Adolescent strategy

The Adolescent Strategy for Blackburn with Darwen sets out the services available for young people aged 8-19 across the borough. Over 600 people helped us to develop this strategy, including young people, those who work with young people and local councillors. Their feedback helped us to shape our plans and design services to meet the diverse needs of our young people, now and in the future.

Who is this strategy for?

The strategy was developed for young people, their families, and any of the professionals that work with them. For professionals, the strategy will help you to navigate the services that could benefit the young people you are working with. For young people and their families, the strategy will tell you what you can expect from our services. This includes how to access support and how we will work with you.

Aims and objectives

The strategy sets out five strategic aims. These have been designed to support young people to lead a happy and healthy life, to experience success and to overcome challenges. Under each aim are a set of objectives that council partners and teams across Adolescent Services will work towards achieving.

Aim 1: Keeping children and young people safe in the home and in the community

The objectives for this aim are to:

  • Take action and embed awareness of Contextual Safeguarding, particularly around Child Sexual and Criminal Exploitation, and deliver a multi-agency response
  • Improve the physical health, emotional wellbeing and safety of our young people
  • Work effectively with partners to safeguard children and young people including those vulnerable to exploitation, radicalisation or offending
  • Develop an effective neighbourhood youth offer including outreach/detached programme
  • Offer of support to children open to social care
  • Provide effective intervention to support young people around reducing the risks of harm

Aim 2: Reduce the number of children and young people in care

The objectives for this aim are to:

  • Offer a timely intervention that is bespoke to each young person and family
  • Increase the number of children accessing short breaks to support placement stability
  • Develop individual support plans to highlight challenges, aspirations, the wishes of young person and their family
  • Offer 1-to-1 support and focused group work activities
  • Hold multi-agency meetings to identify and respond to concerns
  • Link key agencies and professionals to support the young and their parents/carers/wider family
  • Develop shared training and capacity building across the partnership to ensure the workforce is able to meet future demands, quality of service delivery and sustainability

Aim 3: Reduce the number of children & young people in the criminal/youth justice system

The objectives for this aim are to:

  • Work in partnership with statutory and third sector organisations, to provide a coherent and effective response to youth crime
  • Contribute to a wider borough response to preventing youth crime
  • Adopt a restorative approach wherever possible and help young people to understand the consequences of their behaviour
  • Engage with and listen to the voice of children, young people, their families, and victims to shape services
  • Co-ordinate and co-deliver detached work located in and around anti-social behaviour/‘hotspot’ areas of the borough
  • Continue to develop integrated working opportunities across partners as the basis for the effective prevention and reduction of offending

Aim 4: Stop children from becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)

The objectives for this aim are to:

  • Work with any young person post 16 who is not in education, employment or training (NEET) to re-engage and where possible, support those who are at risk of becoming NEET pre-16
  • Work with vulnerable groups (including Looked After Children & young offenders) pre-16 to engage them in appropriate education and secure suitable progression routes post 16
  • Deliver democratic, educational and scrutiny involvement opportunities through youth participation
  • Support young people who have entered the youth justice system to access education, training or employment and sustain this, contributing to improving their longer term prospects and reduce the likelihood and opportunities for re-offending
  • Extend Quality Assurance to Education in order that every aspect of a child’s life is considered

Aim 5: Effective intervention (right time, right place, right young people)

The objectives for this aim are to:

  • Lead and manage the direct delivery of services that benefit and support children and young people aged between 8-19 years, giving them the opportunity to develop their potential, social and life skills and to reduce risk taking behaviour
  • Lead the development of a local Strategic Youth Alliance bringing together the Local Authority and Voluntary, Charity, Faith and Social Enterprise sectors to work more collaboratively and develop innovative local strategies and solutions
  • Deliver a programme of positive activities to support other service areas and to generate income by tailoring programmes to external providers (schools, voluntary sector, youth organisations, local charities etc.)
  • Improve the school nurse model of working to be more integrated with other adolescent services, including the new Adolescent Hub, and to increase visibility within schools and in the community

Cutting across all five of these strategic aims is our commitment to participation. We aim to involve children and young people in the design and delivery of services. This includes using their views to inform everything that we do. We will also provide feedback on the impact that their views have had.