Supporting children and families, tackling health inequalities and improving mental health services at heart of borough’s new policy priorities

Published: Friday, July 29, 2022

Support for families, children and young people is at the heart of a series of new policy priorities outlined by the council’s new leader and cabinet.

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In a report to the council’s finance committee, council leader Simon Hogg has set out a raft of initiatives designed to improve and enhance the town hall’s services for families and young people.

He writes: “We are ambitious for our Children’s Services. We will be at the forefront of piloting new ideas and approaches that lead to better outcomes for children, young people and their families. For children and young people in our care, we aspire to be the best corporate parents. We want the decisions we make each day, across all council departments, to have corporate parenting responsibility front and centre to make sure the most vulnerable children have every opportunity to become accomplished adults.

“We will make tackling health inequalities a core theme in all of our work, starting with a new Prevention Framework which was reported to Health Committee this cycle. Going forward residents can expect to see how all our work contributes to addressing health inequalities. Residents will also see a commitment to supporting our residents in relation to mental health.

“We will focus on ensuring that mental health remains a priority for our children and young people with prevention being a key part of our work in our communities and schools. We will ensure that each school benefits from an experienced practitioner to support the emerging needs of children and young people at the earliest opportunity.”

The council’s new policy priorities for children and families will cover the following areas:

• Embed family safeguarding as a model of engaging with families in need of support and protection
• Improving mental health provision – especially for children and young people
• Ensure mental health support is available in schools
• Provide extra support for carers
• Double resources to tackle domestic violence
• Continue to support the Power to Connect scheme ensuring access to laptops for pupils who need them
• New prevention framework to tackle health inequalities
• Develop new Early Help offer

Wandsworth’s cabinet member for children Cllr Kate Stock added: “Supporting our young people and doing everything we can to help them thrive and achieve their full potential is a core responsibility of this council and one we are determined to succeed in.

“We are committed to keeping young people safe and delivering high quality services from the early years stage through to adulthood.”

And cabinet member for health Cllr Graeme Henderson added: “From the outset of the new administration we will be focusing as a priority on Improving access to mental health support for children and tackling the health inequalities that exist in the borough.

“We are also keen to work more closely with carers to ensure they have the backing they need to do their vital work across the community and we also want to deliver more effective support for the victims of domestic violence and abuse.”

Some of the policy initiatives outlined above will be subject to further discussion and committee scrutiny before they can be officially adopted.