Posts Tagged ‘health and well being’

Sticky: New online Guide demystifies children’s services

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

“The challenges confronting children and young people in the care system are complex. Their health and well-being depend on the contribution of many different professionals who are not always aware of the organisations and resources that are available. We want to challenge the organisational ‘silos’, and ensure that everyone has access to quality information and resources which enable informed choices to be made about the appropriate support for young people in care ”.  Shirley Ayres Publisher and Author ~ Click Guide to Children’s Services  

For the first time a free-to download, innovative guide brings together the wider resources for looked after children. The Click Guide to Children’s Services has been welcomed by child care practitioners, voluntary organisations and private companies who want to improve the well-being of children. The Click Guide to Children’s Services has been published to support a more joined up approach to services for vulnerable children and young people.

The Guide features live links to hundreds of web based resources and is a signpost for useful information including:

  • Research reports and policy initiatives
  • Advocacy and support services
  • Good Practice guides

The Click Guide to Children’s Services is an essential tool for anyone supporting children and young people in care.

The Click Guide originated from a growing awareness that, while many fantastic resources are available to support children in care, information about these resources is often difficult to find and spread across different sources on the internet. The wider audience for the Guide includes foster carers, adoptive parents, social entrepreneurs developing new services, and young people themselves. For the benefit of these users the Guide includes further information about how children’s services work, and the roles of the various national, regional and local bodies.

Obtain the Guide here  and receive regular updates.

The Guide is also available to purchase as a printed book 

Shirley Ayres Consulting work with a wide range of organisations developing innovative solutions for managing knowledge to deliver quality care services. We believe that in the 21st century organisations need to find different ways to engage excite and energise their stakeholders. This doesn’t just mean communicating well – it means having a good story to tell. Our in-depth knowledge of social work and social care combined with expertise in communications and social networking provides unique perspectives for promoting integrated working across the care sector. This guide is the first in a series which will support joined-up thinking about information and knowledge across adults and children’s services.

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Workstation Ergonomics – a free health and safety training course from ALISON

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

workstation ergonomicsALISON’s newest free interactive multimedia e-learning course explains the simple and inexpensive principles that help create a safe and comfortable computer workstation environment. With information, instruction and training, this Health & Safety training course will help individuals avoid accidents, injury and ill-health possibly caused by bad posture or the likes of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and other poor habits formed around the office or home computer.

The course will be of special interest to employers, especially those in small & medium enterprises as a tool to assist in meeting health and safely obligations in the workplace. ALISON provides free group management functionality that allows any trainer, tutor or teacher to create a learning group to which they can invite learners. The benefit is that all tracked learning by the learners of the group can then be easily documented, in terms of lessons covered, grades achieved and time spent.

Enrol on this free course today at ALISON

Welcome to ALISON  which enables anyone, anywhere, to educate themselves for free via interactive self-paced multimedia.

Related Posts: The Internet Social WorkerCould SCIE be part of the eLearning revolution?

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Introducing ChiMat – an invaluable resource for children’s services

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

chimat_logo“Attention has become the scarce resource of the information economy” Wired Magazine

One of my favourite sayings because it is a reality that there is so much information available on the internet that it can become overwhelming. Every organisation I am connected with now sends out an e-Letter. Improving access to, and use of, knowledge and information has been identified as a priority for improving care services. But identifying the resources which will add value to your knowledge and skills is a major challenge.

The national Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) provides information and intelligence to improve decision-making for high quality, cost effective services. It supports policy makers, commissioners, managers, regulators, and other health stakeholders working on children’s, young people’s and maternal health. One of the key roles for ChiMat is to act as a signposting organisation for relevant work in the areas of children, young people’s and maternal health and to identify and support potential synergies in national work between government departments and other agencies.

The ChiMat Knowledge Update is one e-Bulletin that I always read. This free online resource provides a snapshot of current issues, news, research, policy and practice across the wide area of children and young people’s services. It is an excellent example of joined up thinking in health and social care. 

Sign up for the weekly ChiMat Knowledge Update here

Recent Knowledge Updates have included information about:

National Indicators datasets
Access to information about national indicators which range from National Indicator 58 – Emotional Behaviour of Looked After Children through to National Indicator 62 – The percentage of children looked after at 31 March with three or more placements subsequently adopted in that placement. Access the ChiMat Data Atlas here

In the News
Community Care: BASW brands integrated children’s system a failure
The British Association of Social Workers has branded the implementation of the computerised integrated children’s system (ICS), which records details of children receiving social care, a “systematic failure”. Access the article here

CWDC: Dawn Primarolo launches Young People’s Workforce Reform Programme
An important chapter for the young people’s workforce, and those it serves, begins today, as Children and Young People’s Minister, Dawn Primarolo launches the Young People’s Workforce Reform Programme. Access more information here

Supporting social care for families and children: An introduction to SCIE’s resources
A new booklet presenting SCIE’s range of resources for families and children’s social care. Access here

BASW and ADCS call for no-blame approach in SCRs
Social workers and directors of children’s services have called for serious case reviews to use a no-blame “systems approach” as developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Access here

Hidden Children –separated children at risk
Professionals ‘missing opportunities’ to help hidden children exploited for sex and forced labour. Children and young people trafficked into the UK, or exploited after their arrival, are struggling to get help from authorities responsible for their welfare, according to new research from The Children’s Society. Access more information here  
Guides and Practice
Commercial and Procurement Skills for Commissioners of Children’s Services
This page links to a set of guidance documents designed to help commissioners understand and apply commercial and procurement skills in their work. The documents cover the key principles of procurement, an overview of both strategic procurement and the contracting process, an overview of resource mapping and a basic jigsaw tool designed to help commissioners understand the key principles of change management.  Access here 

Policy and Reports
Community engagement key to Enfield’s JSNA strategy
The London Borough of Enfield has teamed up with the local primary care trust (PCT), NHS Enfield. They have placed community engagement at the heart of their joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA). This cas study gives an account of this process and includes key learnings for other councils. Access here

Meeting the specific needs of children with disabilities
The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes presents the latest guidance on the importance of ‘differentiated’ services for disabled children. Access here  

Exploring family environment characteristics and multiple abuse experiences among homeless youth
A qualitative study of homeless youth to examine how they describe past instances of abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and to explore family characteristics in their home environment. Identifies themes relating to the home environment, such as home instability, abandonment and substance abuse; also identifies themes around abuse, including intrafamilial abuse, rejection and carer abuse.
Access here

Safeguarding Targets and Indicators
The National Safeguarding Delivery Unit (part of the Department for Children, Schools and Families) has launched a consultation on Safeguarding Targets and Indicators. Deadline for responses is 8 December 2009. Access here

Events and Training
Five Years On: What’s Changed for Children and Young People?
London, 8 December 2009
Participation Works and 11 Million are holding a one-day conference to review the changes that have taken place since the Children Act 2004. The conference will identify what has worked well and what still needs to be done to ensure that the views and opinions of children and young people help to shape and influence policy and practice. This is a unique opportunity to find out what works in participation and help you to meet the duty to listen to and involve children and young people and to champion their interests. Access more information here

Shirley Ayres Consulting are committed to development through communication in the care sector. With extensive experience in knowledge management and communications we believe that a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, up-to-date with the latest legislation, policy and best practice, enables staff to make the most effective use of their time. This promotes the best outcomes for children, young people, their families and carers.

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London Looked After Children’s Nurse wins top award

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Lin Graham-Ray 3Lin Graham-Ray, Hammersmith and Fulham’s designated nurse consultant for looked-after children, has scooped the top prize at the Nursing Standard awards* when she was named the nation’s nurse of the year.
Lin won the award for her work to improve services for looked after children in the borough. Lin and her team worked on a project to redevelop looked-after children’s health plans, so that they include wellbeing activities to boost self-confidence and happiness, in addition to vaccinations and health checks.

“In the past, health reports may have simply recommended eye tests or immunisations,’ Lin explains, ‘but I want people to do whatever they can to help these children achieve optimum health – not just tick the box that they’ve been to the dentist or had their immunisations. I think we’ve all realised that there’s more to health than just vaccinations – looking after the well being of our children is just as important. Prescribing activities like baton-twirling helps boost confidence which can really make a difference to their lives and it means that they’re healthier and happier”.

There are currently around 60,000 looked-after children living in the UK.  Many looked after children have experienced abuse and neglect and have extensive health needs. Their educational achievement is much lower than that of their peers and they are four times more likely to have a mental disorder.

As the borough’s lead nurse for looked-after children, Lin’s post is funded by NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and the council. She provides a range of health advice and support to the borough’s 230 children in care. 

Looked-after children nurses like Lin support these young people by building their trust, carrying out health checks and answering their health and well being questions. Lin realised that the health and well being of these young people needed to be addressed more systematically and creatively. The children had complex lives with frequent changes of home and school. Lin introduced a scheme assigning a lead health professional to each young person, with a personalised care pathway and plan.

Lin said: “The feedback we get from young people is helping to continually improve the service. For example, when out on visits we now wear jeans because the children told us that we’re more approachable and easier to talk to in casual clothes.”

Sarah Whiting, Managing Director of NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, said: “ By developing new projects and initiatives like the ones produced by Lin and her team, we’re improving care and making sure that our patients lead happy and healthy lives.”

Lin contributed to the recent Government office for London publication “Supporting the Health and Well being of London’s Looked After Children – Learning from Emerging Practice” available here

*Established in 1988, the Nursing Standard Awards identify outstanding achievement and promote excellence and innovation in nursing care. Around 3,000 nurses are nominated for the honours every year.

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Promoting the health and well being of London’s looked after children

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

young london mattersHealth and well being are central to the quality of the lives of children in care. We know that looked after children often experience worse outcomes, particularly in what they achieve and attain, but it is also the same for many health aspects of their lives.
The Government office for London commissioned a scoping review to identify emerging practise supporting the health and well being of Looked after children, particularly around increasing access to CAMHS, Sexual Health, Immunisations and Vaccinations, Annual Health Assessments and general wellbeing. The results of the Scoping Review has been compiled into a practice guide: “Promoting the health and wellbeing of London’s looked after children – Learning from Emerging Practice”. 

Hard copies of the Guide are available from

This publication shares emerging good practice that is achieving positive change across London. There are a collection of case studies in the following areas:

Annual Health Assessments and Health Plans
Immunisations and Vaccinations
Access to Children and Mental Health Services
Sexual Health, Teenage Pregnancy and Sexual Relationship Education
Emotional Well Being
Education Support 

There are a number of key themes which emerge which include the importance of multi-agency team work, the importance of a whole systems approach, the need for training, consultancy and support, evaluating the outcomes and impacts of activities and involving and engaging with children and young people in care.

Although the focus is London the emerging practice is applicable more widely. Do you have links with a local football club? Find out how one local authority has developed an innovative programme for young people in care with the support of Tottenham Hotspur. This is a timely and relevant resource for social work and I would encourage you to share this widely with colleagues in social work, health and education who have an interest in this important area.

You may also find it useful to look at the Young London Matters website to read the presentations from the conference held on the 16th October 2009 and a range of other resources to support the health and well being of children and young people in London.

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