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Every child matters: change for children
Every Child Matters is a programme to deliver improvements to the whole system of children's services - locally and nationally. It sits alongside the Children's Act 2004 which provides the legal support to make these changes possible.
Every Child Matters: Change for Children [742kb] [pdf] was published in 2004 following wide consultation with children, parents, young people and those working in children's services. It sets out a national framework for local change, led by local authorities and their partners. The aim is to provide more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families.
The previous Government's Every Child Matters Green Paper identified the five outcomes that are most important to children and young people:
The five outcomes are universal ambitions and we want every child across North Yorkshire to achieve these outcomes, whatever their background or circumstances. The Every Child Matters agenda seeks to shift the focus from dealing with the consequences of difficulties in children's lives to preventing things going wrong in the first place.
To achieve this there are changes to:
The changes in children's services are all based around agencies and professionals working together more effectively. This means that different agencies - public, private and voluntary/community - will be providing coordinated support for children and young people to ensure all the outcomes are met. Children's Trusts have formed to bring together the organisations responsible for services for children, young people and families with a focus on improving outcomes for children.
Why was it introduced?
The Every Child Matters agenda was developed partly in response to the problems that led to the death of Victoria Climbie in London, and partly due to an increasing emphasis on joined up and integrated working. The two key drivers behind the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme are the Children Act (2004) and the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services.
Every Child Matters: Change for Children was published in November 2004. The agenda was developed to ensure that the child is at the centre of everything done by the local authority, and to ensure that local authorities focus on the "outcomes" and not simply the process when they plan and provide children's services
What does this mean for North Yorkshire?
The North Yorkshire Children's Trust brings together North Yorkshire County Council and its partners that work with children, young people and their families. The Children's Trust, have developed a Children and Young People's Plan [3mb] [pdf] based upon the five outcomes of Every Child Matters. By working in partnership, we are better able to provide the support and services required to improve the lives of children and young people.