Build and strengthen local, cross-sector services to reflect local need

Infants, children, young people and families should have equitable access to cross-sector services, resources, advice and support within the local community to support their health and wellbeing. Services within the community may not be provided by health services but should seek to integrate where possible.

The UK Government should ensure Local Authorities have adequate resource to provide services to meet the local needs of the population they serve.

UK Government should:

  • Distribute funding across local areas in a way that reflects local need.
  • Implement commitments to provide a Youth Investment Fund, with protection of the committed £500m funding.
  • Provide health-based support for children throughout education, including funding for increased numbers of school nurses and school counsellors.
  • Provide renewed investment in services for children and families, which support the child’s school readiness.
  • Ensure that health visiting services are protected, supported and expanded with clear and secure funding.

We welcome the incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scottish law and the benefit that this will bring to all children and young people. To embed this, Scottish Government should:

  • Take the lead in providing long term, stable funding for community-based services for children, young people and their families.
  • Provide resources for Local Authorities to implement measures to ensure that all children’s service providers fully integrate the ‘Getting It Right For Every Child’ (GIRFEC) principles into the provision they offer.

We welcome Welsh Government’s commitment to a ‘health in all policies’ approach as outlined in ‘A Healthier Wales’. To deliver this, Welsh Government should:

  • Provide renewed investment in services for children and families, which support the child’s school readiness.
  • Deliver and evaluate the Whole School Approach to health and wellbeing to develop resilience and support young people to enjoy good mental health.
  • Resource, deliver and evaluate the next phase of the Together 4 Children and Young People programme with an emphasis on an integrated system working with Regional Partnership Boards and locally delivered services.

Northern Ireland Executive should:

  • Ensure that funding to progress the New Decade, New Approach deal provides all schools with a sustainable core budget to deliver the curriculum, including the focus on wellbeing education.
  • Protect cross-departmental funding for the provision of programmes under the Early Intervention Transformation Programme with a greater focus on health being prioritised going forward.
  • Continue financial allocation for the Public Health Agency to provide funding for universal community youth engagement services, which promote the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

Published March 2020