Monday 04 November 2013
The Health and Social Services Department is requesting a three-year extension of the current Children and Young People's Plan, while it brings States Departments and voluntary sector groups together to improve support and services for young islanders.
Deputy Mark Dorey, Health and Social Services Minister, explains why the request has been put to the States:
"When Guernsey adopted the new Children Law, it placed a requirement on HSSD to produce an updated plan for Children and Young People every three years. The first Children and Young People's Plan came into effect in 2011, and lasts until the end of 2013. We are therefore obliged to report back to the States before the end of this year, in order to extend this plan or introduce a new one."
The Plan contains over 60 recommendations, involving many different States Departments and independent organisations - ranging from the Education and Home Departments to the Children's Convenor, the Islands Child Protection Committee and the Youth Partnership. Much has already been achieved - from improving healthy lifestyle education in schools to establishing a Post-Abuse Therapeutic Service for mothers and children. But there is more to do, and all the organisations involved are continuing to work towards its goals.
HSSD and the States' Social Policy Group (a sub-group of the Policy Council, which focuses on social issues) discussed whether the Plan should be completely revised, or whether to continue with the current plan. It was agreed to seek to extend the Plan for up to three years, while bringing together all interested parties to review and revise the Plan for the longer-term. It is intended that the new Plan will be brought back to the States well before the end of the current Plan.
Recognising the importance of a joint approach, HSSD and the Social Policy Group are already beginning discussions with other Departments and voluntary organisations about the way forward. This will culminate in a brand new Children and Young People's Plan within the next three years. In the meanwhile, there is much still to be done to implement the first, and all the organisations involved are committed to working together to achieve its aims.
Deputy Dorey said:
"Although HSSD is the lead Department on the Plan, we cannot achieve the right outcomes for Guernsey's children unless a wide range of organisations work together, and children's own voices are heard. We look forward to working together with representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to achieve this."
The Children and Young People's Plan, 2011-2013 can be found here: https://www.gov.gg/article/6650/Children-and-Young-Peoples-Plan
The recently published States Report includes a progress update on the recommendations of the Plan can be found here: https://www.gov.gg/article/109435/2013-December-11th-Billet-XXIV