14-Sep-22 | News

Congratulations to Cheshire East Area Partnership

Congratulations to Cheshire East Area Partnership for attaining Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Status with a Child First Commendation

The Cheshire East Area Partnership is part of a Youth Offending Service that spans Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington. The team contributed significantly to the early days of the Youth Justice SEND Project back in 2016-7, embracing the quality assurance framework and trialing a model peer review process.

In 2018, the partnership was awarded Quality Mark status, through developing more robust relationships with education services, social and health, with particular strengths in the quality of their award-winning diversion activity.

In the intervening years, Cheshire East has embarked on a focussed journey of continuous improvement, which has resulted in the attainment of the coveted Quality Lead Award with a commendation for effective Child First partnership practice.

The notable achievements, backed up by improved headline statistics and excellent case studies, include:

SaLT (Speech and Language Therapist) and CAMHS specialists embedded into service provision, with an offer to all children in youth justice pathways for assessment of need at the earliest opportunity
The introduction of Journey First, a provision that secures support beyond statutory service “cliff-edges” post-16 and beyond
Efficient data sharing through colocated professionals and excellent relationships within Children’s Services departments, leading to a holistic understanding of needs that inform appropriate child-centred solutions

In July 2021, the work undertaken to ensure that every child who needed an EHCP plan would get one was acknowledged during a full joint inspection that led to a “GOOD” rating: “…Where needed, EHCPs are also produced for children aged 15 and 16 to support their transition into further education. This is an example of proactive and child-centred service provision”.

Diversionary work continues to bear fruit. Excellent relationships have been built with the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the courts, the PCC (Police and Crime Commissioner) and Clinical Commissioning Groups are fully engaged in the YJB Pathfinder Divert scheme, with the strapline ‘Diversion is better than court’. This has led to first-time entrant rates (last year just 76 per 100,000) which are significantly lower than statistical neighbours and national rates.

Well done Cheshire East!