The Regional Partnership Children’s Sub-Group was launched in March 2022 to look specifically at issues that affect children, young people and families in North Wales. We want to make sure that children and young people are at the heart of what we do and for our meetings to make a real improvement to the support we provide.
We’re responsible for a wide range of issues facing different age groups from babies to young adults. Our priorities include children’s mental health, disabled children, young people cared for by their local authority and preventing violence against children. To address these, we can draw on a range of experiences as our group includes representatives from children’s social care, health, education and police.
The traditional work of a group like this includes setting up task and finish groups to carry out pieces of work; receiving progress reports and updates; and hearing presentations about new laws, policy or services. As well as this, the group wanted a way to focus in on some of the priority areas, learn from children’s experiences and views and share good ideas.
We agreed that every two or three meetings we’d clear the agenda for an in-depth focus on one of our priorities. The first topic was young carers. Our team pulled together lots of information including statistics and data, feedback from young carers and examples of what’s working well in other areas. They prepared a pack of all this information for the group.
To facilitate the meeting, we asked Nick Andrews, from the Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP) project for help. Nick introduced a method called Community of Enquiry. It’s a method where a group of people come together to reflect on evidence and generate questions together about what they’ve learned, which they discuss as a group. These were conceptual questions, which means questions that were:
- Common (relevant to everyone in the group)
- Central (important and worth of discussing)
- Connected (something people can relate their experience to)
- Contestable (people will have different perspectives)
We began with a presentation about the evidence we’d found, which was illustrated by videos that reflected the main messages.
The method was a great way to get everyone talking and sharing ideas about how we can improve the way we support young carers. We’re looking forward to trying this approach with the other priorities.
For more information about the focus on young carers, including a copy of the pack to download, links to the videos and the outcome from the community of enquiry, please see our focus on young carers webpage.
The next focus sessions will be:
- Refugees and asylum seekers in December 2022
- Disability and illness in March 2023
- Early years in May 2023
If you have anything you’d like to share to inform those sessions please get in touch with the North Wales Regional Innovation Coordination Hub firstname.lastname@example.org who are pulling the background research together.