Strategy Development

A Vision For All Children’s Services

Leaders recognised that we could do something exciting to create a vision for the broader children’s agenda. This would harness the shared ambition to join up children’s services at a strategic level across the system and to ensure that the work of many different agencies and parts of the system were aligned and working towards a common and shared vision for children and young people in Norfolk and Waveney.

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  • Family and friends
  • Learning
  • Opportunity
  • Understood
  • Resilience
  • Individual
  • Safe and secure
  • Healthy

We kicked off this worked with the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership Board, Health and Well-being Board and Children’s Safeguarding Board. Then we worked with groups of people from the whole system to describe that shared commitment and ambition for both what and how we should work together.


Family and Friends

Families – however they are defined – will be at the heart of our approach. We will consider the needs of the whole family. We will include families in decisions as much as we can. And we know that families and friends are often strong sources of support in the lives of children and young people; we will respect and value the contribution of families and friends as a force for good. Our approach across all services will support families staying together and connected – safely – and empower families to support their children and young people.


Children and young people will be able to access good quality learning from a young age. They will acquire the skills and curiosity that encourages lifelong learning. Regardless of where or how they learn, all children will have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and develop life skills in preparation for adult life. We recognise that learning takes place in many settings and different ways and we will deal with some of the common obstacles to learning as early as possible. We will work together with those children and young people with on-going needs and their families to create environments in which everyone can learn.


We will be ambitious for all children and young people, ensuring they are provided with a wide range of opportunities to develop as well-rounded individuals and explore their interests and talents. We value and support people who give time to children and young people in their communities.

We know that children and young people experience barriers to achieving their full potential. We will work together to tackle this and offer children and young people a say over things that are important to them.


We know that children and young people want to be heard and understood. We will ensure that children and young people are listened to and treated in a holistic way. In particular that they have access to the mental health and emotional well-being support that they might need as they move through childhood into adulthood.

We will build their own resilience and skills for life and will support those who have more complex or on-going needs. We will support children and young people to be able to communicate so they are heard, involved and able to impact on how services are shaped.


We cannot protect children and young people from all the challenges of life. But we can stand alongside them, support them, give them skills and knowledge so that when life is challenging they can draw on their own resources and those around them to get through. If this is done well, they will emerge stronger and better able to deal with the ups and downs of life over the long term. We will keep children and young people informed about risks to enable them to make their own positive decisions about keeping safe.


Each child and young person is unique and valued with their own characteristics, talents and skills, aspirations, needs and circumstances. They deserve to be respected as individuals; to explore, value and celebrate their own identity and to appreciate differences in each other as a source of strength and joy.

And we know that children and young people flourish when they form positive relationships with family, friends and other trusted adults in their lives. We will ensure that we recognise this and that it is clear through our actions.

Safe and Secure

Every person is entitled to feel secure and be safe. We know this happens best when everyone takes responsibility. We will ensure that children and young people are informed about risks and able to make their own positive decisions about keeping safe. We will work together and share information to keep children and young people safe.

And when children and young people are in circumstances that are not safe and secure we will do our best both to keep that child safe and to tackle the underlying causes in a way that actively promotes healthy, long term development.


We have a shared responsibility to create healthy environments, communities and the conditions that we know promote good physical and mental health. We will ensure that people have the knowledge and capacity to live healthy lives over the long term so they can achieve their full potential. We will work with children and young people to promote good physical and mental health and will act to prevent poor health. We will ensure that those who have health needs – short or long term – can get the treatment and support they need.


Thurrock Integrated Care Alliance – creating a model which will strengthen and streamline decision making

In Thurrock we worked with colleagues from across health and care – including the clinical commissioning group, the council, service providers and voluntary sector organisations – to agree, develop and refine effective structures for partnership working. Our support included one-to-one conversations, facilitating workshops and drafting key partnership documents. As a result of our work, in early 2019 the Health and Wellbeing Board and partners’ boards approved a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding, which set out the partnership’s priorities, the behaviours expected and the revised governance arrangements that will increasingly enable system, rather than organisational, decision making.


Strengthening Partnership arrangements for South East Essex health and wellbeing partnership

We were asked by the two councils in south east Essex (Southend and Essex County) and both of the local clinical commissioning groups to help them deepen and strengthen their partnership arrangements, working in tandem with both of the area’s Health and Wellbeing Boards. Following an initial overview, we agreed to work with the whole health and care system to develop a memorandum of understanding that set out local aims, principles, ways of working and arrangements for decision making. We developed this work iteratively with partners, testing our thinking at each stage, culminating in a decision making workshop involving all of the partners. The final memorandum has now been signed off by each partner as well as the two Health and Wellbeing Boards.

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