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A collaborative approach to the development and implementation of Children and Young People’s Strategies in Northern Ireland

Background

Since 2015, the Department of Health and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland have been consulting on, and developing three strategies, all of which aim to improve children’s lives. These are the Children and Young People’s Strategy (CYPS), Looked After Children’s Strategy (LACS) and Family and Parenting Support Strategy (FPSS). Three departmental teams managed the design, development and implementation of each strategy. The departments were keen to use a whole of government approach and to identify key areas for collaboration across the strategies, and engaged support from CES to do so.

Our role

CES supported individual strategy teams, but also helped them to work together in strategic and practical ways, for example through sharing data, providing advice on management structures and planning for implementation. CES supported the teams to use evidence, to identify outcomes, and how they might be measured. Public consultations were a key feature in the development of all three strategies, and CES helped with the design and facilitation of consultation activities and events, and the analysis and reporting of responses.

The strategies are at different stages of development but have progressed considerably over the course of the project. All three strategies place a strong emphasis on the need for effective collaboration in improving health and wellbeing for children and families in NI.

This is one of nine projects featured in the Goal Programme for Public Service Reform and Innovation.