Friday, November 07, 2008

This afternoon I attended a meeting of a multi-agency partnership which I really enjoy. It's the group which tries to make sure that we as a council fulfil our role as corporate parents to those children who come into the care of the local authority for any reason. Most of these children cope with their difficulties with a lot of support from very caring social workers, teachers, foster parents, youth workers, extended family and others. Sadly there is a small number who don't cope so well and who need a great deal of extra help to achieve a stable lifestyle. This partnership of council staff from many different disciplines, elected members, police and others aims to ensure that we do our best for our corporate children. It's not easy but it's heartening to hear some of the good news stories and it's a very important though small part of the work of the council. A large part of today's discussions centred on those few children and young people in our care whose behaviour leads them towards the criminal justice system. It was good to hear about the restorative justice approach being used successfully with them.
We also had some discussion on how to help young people with complex needs into employment or training. This is especially pertinent at a time of economic downturn of course. Some very interesting ideas were put forward and will be looked at further.
At the end of the meeting the chairman had one item of "any other business" - he asked us if we had achieved anything in the meeting. Were we taking away anything positive? That's not something that's often asked at the end of meetings where a lot of talking has gone on, and it was useful to be able to affirm that we had indeed achieved something and that positive decisions had been taken.

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