28.1 Andy Dempsey, Director of Partnerships and Strategy, presented the report. He informed the Board that it would be important to mobilise the wider resources of Gloucestershire to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people. He drew attention to the fact that in practice there tended to be a specific focus on one cohort of children but reminded members that there was a wider cohort that also needed to be considered. It was noted that there was no statutory duty to have a children’s plan in place but it was recommended that there be one. We had a solid base of evidence to draw on that presented a rich picture of Gloucestershire, and it would be important to cross reference this activity.
28.2 Dame Janet Trotter, who lead on the Child Friendly Gloucestershire (CFG) project, informed the Board that Austerity was 10 years on and many young people had had their lives profoundly affected. Significant chunks of support had been removed from their lives. It was important to be able to understand what a good and safe childhood meant for all young people – we did not currently know. We needed to ensure that the diverse voices of children and young people in Gloucestershire were heard.
28.3 Dame Janet informed the Board that CFG was not a strategic group; rather CFG was about feeding the authentic voice of young people up to the strategic bodies, and enabling young people to engage with debates. This would require a robust methodology and CFG have commissioned the University of Gloucestershire to look at this aspect. Over the summer CFG would also be working with young people to develop lines of questioning and training some young people to work with their peers on his matter.
28.4 The Board thanked Dame Janet for her work on CFG. Members agreed that this was a welcome approach, hearing directly from young people on issues informed by their lived experience would be a valuable addition to the Board’s wider work. The DPH commented that the primary role of this Board was to tackle inequality and this initiative would feed into this work, and reassure the Board that it was not just hearing from the usual suspects. The Board commented that it would be important not to duplicate work already in place.
28.5 The Chief Fire Officer offered CFG the use of the GFRS SkillZone as a location for talking to young people and bringing together their views.
28.6 With regard to CFG the Board agreed:-
Ø That the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board jointly oversees the work of the Child Friendly Project Group together with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner,
Ø That reporting takes place by the Project Group to the Board on a regular basis (4 times a year),
Ø To note that it was not being asked directly for resources at this point but that a report would be produced in 2020 setting out the development of the project to date and proposing next steps, together with resource implications.
28.7 With regard to the Children’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy the Board agreed to approve the convening of a Panel in order: -
a) To review progress with the ‘Gloucestershire – works well for families - Gloucestershire’s Early Help and Children and young People’s Partnerships Plan 2015 – 18’ and undertake a stocktake of plans and strategies for children already in place;
b) To propose a set of shared priorities and actions for consideration by the Health and Wellbeing Board as the basis for wider consultation and development of a single strategic plan: and,
c) To work with Child Friendly Gloucestershire Group to explore how the lived experience of children and young can support this work in both the development and delivery phases.