Act, passed in November 2004, provides the legal framework for these
reforms to go ahead and requires all agencies involved with children and young
people to cooperate, with local authorities taking the lead. By 2008, all local
authority children‟s services must have established integrated working at all levels,
from planning through to delivery, ensuring that everyone shares the same vision for
children and young people. A new local governing body (most commonly, although
not exclusively known as the Children‟s Trust) will operate to make sure that the
plans are realised.


Children’s Fund to-date – is it working?

National Evaluation

The National Evaluation of the Children‟s Fund (NCEF) was commissioned in
December 2002. It aims to evaluate what works in prevention and partnership
working and why. Key learning points to-date are summarized in a Research Brief2:

For Policy Makers

    1      Time
           It is important to recognise that projects take time to develop. Reviewing
           activity and identifying learning points is vital.
    2      Moving from Intervention to Prevention
           There are political pressures around the allocation of funding – prevention
           has historically not been allocated the high amounts of funding given to
           high level intervention (usually at „crisis‟ points).
    3      Change and Uncertainty
           It is extremely difficult to maintain and sustain a project when there are
           uncertainties about its future

2
 National Evaluation of the Children‟s Fund - Summary of Key Learning Points (November
2004)

                                            4
Children‟s Fund Planners

   1      Different Voices, Extended Understandings
          By bringing in different viewpoints, this can enrich what is available. By
          different services coming together, children‟s resilience can be built. The
          child‟s voice is crucial in this
   2      Partnerships are Important for Learning
          The Children‟s Fund has enabled organisations and individuals to work in
          a different, more coherent way and be able to help children in a more
          holistic way
   3      Flexibility
          Services need to respond flexibly and holistically to real life situations
          (e.g. not excluding siblings from services because they are the wrong
          age).
          Trust is crucial, to have working relationships based on a common aim
          and not on a service level agreement.

Key Learning Points for Decision Makers

   1      Risk can bring Rewards
          Practitioners working in mainstream agencies have not been rewarded for
          innovative working or taking more time with children in order to work
          collaboratively with them; this needs to be encouraged
   2      Outcomes and Measuring Success
          The focus on prevention makes it difficult to „demonstrate evidence of the
          non-occurrence of negative outcomes‟. The concept of trajectory may be
          a more useful concept than outcome in the case of preventative initiatives
          with children and this needs to be accepted by decision-makers when
          they fund projects.
   3      Learning
          It is vital to learn from outcomes as an ongoing process. There has been
          a tendency to chop and change funding initiatives. This has led to a loss
          of understanding about what has worked and a loss of continuity, as
          projects fold through loss of funding and others are set up with new
          funding, often to do similar work.




                                                    Painting the new Children’s
                                                  Fund logo designed by children




                                          5
Section 2                                                               Tameside
As shown, there are complex changes taking place in how children‟s services are set
up and delivered and the Children‟s Fund has been seen as a key part of steering the
change. How has this process been implemented in Tameside?

Tameside Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership

In Tameside, a new Director of Children‟s Services was appointed in April 2005 to
oversee the changes. Work already underway includes:3

         Changing geographical boundaries, so that health visitors, school nurses and
          social workers are all working together in the same areas
         Six secondary schools in Tameside have bid to become extended schools,
          which will focus on supporting study and out of hours learning. The aim for
          extended schools is to offer a full range of services including sports,
          counselling, and health promotion that the whole community can use
         Supporting the principles behind Tameside Children‟s Fund and looking at
          how best practice can be used to influence future work

The Strategic Partnerships have drawn up indicators which provide a guide to all
groups working with Children and young people to ensure that everyone is working
consistently to the same aims. 4

The Children‟s Fund is therefore an integral part of innovation – it represents the
opportunity to show real partnership working and has identified and uses the vital
ingredients in successful work with children and their families to change lives, bring
about social inclusion and prevent future problems.

The Area

Tameside lies on the Eastern edge of Greater Manchester, bordering with
Derbyshire. It covers 40 square miles and contains 89,981 household and 151
schools. Tameside originated in the 1970s, when 9 separate towns were joined
together as a single borough. Traditionally a textile manufacturing area, the borough
now focuses heavily on industries that are predicted to decline such as metal, light
engineering, clothing and food with little resource in the service sectors that are
expanding elsewhere. The problem of accessing work is compounded by lack of
affordable childcare and transport provision. Consequently, Tameside has the lowest
waged economy in Greater Manchester.5

Tameside is divided into 19 wards, shown below. It is ranked 53rd out of 354 in the
1998 National Index of Local Deprivation. The map shows the level of deprivation
across the area – Ashton St Peters and Hyde Godley are amongst the most deprived
10% in England. The indices of deprivation, constructed by Oxford University for the
DETR (Department of the Environment, Transport and the regions) is made up of the
following 6 indices:

3
    For more information, see www.tameside.gov.uk/cypp/everychild.htm
4
    See Appendix 1 for the Full list of themes and outcomes
5
    taken from www.tameside.gov.uk


                                                6
          Income - households claiming income related benefits
          Employment – unemployment related benefit claimants and people in New
           Deal options or government supported training who are not in work
          Health – comparative mortality ratios, people receiving health/disability
           related benefits, proportion of low birth rates and ratio of limiting long-term
           illnesses
          Education, skills and training – Adults with no qualifications; young people
           who are not in full-time education or have not successfully applied for higher
           education; primary school performance data; absenteeism and children with
           English as a second language
          Housing – Homeless or over-crowded households, poor private sector housing
          Geographical access to services – access to a post office, food shops, GP and
           primary schools


 Ward Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000



                                                                        MOSSLEY
                                                                    Mossley

                                               Ashton Hurst

                                 Ashton
                                Waterloo
                                                  ASHTON
                                                                   Stalybridge
                    Droylsden                      Ashton St          North
     Droylsden        East                         Michaels                      STALYBRIDGE
       West                        Ashton
                                   St Peters                               Stalybridge South
DROYLSDEN
                                                           Dukinfield
    AUDENSHAW                           Dukinfield         Stalybridge
                 Audenshaw
                                           DUKINFIELD
                                                 Hyde Newton                     LONGDENDAL
                                 Denton
                                North East                                       E
                                                                              Longdendale
                                                         HYDE
          Denton West                                           Hyde
                                   Denton                      Godley
                 DENTON            South


                                                 Hyde Werneth




    Ward in worst 10% in England
    Ward in worst 20% but not worst 10%
    Ward in worst 25% but not in 20%
    Remaining wards




  Tameside‟s resident population on census day was 213,045 with 0-14 year olds
  accounting for 20%

                                                     7
Tameside Children’s Fund 2004

The first year‟s evaluation focused on the set-up of projects. Already, themes were
emerging around effective practice. Key pointers for success appeared to include:

           Partnerships and networking – building a network of support and
            understanding of a child so that services offered are relevant, timely and
            coherent. This would avoid the child falling through the gaps in services,
            outlined in Every Child Matters
           Working with the family as well as the child, recognising that the child
            doesn‟t exist in isolation from his/her environment
           Dedicated workers who demonstrate that they value the child and help
            them to identify and realise their choices.
           Workers being flexible and responsive to need – e.g. being able to deal
            with a child in trouble immediately. Working in an organisation that
            understands this approach and supports workers is important to success –
            e.g. letting a child be taken out of a lesson to deal with emotional issues
           Listening to children – picking up on issues early on and then doing
            something about it. Research6 shows that services often know about
            problems and issues but don‟t do anything about it; only a crisis prompts
            action, by which time a considerable amount of damage has been done to
            the child, the family and society

The 2004 evaluation concluded that „recognising what is happening with children,
listening to them, working out what to do together and then adults carrying out their
promises seem to be simple but key factors in success of projects.‟ This evaluation
will examine if this is still the case and show where this has made a difference to
children‟s lives in Tameside.




                                                 Activities at Jubilee Gardens resource
                                                  centre for children with disabilities
                                                            and their families




6
 For a incisive example of this, see Appendix 1 to the 2004 evaluation, reproduced with
permission of the Audit Commission

                                             8
Section 3                                                 Evaluation 2005
Outcomes to be measured have changed slightly from original Children‟s Fund
model, since the principles outlined in „Every Child Matters‟ have been adopted.
These are:




                                                             Enjoy and
          Be Healthy                  Stay Safe              Achieve




                    Make a Positive            Achieve Economic
                    Contribution               Wellbeing




The Evaluation Methodology

In a similar way to our last evaluation, the process contains the following sources of
evidence. The original evaluation brief was to write reports that were jargon-free
and easy to understand, both by professionals and lay people. The spirit of this was
carried out in our methodology.

Project Visits and Interviews

During the complete set of project visits (all of which were made by researchers at
the Trust), the following groups were targeted for feedback:

Project Workers – to give an update on project development, milestones in
success, barriers to success and hopes for the future

Partner Professionals - to examine if the project was perceived to be making a
difference (e.g. teachers in schools were interviewed to gather views on the success
of the learning mentors)

Parents – it has been possible to interview far more parents than last year –
perhaps an indicator of how far projects have come in connecting with carers

Children and Young People – their views on what has made a difference to their
lives was key

The themes from the interviews will be examined in more detail in Section five, with
links made to success indicators where possible.

                                           9
Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Projects send a quarterly return to the Children‟s Fund. As previously, evaluators
were keen not to add to the burden of paperwork by requiring yet more forms to be
filled in, so used these returns wherever possible to add to site visit findings. Many
projects use their own feedback forms and evaluation documents with young people
and carers – these too were incorporated into findings. The quarterly returns were
used to analyse the statistical elements of this report.

Measurable Targets

Some projects have clearly defined targets as measures of success. Others are more
fluid – using individual case studies to highlight a tangible difference made to a
child‟s life (e.g. starting to communicate more, getting to school). The evaluators
have tried wherever possible to show hard outcomes where these have been
provided (see the Volunteer Reading Scheme), but have also recognised that stories
can speak much more loudly than figures. The holistic approach of projects has also
been taken into account – a project may view itself in one particular category
(health, for example), but have a knock on effect in another area (e.g. a young
person‟s emotional wellbeing is improved and they will do better at school).

Evaluators are beginning to examine base-line data in Tameside to try and piece
together the Children‟s Fund impact on areas such as crime, health and education.
Early indicators will be highlighted on page 23. There are limitations to this, since it
cannot be clear whether there is a direct link between, for example, the Healthy
Eating Project and an improvement in health across the area. The Children‟s Fund
was also not required to set specific targets (e.g. lower truancy rates in school x by y
amount). However, case studies from projects can be used to look at where there
has been an impact in individual cases. Where a project has been able to measure
its performance statistically, this will be reported in the evaluation.




                   Musicians and Singers celebrating the recording
                         Session of „Tameside as One Voice‟




                                          10
Section 4                                                          The Projects
Coverage

There are 24 projects in total that have received funding for the year 2004/2005 and
the coverage of the projects is as follows:


   Project Name                                                     Coverage
   Traveller, Refugee, Asylum Seeker Support Team                   Authority-wide
   The Water Adventure Centre Inclusion Project                     Authority-wide
   Hurst Community Association - Youth Club                         Area-Based
   TMBC Education SEN/CAMH‟S                                        Authority-wide
   Our Kids Eyes (OKE) Support Group                                Authority-wide
   Volunteer Reading Help - Tameside                                Authority-wide
   TMBC Education - Learning Mentors                                Authority-wide
   Jubilee Garden Saturday Club                                     Area-Based
   TAVYO (Tameside Association of Voluntary Youth Organisations)    Authority-wide
   Barnardo's - Hyde/Ashton Family Support                          Area-Based
   GM Fire Service - Tameside Young Firefighter Cadet Scheme        Area-Based
   Tameside Sports Development Unit - Pathways Into Sport           Authority-wide
   New Charter Housing - Gibson Terrace Play & Learning Project     Area-Based
   Tameside Women's Project                                         Authority-wide
   Youth Offending Team - Focus on Families                         Authority-wide
   Hyde Bangladesh Welfare Association                              Area-Based
   Off The Record - RU 10-13                                        Authority-wide
   TMBC Social Services - School Links Scheme                       Area-Based
   Young Carers                                                     Authority-wide
   Participation Project                                            Authority-wide
   Community Dental Service - Good Food/Good Health                 Area-Based
   DAAT (Drug & Alcohol Team) - Tier 2 Drugs Worker                 Authority-wide
   Sure Start Hattersley - Activity Team 5-13's                     Area-Based
   TMBC Sport and Youth Service - Junior Award                      Authority-wide


Brief Outline of Projects

Traveller, Refugee, Asylum Seeker Support Team

The project provides one-to-one work with refugee and asylum seeker children to
help them integrate into school life. The project worker and child put together an „all
about me‟ book and present it to the rest of the class to develop an understanding of
the culture and background of the child.

Water Adventure Inclusion Project

Provides canoeing and other activities for children at the weekends. The project
aims to increase self-esteem and confidence and help children have fun.

Hurst Junior Youth Club

Project set up in an area where there were local concerns about youth nuisance.
The club has converted an area in the basement into a space for children and young
people.

                                          11
SEN/CAMHS Project

Looking at promoting good emotional health in schools – working alongside Learning
Mentors and Family Support Workers

Our Kids’ Eyes (OKE)

Provides a parent-led support group for parents and children with disabilities. The
group take part in a wide range of social activities for parents, children and their
siblings.

Volunteer Reading Help

Trains volunteers to go into local primary schools to support children in literacy and
numeracy, also improving their confidence and self-esteem.

Jubilee Garden Saturday Club

Provides a club for children with disabilities and their siblings.

TAVYO

Provides local assistance with CRB checks, child protection and first aid training to
voluntary groups working with 5-13s.

Barnardo’s Family Support

Provides out of school activities for older children of families with whom Sure Start
are working. Family support is provided through helping parents undertake training
and gain employment in the childcare field.

GM Fire Service Young Cadet Scheme

Delivers training about fire safety and the work of fire officers. Volunteers in the Fire
Service give up their free time to work with cadets

Pathways into Sport

Sports activities after school, weekends and during school holidays. Close working
relationship with Learning Mentors, who provide referrals to the project. Aims to
increase children's sense of confidence and achievement.

Gibson Terrace Play and Learning Project

After school, weekend and holiday activities for children living in a homeless families
unit. Works in partnership with the Children‟s Library Service and local schools.

Tameside Women’s Project

Provides a therapeutic service and play activities for children who have witnessed
domestic violence and are living with mothers in a local refuge. The project helps to
settle children into a new environment and provides an outreach service to those
who have found new accommodation.

                                            12
Youth Offending Team – Focus on Families

Provides support to parents of offenders and works with siblings of young offenders
who may be drawn into offending behaviour. Parenting courses are offered to
parents, with children offered diversionary activities such as other Children‟s Fund
projects and therapeutic support if necessary.

Hyde Bangladesh Welfare Association

Provides out of school and learning activities for children and support to parents.
Aims to improve the academic achievement of Bangladeshi children using the project
and gain the trust and support of parents in widening the scope of activities that
children take part in.

Off The Record

Provides a counselling service for 10-13 year olds. Project works in schools, and
youth clubs as well as from its base in Hyde. Close links with Learning Mentors,
Family Support and SEN/CAMHS workers.

Social Services School Links Scheme

Provides preventative family support for young people and their families. Close
partnership with Learning Mentors and SEN/CAMHS workers to ensure that children
are happy and achieving.

Young Carers

Provides social activities, homework support and opportunities to have fun in a social
environment away from the pressures of caring for a family member.

Participation Project

Provides opportunities for children to be involved in the decision-making process
about their local community and schools and use creative ways to express their
views on the world.

Community Dental Service – Good Food, Good Health

Promotes healthy eating and dental care. Healthy cooking sessions and „smoothie‟
sessions provided in schools and community centres to explore the tastes and
benefits of fruit and vegetables.

Drug and Alcohol Team – Tier 2 Drug Worker

Provides drug and alcohol education in schools, youth services and with young
offenders.

Sure Start Hattersley

Works in partnership with Sure Start and Neighbourhood Renewal Fund to provide
activities for children and young people after school, at weekends and during
holidays.

                                          13
     TMBC Sport and Youth Service – Junior Award

     Provides junior youth activities in areas identified as having a youth nuisance
     problem. Young people taking part can work towards a junior award, a youth
     version of a Duke of Edinburgh course.


     The allocation of funding is shown comparing 2003/2004 with 2004/2005. In
     2004/2005 thirty five per cent of funds are allocated to area based projects.


Project Name                                                   Funding       Funding       %
                                                               2003/2004     2004/2005     Change
Traveller, Refugee, Asylum Seeker Support Team                 £20,000.00    £12,000.00    -40%
The Water Adventure Centre Inclusion Project                   £30,000.00    £18,000.00    -40%
Hurst Community Association - Youth Club                       £32,796.00    £16,000.00    -51%
TMBC Education SEN/CAMH‟S                                      £120,255.00   £49,785.00    -59%
Our Kids Eyes (OKE) Support Group                              £24,785.00    £14,104.00    -43%
Volunteer Reading Help - Tameside                              £28,633.00    £14,470.00    -49%
TMBC Education - Learning Mentors                              £315,000.00   £160,000.00   -49%
MENCAP Jubilee Garden Saturday Club                            £30,457.00    £16,000.00    -47%
TAVYO (Tameside Association of Voluntary Youth                 £63,493.00    £18,000.00    -72%
       Organisations)
Barnardo's - Hyde/Ashton Family Support                        £115,000.00   £52,954.00    -54%
GM Fire Service - Tameside Young Firefighter Cadet Scheme      £60,069.00    £9,869.00     -83%
Tameside Sports Development Unit - Pathways Into Sport         £37,000.00    £22,298.00    -40%
New Charter Housing - Gibson Terrace Play & Learning Project   £62,710.00    £35,200.00    -44%
Tameside Women's Project                                       £31,526.00    £14,708.00    -53%
Youth Offending Team - Focus on Families Attendance            £46,425.00    £24,016.00    -48%
Hyde Bangladesh Welfare Association                            £46,100.00    £27,120.00    -41%
Off The Record - RU 10-13                                      £39,042.00    £24,281.00    -38%
TMBC Social Services - School Links Scheme                     £75,894.00    £50,000.00    -34%
Young Carers                                                   £28,800.00    £19,200.00    -33%
Participation Project                                          £30,000.00    £89,439.00    198% *
Community Dental Service - Good Food/Good Health               £21,870.00    £14,978.00    -31%
DAAT (Drug & Alcohol Team) - Tier 2 Drugs Worker               £44,189.00    £29,130.00    -34%
Sure Start Hattersley - Activity Team 5-13's                   £32,000.00    £22,726.00    -29%
TMBC Sport and Youth Service - Junior Award                    £56,674.00    £29,161.00    -48%
                                                      TOTAL    £1,392,718    £783,439      -43%


     *NB This figure is irregular because the staff costs for 2003/2004 were included in
     the partnership central costs and not attributed directly to the participation project.

     The decreases in funding are largely due to the cuts in funding to the Children‟s
     Fund, which caused a huge amount of disruption last year (see the 2004 evaluation
     for more details). Although the Fire Service saw its funding drop by 83%, this was
     largely due to year one being a contribution to building/capital costs not needed in
     future years. The large drop in funding for TAVYO was again reflective of the weight
     of funding being around setting up systems in year one. However, with an average
     of 43% less funding it is clear that this would have a considerable impact in the
     ability to deliver services. This will be discussed in more detail later in the report.




                                                 14
Tameside Children‟s Fund categorises the projects according to the Every Child
Matters Framework and a diagram of this can be found at Appendix 1. Using this
framework the funding allocated to each project can be gathered under the ECM
headings as follows:



                           % Funding According to ECM Framework


                     11%
                                           16%



              9%


                                                                                   Stay Safe
                                                                                   Enjoy & Achieve
                                                                                   Be Healthy
                                                                                   Economic Wellbeing
            24%                                                                    Positive Contribution
                                                    40%




The lead provider for seven of the projects is either a local education service or a
local authority service, while seven more projects are headed up by a local voluntary
organisation. National voluntary organisations have responsibility for four of the
projects.

Many of the projects are delivered across several sites, 67% of which belong to the
service provider. Seven projects are delivered at home which represents some 30%
of the total delivery.

                                        Where Service is Delivered



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                                                    15
Project Objectives

Each project was asked to rank priorities from a given list and it was intended that
these priorities would be ranked 1 to 8. However many projects did not prioritise in
such a way and instead gave equal value to a number of different priorities. To
reflect this, the following table lists the priorities and the number of projects that
ranked it as number 1.


    Priority                                           Number of Projects
                                                       that ranked this top
School Attendance                                                  8
School Attainment                                                  6
Crime Reduction                                                    7
Health Improvement                                                14
General Accessibility                                              4
Equity of Access                                                   9
User Satisfaction                                                  9
Capacity Building                                                  6



58% of projects gave a ranking of 1 to health improvement, which corresponds with
the Health and Happiness goal of Every Child Matters. If school attendance and
attainment are taken together to represent the ECM goal of learning, then 58% of
projects have this as a target.

The Tameside Children‟s Fund plan 2005-2008 categorises each Children‟s Fund
project according to the framework of Every Child Matters. The chart at appendix 1
illustrates the connections between the projects and the goals of every child matters.




                               Young Carers Project
                           logo designed by young carer




                                         16
Target Backgrounds

Eighteen of the projects stated that they targeted young people from a specific
background with the majority indicating that they targeted more than one group.
The table below and the corresponding graph illustrate this.

The greatest emphasis is on children with behavioural difficulties, self esteem
problems and those living in poverty. The next categories receiving attention could
be linked in the sense that they are behavioural symptoms of the circumstances of
poverty and families in stress, so they include anti social behaviour and high rates of
truancy and non-attendance at school.




                                                                                                                                   Target Backgrounds

               12

               10

                8

                6

                4

                2

                0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Families in stress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Domestic Violence
                                                                                                                                               Anti social/Criminal
                                                                                                                                                                      Mental Health
                    Minority Ethnic




                                                                                                                                                                                                                         High rates of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         High rates of




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Substance abuse
                                      Refugee/Asylum




                                                                                      Disabled Children




                                                                                                                                                                                                    Children living in
                                                                                                                                                                                      Self esteem




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Transferring
                                                                      Children from




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Homeless
                                                       Young Carers




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Children going
                                                                                                                     Behavioural
                                                                                                                                    Bullying
                                                                                                          Learning




Service Provided

While projects highlighted health improvement as an objective and targeted children
experiencing behavioural difficulties, low self esteem and poverty, the approach
widely taken is to engage children in activities including play schemes; arts and crafts
and sports, as well as organising trips and away days. A significant number of
projects offered information and signposting while the support for health education
directly relates to the target of improving health.




                                                                                                                                                     17
                                                                                                                                                       Service Provided
             14




             12




             10




              8




              6




              4




              2




              0
                                                                                                  Music/Dance/Drama




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Information & signposting
                                                                                                                      Trips/away days
                                        Arts & Crafts




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Facilities provision
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mediation/advocacy
                                                                                                                                                            Health education


                                                                                                                                                                                             Family therapy
                  Club provision/Play




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mentoring/role models
                                                                               Media production




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Parent education




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Participation/engagement
                                                                                                                                                                               Home-school
                                                                                                                                        Education support




                                                                                                                                                                                                              Child therapy




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ICT
                                                                 Environment




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Additional language
                                                        Sports




How these services are utilised to respond to the issues or circumstances of the
children are agreed following and according to the views of the worker, the child and
the parent where appropriate. As the child is treated individually, any of these
services or combination of services could be found to be the “best fit” and as
discussed further in this report, whilst the provision itself is important, the culture of
support and value in giving it appears to be key.


Demographics

According to the 2001 census the population of 5-14 year olds in Tameside is 29,790
of which there are 15,209 males and 14,592 females. During 2004 10,521 children
had an initial contact with a children‟s fund project and 9,766 were regularly
supported. This latter figure will have an element of double counting because
children receiving support over more than one quarter will be counted in the return
for each quarter. However 9,766 children represents 33% of the 5-14 population and
is an increase of 12% on the previous year. This level of support is being achieved
by a smaller number of projects than in 2003, twenty four as compared to thirty
four, and indicates that the projects are no longer dealing with issues resulting from
a new service being set up and developed but are now in the business of delivering a
well-used and well-regarded service. Changes are represented in the tables below:




                                                                                                                                                                                     18
                              Children Supported by Gender and age


              1000
               800
               600
               400                                                                                                Male
               200                                                                                                Female

                  0




                                                                       11

                                                                             12

                                                                                      13

                                                                                            14

                                                                                                      >
                      5




                                                              10
                              6

                                       7

                                                8

                                                         9




                                                                                                 14
                  <

                          to

                                   to

                                            to

                                                     to



                                                                   to

                                                                            to

                                                                                  to

                                                                                           to
                                                             to
                      5

                                  6

                                           7

                                                 8


                                                                  10

                                                                        11

                                                                                 12

                                                                                       13
                                                          9
                                                         Age Groups



            <5    5-6   6-7   7-8   8-9 9-10 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14   14>
          years Years Years Years Years Years Years Years Years Years YearsTotal
  Male      103   286   328   605   713   916   979   745   491   205   140      5511
Female       94   243   254   479   560   652   653   595   392   163   170      4255
  Total     197   529   582 1084 1273 1568 1632 1340        883   368   310      9766
     %      2%    5%    6% 11% 13% 16% 17% 14%              9%    4%    3%     100%



The bar chart above demonstrates a lot of Children‟s Fund activity around the ages
of 10 – 12, a time that research has identified as chaotic and unsettling due the
transition from primary to secondary education.7 This being case, this high input of
provision could be seen as preventing the problems of truancy and other challenging
behaviour that may occur as a result of this change.

The graph below shows the change in support for different ages between 2003 and
2004

                                           Children Supported 2003 & 2004

                  1800
                  1600
                  1400
                  1200
                  1000
                   800
                   600                                                                                         2003
                   400
                   200                                                                                         2004
                     0
                          5




                                                                                                           >
                                                                             11

                                                                                      12

                                                                                            13

                                                                                                     14
                                   6

                                            7

                                                     8

                                                              9

                                                                       10
                          <

                                  to

                                           to

                                                    to

                                                             to




                                                                                                          14
                                                                            to

                                                                                  to

                                                                                           to

                                                                                                 to
                                                                  to
                               5

                                        6

                                                 7

                                                          8

                                                                  9

                                                                        10

                                                                                 11

                                                                                       12

                                                                                                13




                                                                  Age Groups




7
 National Foundation for Educational Research has shown that 40 per cent of pupils lose
motivation and make no progress in the year after transfer to secondary school. (1999)

                                                                       19
The table below shows the ethnicity of the 5-14 year old population in Tameside as a
whole alongside corresponding figures for the ethnicity of children attending
Children‟s Fund projects.


                             Ethnicity    Attending  Tameside
                                         CF Projects 5-14 years
                           White             89%       92.3%
                           Asian              6%        5.3%
                           Black            1.2%        0.2%
                           Chinese          0.1%        0.4%
                           Mixed            2.5%        1.8%



There has been a significant increase in the number of Asian children attending
projects from 2.5% in 2003 to 6% in 2004. The bulk of this increase can be
attributed to two projects, the Hyde Bangladesh Welfare Association and TMBC
Education Learning Mentors project, which between them account for 74% of the
figure reported for Asian children.

The number of children receiving support under the SEN Code of practice is 488 a
considerable decrease on 2003 when the figure stood at 611, but the number of
children attending with a Statement of Special needs has increased from 231 to 411.
186 young people with disabilities attended projects and 75% of this figure is
contributed by two projects MENCAP – Jubilee Garden Saturday club and Our Kids
Eyes. It could be argued that the representation of both children from ethnic
minorities and those with disabilities should be further mainstreamed because any
specialist needs are currently being met by specialist projects.


Measurable Targets

Education, Tameside Children and Young People‟s Strategic Partnership and the
Police have been approached to examine baseline data around education, health and
crime. Although figures are not complete, some interesting findings are presented
here:


SATs Results

SATS results for 2003 and 2004 were compared looking for evidence of
improvement. 15 areas accommodate area based projects and the six areas that
have more than one project running are listed at the top of the table, starting with
the area with the most projects.8




8
    Information supplied by Tameside Education

                                             20
    Area              No of area based             % of schools with improved SATs
                      Children’s Fund projects
Hyde Godley                       4                75%
Longdendale                       3                Data Incomplete
Ashton St Michael‟s               2                50%
Ashton Hurst                      2                Data Incomplete
Ashton St Peter‟s                 2                33%
Hyde Werneth                      2                67%
Denton North East                 1                60%
Denton South                      1                67%
Denton West                       1                33%
Droylesden East                   1                67%
Dukinfield                        1                No Improvement
Hyde Newton                       1                50%
Mossley                           1                67%
Stalybridge North                 1                50%
Stalybridge South                 1                50%

It is interesting to note that the area with the highest concentration of Children‟s
Fund projects, Hyde Godley, has had by far the highest percentage of schools with
improved SATs. On average, the improvement across areas where the Children‟s
Fund is a factor and where figures are known is 55%.

Juvenile Nuisance

Juvenile nuisance figures for 3 years have been provided by GMP. Unfortunately, the
impact hoped for does not seem to have materialised. There are many reasons for
the fluctuations in figures provided, not least the current worries around the visibility
of young people and antisocial behaviour, which has led to increased reporting of
nuisance. The next evaluation will seek to look at the stories behind these statistics.

Every Child Matters

Children‟s Services are currently drawing up a wealth of data around the outcome
targets for Every Child Matters. Although figures are not yet publicly available, some
interesting figures are emerging. It must be noted that no direct correlation can be
made between the presence of Children‟s Fund projects and improvements in these
areas. It is probable that the presence of Children‟s Fund is assisting in these
improvements, particularly where the principle aims of the projects fit the outcome
targets for Every Child Matters:

Absences from school – many of the Children‟s Fund projects, particularly those
based in schools, have an aim to reduce absences in school. In primary schools,
authorised absences have dropped by 6% between 2003/04 and unauthorised
absences have dropped by 3%.

Partnership working – the number of social workers employed or working closely
with multi-disciplinary CAMHS teams is expected to rise by 57% between 2003/04
and 2004/05.

These figures will be further examined in the evaluation for 2006, which will have
seen the Children‟s Fund projects running for 3 years.




                                           21
SECTION 5                                QUALITATIVE INFORMATION
What do the interviews and case studies tell us?

Themes emerging from interviews

Projects are clearly working across the areas outlined in the outcomes framework of
Every Child Matters, indeed it is difficult to separate out projects with specific distinct
areas; rather they cross-over and impact holistically.

For example, it is clear to see from the OKE project that although it is concerned
with young people being able to enjoy and achieve in an environment where their
disabilities are not a barrier to access, there have been new opportunities for the
carers in the group, who have increased in confidence; developed new skills and are
managing the project – increasing economic well-being.

There is already well-documented evidence of how projects are keyed into the 5
framework themes. 9This section of the evaluation will give some evidence of how
interviewees and evaluators saw that projects are meeting these targets. It will also
outline the themes emerging from the interviews with children, project workers,
teachers and carers. In terms of evaluative process, what service users can tell us
about the projects is the main evidence of whether anything positive is happening -
their views of how the projects were developing and how they were making a
difference to their lives and their children‟s lives are critical evidence. Many people
spoke of how services were changing as a result of projects being around – this link
to the developing Children‟s Trust agenda will also be examined.

Names of those interviewed have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Outcomes Framework of Every Child Matters

Some examples of how a difference is being made to children‟s lives:


Stay Safe

The Junior Fire Cadets Scheme aims to work specifically with young people
referred to them by schools, YOTs and other Children‟s Fund Projects. Young people
are often in danger of getting into trouble, either with the law or of other risky
behaviours. The difference made to children by being involved in the scheme was
noted by themselves, as well as the project leaders:

          „the kids are more disciplined, they gel better and work together as a
          team‟

          „I was getting in trouble before and I‟m not now – I chucked stones at
          windows. I‟ve learned not to do it now, I was bored before‟ (boy
          aged 13)
          „when I was at home, I played playstation and got into trouble. I‟m
          here now‟ (boy aged 12)
9
    See the 2004 evaluation of the fund, plus the Tameside Children‟s fund Plan 2005-2008


                                              22
Gibson Terrace, working with families who have become homeless, did have
problems with the community and local businesses, who complained to the police
about the behaviour of children and young people. Since the children-focused
project began, showing them the vast array of possibilities in terms of community
activities and the childrens‟ capabilities, relationships with the local community have
become much more positive:

       „school hasn‟t been a priority for parents and therefore not for their
       children. Libraries have also been viewed as dusty places, with
       librarians being seen as „old spinsters‟, so we‟re getting new groups of
       young people to change these views – they‟re going into libraries for
       the first time…there are links with Learning Mentors in schools,
       teachers have reported improvements in behaviour and attitude‟
       (library worker)

Tameside YOT works with children who may have started getting into trouble, or
who have siblings who are in trouble. Work with parents as well as children is seen
as a key feature of this:

       „The primary school couldn‟t handle John because of his behaviour.
       He was abusive and aggressive towards his teachers. Jo put John in
       touch with (sports worker), so he picks him up to play football now.
       Two years ago I was at rock bottom, now I‟m really proud of
       him…I‟ve achieved things I never thought I‟d do‟ (mum)

       „I‟ve got to thank Jo. She took me to Preston to see this lady who
       helped me with my anger and my problems‟ (John)


Enjoy and Achieve

The school based projects (e.g. Volunteer Reading Help and Learning Mentors)
have the achievement of the children at the heart of the projects. Measurement of
children‟s academic achievements and improvements as a result of the projects is
present – the Volunteer Reading Help scheme reports perceived improvements of 80-
100% in children‟s attitudes to reading, performance in reading and confidence in
reading as a result of the project.       Children and parents were very clear as to
whether they felt different as a result of the projects being there:

       „I came because I didn‟t like reading before. Now it‟s alright‟
       „I was a bit naughty, now I like drawing‟
       (children working with reading volunteer)

       „their confidence is up, they‟re doing well in class. They‟ve joined a
       friendship group to talk about stuff, emotions, how they‟re feeling.
       We‟ve got a brand new start, more settled, they‟ve made new friends
       (were on their own before)‟ (grandmother for 3 young children
       working with learning mentor)

Activity-based projects, such as OKE, Water Adventure and Pathways into
Sport, give the opportunity for children to get involved with exciting things that they
haven‟t done before, with improved confidence and achievement as a result.
Pathways into Sport has a scoring system for measuring confidence, achievement

                                          23
and self-worth before and after the project – this improvement is fed back to
schools:

       „it‟s a good thing to do on a Sunday, see loads of different people and
       make friends‟ (boy aged 13)

       „I can get away from home and I‟ve got something to do. Sometimes
       I miss it but I‟ve started coming a lot now. I like the games they
       have here and I can enjoy myself without my sister‟ (boy aged 10)

       „Paul has changed since we joined last July. His confidence has
       grown (he wasn‟t communicating at all before). He feels confident
       about going to other parents for help…he‟s been in school plays, he
       speaks up about what he wants now. We couldn‟t take Paul to places
       like this on a normal day. It would be too risky. But here, the kids
       look after him and help him out‟ (parents at OKE)

A common feature of projects, exemplified by Young Carers is the recognition that
young people looking after parents or other relatives in the home need extra help in
order to access services that other children enjoy. For many children, this is their
best current opportunity to feel that they can be like other children:

       „I‟ve been to Alton Towers, I‟ve done lots of things, I like it. I‟ve been
       coming for a couple of years cos my mum looks after my gran who
       had a stroke.‟ (Katie)

       „mum and dad were together, then they split up. Dad can‟t come to
       the house any more. It‟s just me and mum at home – she doesn‟t go
       out.‟ (boy aged 7)

       „you can do fun things and make friends‟ (from children‟s evaluation
       form)


Be Healthy

Good health is perceived through physical health and emotional well-being and
again, the different strands of the Children‟s Fund do intertwine. For example,
although the TRASST project aims to help asylum seeker children settle in school
and achieve their potential, the emotional health and confidence of children using
the project is a key step in achieving this:

       „I drew pictures of my flat and the swimming baths. I couldn‟t go
       swimming, so Mrs X got me a costume that I could wear. I showed
       my book to my family, they liked it and I got a certificate. I liked
       making the book, I liked drawing a picture of a lion‟. (girl, aged 9)

       „Ilie has settled down a lot; he‟s not as boisterous as he was. Michelle
       having the time to spend with him has made a difference – he‟s got
       some of the extra attention he needed. Without Michelle it would
       have taken him longer to settle; I haven‟t the time needed for one-to-
       one attention and that‟s what he needed. In fact, that‟s what he still
       needs‟.(teacher at primary school)

                                          24
This combination of outcomes can be seen in Off The Record, which is working to
provide training to other children to act as peer mentors for good emotional health,
as well as its core aim to provide counselling support for young people. One
hundred and fifty-five children have been directly helped since the start of the
project, with outcomes such as improved school attendance and prevention of school
exclusion as well as equipping children with skills to cope with bullying, losing
parents and cutting down on drinking and smoking.

The Good Food, Good Health Project aims to improve dental health and promote
healthy lifestyles, including the promotion of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
This type of health promotion in a „fun‟ way is part of Tameside‟s overall strategy in
reducing obesity and improving dental health. The project reports that 97% of
schools worked with have fruit in school, as a result of the project working with
breakfast clubs, for example. The project has also educated parents about contents
of packed lunches and notes a change from fizzy drinks and chocolate bars to fruit,
yoghurt and cheese sandwiches. Health promotion has many links to other areas –
a growing body of research shows the links between diet, behaviour and
achievement10.


Economic Wellbeing

Two projects have economic wellbeing as their main aim – TAVYO and Barnardo's,
although many other projects are also working towards this in their work with
parents.

The Family Support Service is a volunteer befriending service, providing short-
term family support in practical and emotional issues. A case study of a young
mother shows how the project can evidence its success:

Holly was pregnant when she first came on the programme – she was depressed,
fleeing domestic violence and there were drug and alcohol issues. She was scared to
get an appointment or help on her own and needed someone to talk to and take her
to appointments. She worked one-to-one with a family support worker who showed
her how to get information from the internet; helped her with confidence-building;
took her to aquanatal classes; showed her where the shops were and got her on a
parenting course. Holly is positive about the future and has grown in confidence and
gained friends. As she says:

       „I had not gone for a walk to the park before. This service should be
       provided to everyone‟


other comments from project users:

       „I feel more confident; I‟ve started going out and I can make phone
       calls…‟




10
  Diet, ADHD, and Behaviour: A Quarter-Century Review," by Michael F. Jacobson and
David Schardt, Center for Science in the Public Interest, September l999

                                          25
The project has 28 volunteers who have been trained to work with parents. Their
skills have enabled them to increase the skills of parents in areas such as parenting,
confidence and life skills. The volunteers‟ increased skills have enabled them to find
employment. Community capacity building of this sort was an original aim of the
Children‟s Fund.

Bangladeshi Welfare Association has built on its involvement with parents –
linking with Sure Start to run a parenting course and running English courses,
attended by up to 40 parents. Schools work with the project to set up parent
meetings, which has a knock-on effect of removing barriers – as the project
describes it, „more parents are getting involved and understand what their children
need. They are also accessing help for themselves.

Improving the skills of workers who have contact with children has the double effect
of improving children‟s lives and also the capacity of the voluntary community.
TAVYO, through improving the number of CRB checks and access to training for
volunteers in areas such as child protection and first aid is hoping to achieve this,
although still at an early stage.


Make a Positive Contribution

The opportunity for children and their families to be involved in the decision-making
process was a key feature of the Children‟s Fund, to steer towards joint ownership of
what was happening, rather than feeling that „professionals‟ or „experts‟ have more
control and say over what happens.

NCH has 2 workers based in Tameside who run the Participation and
Information Project, which aims to both set up projects involving children as key
players and to encourage participation of this nature in other projects.

The Tameside Children‟s Fund Plan 2005-2008 gives a comprehensive overview of
how children have contributed to the planning process. Twenty-eight children aged
10 and 11 looked at continuation funding bids and ranked them in order of
importance to them. Crime prevention, anti-racist work and drugs education all
ranked highly. It was also clear that children are able to consider the needs of
others. The project has also been instrumental in the Extended Schools Project –
children playing an active role in deciding which types of activities would be helpful
to them and others (e.g. breakfast clubs, school dentists). The project also works
with children in schools to develop inclusive school councils.

Perhaps the greatest evidence of participation comes from projects which are not run
by professionals. OKE is a good example of how children and parents can be
powerful in changing services as well as changing their lives:

       „professionals assume that we‟re stupid, they talk down to us and are
       really patronising. Here you can talk to people , pool ideas, have a
       good moan about things. I had to push to get Tom into special
       school, you get good at fighting. They‟ve started to listen now‟
       (parent at OKE)




                                         26
Other themes emerging from interviews

In last year‟s evaluation, themes emerged from interviews which clearly
demonstrated the qualities necessary for projects to make a difference to children‟s
lives. A project can have a clear aim and demonstrate which outcomes it wishes to
achieve, but the evidence of success is strongly stated by how a project has worked
– its ethos and methodology. In 2004, themes across 4 areas were identified:

      Agencies working together
      Quality of adults working in the projects
      Advocacy skills and commitment
      Culture of projects, including flexibility

The development of these themes has continued to be regarded as crucial by the
users of projects and provides a blueprint for the development of future children‟s
services.

Partnership Working

The Children Act, the national evaluation of the Children‟s Fund and plans for
extended schools all promote the idea of partnership working. Why do it?

      shared vision – it makes sense to have the same approach and targets for
       children across agencies
      an ability to share expertise, ideas, information and resources across agencies
      more accurately reflects the real world. Seeing the child as a whole – health,
       well-being, education work as a whole in terms of a child‟s life, so why would
       services be divided?
      Ease of access to help for children and families

The success for projects in Tameside Children‟s Fund last year was the ability to
begin to break down barriers between organisations that affect effective working and
begin to look at the total needs of children and families.

Many schools visited for the evaluation were putting this into practice. The
introduction of Learning Mentors, CAHMS input and Social Services Family
Support Workers in school was providing a link to a whole service approach, often
through regular inclusion meetings:

       „it‟s given the ability of a key agency to really work with other
       agencies in the same building – it‟s breaking down barriers‟ (CAHMS
       manager)

Links with other Children‟s Fund projects meant that children and families were
accessing activities they normally would not have considered or known about:
The Pathways into Sport project, for example, is working closely with Learning
Mentors, the Fire Cadet scheme and Tameside YOT to ensure that children identified
as needing extra help and attention can receive it in a network of provision. Close
and trusting relationships between professionals is essential to ensure that a child
perceives this as something coherent, rather than being passed from one
professional to another.




                                          27
Where links to other partners or agencies were not in evidence, projects appeared to
be more isolated and lacking in vision:

        „we need to network better with other groups because there does
        seem to be some overlap and we seem to be doing very similar day
        trips…there needs to be more co-ordination between the two…we are
        sort of self-sufficient. I don‟t mind linking with others but unless it‟s
        another project coming to link in with us, it‟s very difficult really‟.
        (Jubilee Gardens)

Projects also thought about how they could allow for easier access to their services
by linking in with other agencies and partners. Branching Out, for example, is
discussing its work with other agencies such as the local drop-in education centre, to
provide non-stigmatising access.

Crucial to partnership work is the idea of beginning to share working practices and
knowledge – other research shows that the breaking down of professional barriers
and cultures is key in developing work.11 One of the main thrusts behind Every Child
Matters was to get away from fragmented services towards sharing support for a
child. A weakness of current operations and the rationale of Children‟s Trusts is to
join up services, to move away from the referring and passing on culture, which
often led to children dropping through the gaps and not getting sustained support.

Parents

The aspiration of working with parents as well as children has developed. This has
been particularly realised in schools, where Family Support Workers and Learning
Mentors have time to work with parents as well as children. Parenting programmes
have been used in several projects, with parents reporting successes:

        „I‟ve learned so much that has helped me have a better relationship
        with my daughter and shown me ways to deal with my children‟s
        difficult behaviour‟ (mum, Barnardo's Project)

        „since I started the programme, I don‟t shout all the time. Sometimes
        I ignore them and that does help. I would definitely recommend it to
        my family and friends.‟

Enabling parents to volunteer in projects, or train for particular aspects of work, are
key in improving the economic wellbeing of families, as mentioned earlier in the
evaluation.

Some projects found it very hard to engage parents and recognised that this was an
area for future development in order to break the cycle of social exclusion. Gibson
Terrace, for example, had started to introduce life skills and education classes for
parents, without much uptake. Parents were also encouraged to participate in the
work being undertaken with their children, although this wasn‟t always successful.
Project workers saw that they would have to persevere to get classes up and
running. The skill of a project and its workers is crucial here – to be patient,
persistent and not give up on children or adults.

11
  see examples of this in YJT Evaluation of national e2e pilot, 2005 and YJT Connexions
Evaluation 2005

                                             28
Quality of Workers – What makes the difference?

Parents and children were keen to express their views on the difference a particular
worker had made to their lives. The quality of the worker, or so called „x‟ factor is
being recognised as the quality which enables change to happen. This factor has
featured as a crucial element of other research into new projects:

“This is not something tangible such as the design of a programme or the location of
a project base; but the essentially intangible and clearly very important components
of service provision which invariably relate to the values and integrity which workers
bring to the pilot.
These „things‟ are noted by young people as having someone to talk to, being
treated respectfully, not having judgements made about them or being treated “like
kids”.”12

Often the support from these workers was compared favourably with past
experiences of services, showing characteristics they hadn‟t experienced before:

     a)   Increased time and attention
     b)   Working to the child‟s agenda – being child centred
     c)   Giving chances
     d)   Being a friend, not a professional
     e)   Showing care
     f)   Developing trust
     g)   Being flexible


          „Lorraine has helped me a lot. We talk about what makes me happy,
          angry, sad. She‟s very kind and understands as well. I used to be a
          bit naughty at home – she‟s helped me change. If Lorraine hadn‟t
          been here I would have had a big problem with my anger. She‟s like
          a friend.‟ (Martin, aged 10)

          „Maureen gave me a mobile number to call when I‟ve had problems –
          she‟s given me good advice when I‟ve been stuck. She‟s the first one
          I‟d turn to if I had problems. Everyone else says „my hands are tied, I
          can‟t do anything‟ but she says she‟ll be there, she means it‟.
          (grandparent)

          „Nicki thinks the world of her‟ (mum)

          „We don‟t know what we‟d have done without her these last 12
          months, she‟s like a mother figure (because my mother‟s useless).‟
          (mum and step-dad)

          „I like seeing Mr T, he‟s brilliant. I got a poem in the newsletter‟ (girl
          working with volunteer reading project)

          „I was completely alone – she brought everything together for me,
          found phone numbers, found out where I could get help from if she

12
  Youth Justice Trust (2004) The Learning Alliance National E2E Offender pilot: Final
Evaluation Report

                                             29
       couldn‟t provide it.    She‟s been a diamond‟ (carer, talking about
       learning mentor)

       „Theresa is good, kind, fabulous, the best in the world‟ (boy working
       with family support worker)

Barriers and Problems

As the National Evaluation shows, it is important to learn from what may not be
going well, or how things could be improved upon. There were several themes
which emerged during interviews:

Age of Children

Many projects reported that they had found it difficult to work with an artificial cut
off point for children. It was thought to sometimes create a boundary which doesn‟t
exist in the real world – this had led to problems with families not understanding why
projects could work with some siblings but not others. Projects mentioning this
included the Fire Cadets, Junior Award Scheme, Gibson Terrace and the Water
Adventure Project. The flexibility of funding and projects can help to overcome this
– it becomes a difficulty when „rules‟ are applied rigidly and the perception is that the
rigidity prevents work being carried out.

Staff Changes

There had been lots of movement in staff working on projects. This had left gaps
between people leaving and new ones taking up post, leading to inertia or lost
opportunities. Often knowledge had been lost, with no handover taking place. New
workers were starting from scratch, often not understanding the original remit of the
project. This led to:

              Not understanding whether targets existed and whether they were
               meeting them
              Staff leaving and new staff not taking up monitoring responsibilities
              New staff having to invest time in picking up networks previously
               developed and learning ways of working previously set up
              Impetus being lost

The CAHMS project had numerous difficulties in recruiting staff into post in the first
place, which meant that the partner agencies envisaged in the original application
(education and social services) developed relationships and ways of working in
schools without them. The project had done some excellent work, but had felt a
sense of „catching up‟ with agencies who had already established working
relationships.

Funding

The first evaluation took place at a time when projects were unsure whether or not
they would continue to be funded. This contributed to the problems in retaining staff
mentioned above. Although projects now have a clear idea of their funding until
2008, this is on a sliding scale. Evaluators asked how this had affected projects:




                                           30
          transport – less able to provide funding for transport, so not as easy for
           children to access projects. The suitability of transport and transport
           providers was mentioned by a few projects as being crucial to a project‟s
           success.
          less activities for children – smaller summer programmes, for example
          cut in staff time
          worries about future funding leading to loss of staff

Sustainability

Linked to cuts in funding, projects were asked about sustainability. Many were
looking to the developments in Children‟s Trusts to continue funding after 2008.
Some projects were being mainstreamed before 2008, e.g. the Fire Cadet Scheme.
The Children‟s Fund was seen as being the catalyst for change to happen in the
mainstream Fire Service:

       „the Children‟s Fund has put everything in its place, like this building.
       We wouldn‟t have been able to do this without the Children‟s Fund
       money‟. (fire officer)

Other projects recognised that the ethos of the project would be sustainable through
other means, e.g. by leaving skills with mainstream staff:

       „TRASST does a lot of INSET training and race awareness training for
       professionals across Tameside…at network meetings we are often
       approached by other workers who want to work with asylum seekers‟
       (TRASST worker)

Many had been more successful than they could have first envisaged, which meant
that already slim resources were stretched further. This was certainly the case with
Gibson Terrace, where work with children had expanded to other sites. This was a
double-edged sword – the success of the approach had led project leaders to be
worried about funding levels and spreading resources too thinly.

A difficulty for the majority of projects was the instability of long term funding.
Having to think about finding funds from another sources detracted from current
work:

       „there‟s always that worry, hopefully by the time the Children‟s Fund
       money goes we will have secured some money….we can‟t stop what
       we‟re doing so well‟
       (Water Adventure)

       „there are always struggles in looking for ongoing funding – lots of
       funding which only comes in for „new‟ projects, or there are small
       pots of money for a short amount of time – our work should be
       possible from mainstream mental health funding‟
       (Off the Record)

Impact on Mainstream Services

The ability for Children‟s Fund projects to have an impact on mainstream services, in
terms of freshness of approach and way of working, was seen to be an important

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part of the initiative. In some ways, the coming of the Children‟s Trusts, or
Children‟s Trust arrangements, have recognised the need for mainstream services to
change their approach. The qualities of individual workers outlined above need to be
replicated by services and agencies if the Children‟s Trusts are to be of use to
children and their families.

The impact on schools has been one of the greatest achievements of the Children‟s
Fund. Many teachers spoke of the ability of workers to actually make a difference to
the children who would otherwise have been lost – due to the lack of time, attention
and advocacy:

       „the learning mentor and link worker are vital – they are the link to
       parents. Both parents and children will talk to them on a one-to-one
       basis about their anxieties. Karen is respected by parents and
       children, so they tell her things that they wouldn‟t tell teachers. The
       whole ethos of the school should be about being a caring community
       – parents need to think that the school can help them too‟. (head
       teacher, primary school)

       „she‟s very child-centred, the children don‟t feel threatened. Jo gives
       the children space to calm down and think through why they‟re
       feeling like they do, then they can settle in class. She supports the
       staff too. We rely on her so much, I don‟t know what we‟d do
       without her. We were crying out for someone to do this work. She‟s
       asked to attend review meetings, because she knows all the families
       so well. She‟s got them into Gibson and other centres when they‟ve
       ended up homeless, taken them to the doctors, it‟s above and beyond
       the call of duty, but parents really appreciate it…the atmosphere of
       the school has changed. The emotional health of the school has
       improved.‟ (teacher, primary school).

       „Linda is really valued – it‟s definitely enabled some young people to
       stay in school‟ (deputy head teacher, secondary school).

Where workers had worked with the whole school, they had been able to impact on
the school ethos and atmosphere. How the school related to children and parents
had changed as a result – seeing pastoral care as an essential part of school life
which contributed to academic achievement, rather than a „bolt on‟ for a few
problem children.




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Section 6                                                          Conclusion
So, is Tameside Children‟s Fund meeting its objectives? National objectives are
highlighted, with Tameside‟s achievements noted. As noted previously, it is difficult
to demonstrate evidence of the non-occurrence of negative outcomes. However,
most projects were aware that children were beginning to follow different courses in
life than would have otherwise been expected:

      to promote attendance in school by 5-13 year olds
       most projects had anecdotal evidence of how their work had led to children
       going back to school if previously excluded, or increased attendance of
       children who‟s attendance at school was chaotic
      to achieve improved educational performance among 5-13 year olds
       some projects set up to improve this had clear evidence that this had
       happened
      to ensure fewer young people aged 10-13 commit crime and fewer children
       aged 5-13 are victims of crime
       there was evidence from young people themselves that if they had not been
       involved with projects, the likelihood was that they would have been getting
       into trouble or indulging in risky behaviours
      to reduce child health inequalities
       by ensuring that children and their parents are accessing services (a key
       feature of Children‟s Fund projects) and educating through preventative work,
       projects focusing on health are making a difference. Having a space for
       children to be heard is making a crucial difference in terms of mental health
      to ensure children, young people and their families feel the services are
       accessible (a)
      to develop services which are experienced as effective (b)
       The 2 objectives (a) and (b) which seem to make a difference are the ones
       which talk about the value placed upon them by children and parents. It is
       clear from the interviews with children and parents that they value what is
       being provided for them, particularly if it is planned with them. The project
       staff should be singled out for praise here – interviewees often could not
       express their thanks enough for the care and time given by workers.
       Anecdotal feedback, together with continued attendance, provide evidence of
       accessibility
      to involve families in building the community‟s capacity to sustain the
       programme and thereby create pathways out of poverty
       Most projects had realised that their work could be more effective if they
       worked with parents as well as children, to develop parents‟ skills and
       confidence in making changes. Most projects focused on developing parents‟
       skills for themselves and their families, rather than in an attempt to use
       volunteers to keep the projects running when funding stopped.

It is clear that Tameside Children‟s Fund is meeting all of these objectives, although
there are no specific targets to be met. The evaluation shows that a large
percentage of children in Tameside are accessing services which ensure that they are
more likely to be in school, are more likely to achieve and be happy at school, are
taking part in activities which keep them diverted from crime and risky behaviours.
It is clear that the manner in which a project is delivered has the greatest impact on
whether it will achieve. This echoes some of the findings of the National Evaluation,
which notes that:


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      partnerships and networks are crucial. By different services coming together
       and involving the child as a partner, children‟s resilience can be built
      organisations and individuals, if allowed to work in a more coherent, creative,
       flexible and holistic way, can help children more effectively

In Tameside, work which makes a difference seems to have these features:

      partnerships seen as a way of removing barriers and pooling expertise, rather
       than creating more paperwork and hurdles
      involving children and families in work
      have committed organisations and staff who want to make a difference and
       have the skills and patience to keep going until this happens – this is seen as
       their responsibility, rather than the one chance opportunity and responsibility
       for the child




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                   Appendix


           STAY SAFE      ENJOY & ACHIEVE     BE HEALTHY       ECONOMIC      MAKE A POSITIVE
                                                               WELLBEING      CONTRIBUTION



rst Junior Hurst Junior       Jubilee           Off the         Barnardo‟s   NCH Participation
           Youth Club         Gardens           Record                         Information



                              TRASST          SEN CAHMS           TAVYO
          Hattersley
           5-13‟s

                                               Good Food
                              Learning        Good Health
                              Mentors
          Fire Cadets


                               Junior           Pathways
                              Awards            into Sport
           Women‟s            Scheme
            Project

                                              Family Support
                            Young Carers         Service
            Homeless
            Families

                                OKE            DAAT Tier 2
             YOT                              Drugs Worker



                           Water Adventure
                               Centre




                           Hyde Bangladesh
                               Welfare




                          Volunteer Reading
                                Help


                                                35
   Hurst Cross Youth Club – trip to the lakes




Tameside Children’s Fund Evaluation 2005


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