North East Region Update December 2018

Social Work Conference

In October we held a regional children’s social work conference celebrating local social work practice. The event was attended by over 250 social workers and included sessions delivered by each local authority in the region, as well as some led by children and young people. 96% of attendees said they had taken away learning from the event that would inform their practice.

Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing

DCSs participated in a system leadership event on children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing. The session was facilitated by Jo Davidson from the Staff College and colleagues from Camden attended to share learning from their integrated approach and thrive model. A sub-group plans to take forward learning from the event.

Children’s Continuing Care

A review of children’s continuing care across the region has identified variation in relation to referrals, eligibility rates, approaches to funding and spend by different agencies. The findings will be explored further by the region’s Children’s Commissioning Group and some children’s continuing care training sessions have been held for staff.

Opportunity North East

The DfE has announced £24 million investment in the North East over three years which aims to improve outcomes for young people through secondary education and beyond. £12 million will fund the early roll out of the ‘Early Career Framework’ for teachers and the remaining £12 million will be invested in bringing DfE national programmes to the North East and innovation projects. There will be a particular focus on four local authority areas; Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool and Northumberland.

Sector-Led Improvement / RIA

Preparation for our Regional Improvement Alliance continues. Directors are meeting regularly with DfE regional colleagues and we are working towards a data sharing agreement. Self-assessments are underway and our ‘Directors’ Challenge’ sessions are scheduled to take place in December and January.

Three peer challenges have taken place in the region between September and November with two focussing on care leavers and the other on the front door.

We have re-established a lead member network and the first session in September considered the funding of children’s services. The next meeting, in December, will include a focus on workforce issues, which continue to be a priority in the region.

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