North Tyneside Council has received a share of £15million Government funding in recognition of its work in children’s services.
The funding will be used to help drive up standards in under-performing children’s services departments in other councils across the country.
The authority, alongside its counterparts at South Tyneside, has been named as the region’s first Partners in Practice along with seven others nationally.
The scheme will see both councils working with other local authorities whose children’s services are under-performing or at risk of failing.
The two councils will be known as the Tyneside Alliance and have made a commitment to work with around ten other councils both in the North East and further afield during the two-years of the progamme.
North Tyneside Council’s ‘Edge of Care’ innovation project is aimed at providing a range of services to prevent young people entering the care system, which are developed around the needs of the young person and their family and which enable them to stay in North Tyneside, in schools and connected to their peers.
Coun Ian Grayson, North Tyneside Council’s cabinet member for Children, Young People and Learning, said: “I am delighted that our joint bid for funding with South Tyneside Council has been successful and we look forward to being able to use our skills and expertise to support other local authorities.
“It is also fantastic that we will be able to develop our ‘Edge of Care’ innovation project, which will provide a number of benefits to young people in the borough by bringing services closer to them.
“Having a range of flexible and responsive services for young people and their families to access, often when they are in crisis, is key to keeping more children and young people in North Tyneside connected to their homes, schools and friends.”
The ‘Edge of Care’ service model is based on evidence of ‘what works’ for young people and will include, for example, workers working in the family home to support all family members, including during evenings and at weekends, and swift access to additional services such as counselling.
The councils will work in partnership with the Department of Education to support the project.
They will work on the development of national policy on children’s social care, test out innovative practice and enable national government to understand the opportunities and challenges across the country.
Both councils’ children’s services have been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted with ‘Outstanding’ areas of service.
Around 70 per cent of council Children’s Services nationally have been rated ‘Requires Improvement’ or ‘Inadequate’ and the Alliance will be supporting some of these councils.