Congratulations to Hillingdon Area Partnership for attaining Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Status with a Child First Commendation
Hillingdon achieved Quality Mark status in December 2019. Even then, evidence-based evaluation pointed to a strong service offer, with service leaders clear about where further improvements could be implemented, and change management already underway.
It is therefore, with delight, that we formally acknowledge a secure and sustained pathway of improvement,\ over the intervening three years, with a redesignation at the highest level possible of Quality Lead status with a Child First Commendation.
Building on the strengths first identified in 2019 across areas such as screening tools used in addition to ASSET+ as required, tangible and effective support for children with high-level needs entering youth justice pathways without an EHCP, and practice developments informed by the child- and family-voice, significant further developments include:
- Robust and productive strategic and operational relationships between key service providers, in particular the LA SEND Team, Virtual School and the Youth Justice Team, which also includes a line of sight to the Social Care High Risk Panel, within an overarching commitment to early identification and early help
- The introduction of colocated SaLT (Speech and Language Therapy) provision, is having a profound impact not only on the support offered to children and young people, but also on upskilling the critical frontline teams through consultation and training. School communities are also benefiting. Further plans include bespoke sessions on Speech Language and Communication issues for Councillors, other service teams and police custody staff as well
- Barriers to transition are further removed through the establishment of an ETE Forum, improving relationships with schools and training providers, and the Youth Justice Service registered as a regulated AQA Examination Centre, enabling vulnerable children (due to, for example, gang-related tensions) to be able to study and successfully complete public examinations within a supportive setting
The Child First Commendation is in acknowledgment of this array of significant child-centred developments, a truly a multi-disciplinary approach to early identification, early help, and the diversion of as many children as possible away from youth justice pathways, into effective and life-affirming education, training, and employment opportunities.
Well done Hillingdon!