Children and Young People
The Somerset Intelligence website contains a wealth of information relating to children and young people in the county. Collectively, this forms a major element to the Somerset Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), the evidence base for those involved in running or commissioning services for people in the county.
Vulnerable children and young people were the primary focus of the 2015/16 Somerset JSNA Summary, published in June 2016. This brings together data and intelligence from a large number of sources, to be found in appropriate sections of this website. This webpage includes pages for a wide range of themes.
The 2015/16 JSNA Summary considered the information within a framework of:-
Considering vulnerabilities in this way helps give us a more rounded picture of the often complex issues that have an influence on children and young people.
The JSNA Summary has, in turn, informed the Somerset Children and Young People's Plan 2016-2019 (see below).
Key Findings from the JSNA
- Of the 110,000 children under the age of 18 living in Somerset, between 5,000 and 10,000 are in particular need, the majority living in the most deprived urban wards
- Those children in need living in rural areas face particularly difficult issues with less contact with existing services.
- The more accessible we make information and signposting, the more individuals, families and communities can help themselves
- Improving the conditions for vulnerable children across Somerset is best achieved by improving the life chances of the most vulnerable fastest.
- The Family Focus programme (part of the national Troubled Families scheme) identifies 2,790 families in Somerset with three or more of the eligible areas of need.
- Families experiencing more abusive or criminal issues tend to be grouped together geographically. On the other hand, families with lifestyles which adversely affect children but without causing serious harm are more widely dispersed, which has implications for service capacity across the county.
- The vulnerabilities of parents are known to have an impact on children. Improvements have been instigated across adults services, where families are at risk of developing problems, to identify vulnerable children.
- Investing in 'early help' integrated district-based services will deliver a high return for children’s development.
- Greater integration and information sharing, for instance by using the individual NHS number and Unique Pupil Reference Number (UPRN), would better enable us to identify a child’s vulnerabilities and provide more appropriate support at an earlier stage.
- About 14,300 Somerset children live in low-income households. Whilst not all will be ’vulnerable’, poverty is a strong indicator of poor wellbeing and lack of opportunity.
- Such households are tightly clustered in specific localities of Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil. It is important that public services are concentrated and well-co-ordinated within these areas, but there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution; each individual or group has particular needs.
- There is a continued need for skilled face-to-face delivery of services in homes, community buildings and shared ‘hubs’, amongst others
- Building community capacity to support vulnerable young people close to home remains important
The Somerset Children and Young People's Plan 2016-2019
Using this evidence base, and in response to recent reviews and inspections of services, the Plan sets out the clear and ambitious vision of all partners to ensure that we know we are providing the best start and support for our children, builds on improvements already underway and identifies the next steps for SCC and its partners.
The Plan has been developed with children and young people themselves, and with partners through the Somerset Children’s Trust (SCT).
The key features of our partnership plans are:-
- Prevention - and addressing issues early and effectively
- Child and family centred – keeping children, young people and their families at the heart of everything we do
- Collaboration - working with others to effectively use our resources in commissioning and delivery of services
- Integration - providing joined up care and support that is not hindered by organisational, service or professional boundaries
The Plan sets out the high level outcomes, priorities and resulting impact that we want to achieve over the next three years. This has helped us to identify seven major areas or programmes of work that we will focus on.
- Supporting children, families and communities to become more resilient
- Promoting healthy outcomes and giving children the best start in life
- Improving emotional health and wellbeing
- Building skills for life
- Providing help early and effectively
- Achieving effective multi-agency support for more vulnerable children and young people and developing an excellent children’s social work service
- Embedding a ‘think family’ approach across the workforce
How we'll know we've made a difference
- Breastfeeding initiating and continuation rates
- Child immunisation programme coverage (to more than 95%)
- Self-esteem and resilience amongst secondary school pupils
- School attendance rates
- Attendance, attainment and achievement of vulnerable and disadvantaged learners
- Ranking of Somerset in national performance indicators (to be in the top quarter of all authorities)
- Rates of young people and care leavers in education, training and apprenticeships
- Placement stability for children looked after
- Number of children adopted without unnecessary delay
- Number of Early Help Assessments undertaken
- Number of professionals trained to support young people's emotional and mental wellbeing
- Percentage of mothers smoking at time of delivery
- Rates of Reception and Year 6 obesity
- Hospital admission rates for injury, substance misuse and self-harm
- Teenage conceptions
- Percentage of 5 year-olds with one or more decayed, missing or filled teeth
- Demand on statutory services (eg. Police, social care and CAMHS)
- Turnover rate for permanent social work staff
- Percentage of agency social work staff
- Rates of crime, re-offending, anti-social behaviour, repeat domestic abuse and workliness in young people
The Children's Trust Board will monitor progress against the Plan on a six-monthly basis, with a comprehensive annual review presented each March.
For more details, please read or download the Plan by clicking on the link below:-
- Children and Young People's Plan
A three-year partnership plan setting out joint intentions and the framework by which services and outcomes for Somerset's children and young people will be improved
A key element of the Children and Young People's Plan framework is Somerset's Strategy for Achieving Excellence for All 2016-2020.
Somerset Children and Young People Survey:
In 2014, the Somerset Children and Young People Survey (SCYPS) was commissioned from the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) by the Somerset Health and Wellbeing in Learning Programme as a way of collecting robust information about young people’s lifestyles. This has been repeated in 2016, and the results will be available later in the year.
How to find more detailed data:
For information on each of the following topics, please click on the appropriate link below:-
Health and Wellbeing:
Schools, Skills and Learning
Economic Wellbeing and Inequalities
Consultation and Engagement