Warwickshire County Council were successfully awarded £3.993m from the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the national ‘Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme’ (SFPC). The programme consists of three different evidence-based models. The council have adopted the ‘Leeds Family Valued’ model. The Child Friendly Warwickshire initiative is a key element within this model.
Cabinet Portfolio Holder – Councillor Jeff Morgan
Councillor Jeff Morgan (Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services) introduced the item explaining that Warwickshire County Council intends to be an outstanding authority for children and families to grow up in. The document before Cabinet provides an umbrella for all children and family activities. Around £4m has been provided by the Department for Education for children and families and £343k has been earmarked for this initiative.
Leeds City Council was cited as an exemplar in this subject area. In particular its use of restorative practices was noted.
Cabinet’s attention was drawn to a series of performance measures and it was recognised that these will need to be refined and developed further.
The reference on page 88 of the document pack to a Children’s Mayor was highlighted. Cabinet was informed that this is not to be a political post and should perhaps best be described as a champion role.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group) commended the report and welcomed the additional funding from government. Referencing page 89 of the pack Councillor Roodhouse asked for an update on the Child Poverty Strategy. In reply he was told that this will be reviewed, and a new strategy produced.
Councillor Pam Williams welcomed the report as did Councillor Peter Butlin who commented on the challenges that the last year have presented to children.
That Cabinet endorse the Child Friendly Warwickshire initiative and action plan.