Family Services works with partners to help ensure that children and young people are kept safe, receive good quality education and any additional support needs are identified early and addressed. A number of partnership and Family Services plans support our work. These can be downloaded from the documents below.
Barnet Children's Services Improvement Journey
Children’s Services in Barnet were judged by Ofsted to be inadequate when Ofsted undertook a Single Inspection Framework (SIF) during April and May 2017. The Council fully accepted the findings of the report and is working collectively with the partnership to drive the improvements needed to transform social care services for children, young people and their families from inadequate to good rapidly.
In response to the the Ofsted Improvement Recommendations we have set out Barnet Children's Services Improvement Journey.
Profile of Children and Young People in Barnet
The Children and Young People section of the Barnet Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) brings together information from different organisations about the needs of Barnet’s children and young people. It includes data on demographics and deprivation; health; safeguarding; education and attainment. It informs the Children and Young People Plan and underpins our service planning and commissioning.
Barnet Children and Young People Plan
The Barnet Children and Young People Plan is the key partnership document which sets out our ambitions and priorities for children and young people in Barnet, identifies what all partners will do to deliver this and how we will measure our success. All other plans and strategies in Barnet’s Family Services build on the Children and Young People Plan, which is consistent with Barnet Council’s Corporate Plan.
Early Intervention and Prevention
The Early Help Strategy provides a framework to ensure Barnet’s early help services are effectively coordinated and targeted, monitored successfully and continually drive the building of resilience with children and families.
The strategy has been updated in 2018 through partnership work to develop and strengthen early help in Barnet. The overarching aim is to ensure our early help services provide successful interventions that build resilience as early as possible when Barnet’s children and families experience problems. By working this way we prevent escalating need, improve outcomes for children and families and reduce costly support at a later stage.
The Early Intervention and Prevention strategy is overseen by the Early Intervention and Prevention Strategic group having been approved at the Children’s Safeguarding Board in March 2018. This group is multi-agency with key representation from partners that work with our children and families. The group oversees the implementation of the strategy by setting out a work plan based on priorities and integrates the intervention strategies of partners.
The Education Strategy provides a framework for schools, education providers and others to work together to achieve the ambition set out in Barnet's Children and Young People Plan.
Other strategic documents
We have a statutory duty to ensure, as far as it is practical, that there is sufficient accommodation for children in care within the local area and address gaps in provision through robust plans and commissioning strategies (Statutory Guidance on securing sufficient accommodation for Looked After Children 2010). The Placement Sufficiency and Commissioning Strategy outlines how we intend to fulfil our duty.
Barnet council is required by law to ‘report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and make this report available and accessible to parents’. This report meets this duty.
This strategy pertains to child sexual exploitation, missing children, gangs and criminal exploitation as Barnet Safeguarding Children’s Partnership recognises that a broader view of safeguarding is required when considering exploitation of children and young people.
This document provides the Strategic platform from which to launch our collective efforts and focuses on the following priorities: • Strategic, operational and practice leadership • Predict & Prevent • Identify & Intervene • Disrupting and stopping perpetrators
In line with our Family Friendly Barnet approach, we want care leavers to be able to bounce back from life’s challenges and embrace new opportunities. Our vision is for a society where care leavers have the same life chances and ambitions as other young people. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is through a strategy.
A strategy is a way of partners in Barnet coming together to work towards the same, agreed priorities for Barnet’s care leavers. These priorities are based on evidence about what will make the biggest difference to the lives of Barnet care leavers.
We want Barnet to be the most Family Friendly Borough in London by 2022. At the heart of that approach is the concept of resilient children, resilient families and resilient communities. This is at the core of our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) transformation programme as outlined in our Transformation Plan.
Barnet’s, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy 2017–2020 sets out our vision and strategic priorities and describes how we propose to deliver against these, including how we are responding to the recent SEND reforms and changes in local demand in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people aged 0-25 with SEND.
Our vision for all the Looked After Children of Barnet is for them to be safe and healthy in a caring environment where every child and young person can have access to services that recognises and addresses their needs in terms of gender, religion, ethnic origin, language, culture, disability and sexuality, enabling them to realise their potential and enhance their life opportunities. Foster carers make a hugely valuable contribution and are provided with preparation, training and support to carry out their role to maximum effect. Foster carers value, support and encourage children and young people to grow and develop as individuals as well as promoting their health and general well-being.
The Statement of Purpose has been written in accordance with the National Minimum Standards for Fostering and relevant statutory provisions. It details what services are provided, the governing principals and who manages and provides the services. Barnet’s Fostering Service aims to provide high standards of care in a family environment for all children and young people placed within the service.
The Statement of Purpose has been written in accordance with the National Minimum Standards for Adoption and relevant statutory provisions. It will detail what services are provided, the governing principals and who manages and provides the services. The Adoption Service in Barnet is committed to providing a high quality range of adoption and adoption support services for children unable to live with their birth families. We believe that children are entitled to grow up as part of a loving family who can meet their emotional, physical and developmental needs throughout their life. When children cannot achieve this within their own birth families, we are committed to finding them such a family.
The London borough of Barnet is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children who are privately fostered. Children who are in such arrangements are often particularly vulnerable. We endeavour to ensure that private fostering arrangements are safe and suitable for children, and children in such arrangements are protected from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Raising awareness of private fostering across all communities within Barnet is our very important mission and through collaboration with our safeguarding partners we want to achieve a position where everyone in Barnet understands what private fostering is and why children in these arrangements can be vulnerable and need safeguarding.
In accordance with the National Minimum Standards for Private Fostering (Standard 1), which sets out its duties and functions in relation to private fostering and the ways in which they will be carried out, all local authorities have a duty to publish a written Statement in respect of its private fostering service. This statement sets out the London Borough of Barnet’s Statement of Purpose on Private Fostering and aims to demonstrate that the requirements laid down in relevant legislation and regulations are complied with and the minimum standards met and to highlight the design to raise awareness about private fostering.