The Children’s Community Network is made up of our three Children’s Community sites, located in Smallshaw-Hurst, Pembury, and Wallsend. The network is made up of key people and services in children’s lives (like schools, housing groups and child health and housing associations), who work together on co-ordinated plans to significantly improve outcomes for children growing up in poverty.
The network holds regular governance and learning exchange days to make sure all the Children’s Community sites can learn from one another in an ongoing way, as well as discuss the best national and international practice.
What are Children's Communities?
A NEIGHBOURHOOD: Children’s Communities are located in disadvantaged places with a history of partnership working for children and a collective commitment to take this to the next level.
A SHARED VISION: Local services develop and implement a coordinated plan for helping children thrive, based on a shared vision for children and a shared analysis of children’s needs.
INTEGRATED AND HOLISTIC: Children’s Communities work across children’s lives and throughout each stage of childhood.
GENERATIONAL: Children’s Communities work over the long-term. They tackle presenting symptoms and underlying causes simultaneously.
POWERED BY LOCAL VOICES: Children’s Communities are driven and led by local people who are best placed to identify strengths, harness the power of local networks and find solutions within their communities.
NATIONALLY EVALUATED: The Children’s Community project is underpinned by a body of research and evidence, and is being nationally evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University.
Why do we need Children’s Communities?
There are three key reasons why Children’s Communities are essential for giving poorer children a radically better chance in life:
One. Integrated, holistic support across children’s lives is vital for them to flourish. In disadvantaged neighbourhoods, children can face multiple and overlapping social challenges and traditional policy efforts have struggled to narrow outcome gaps between rich and poor children. Children also spend a huge amount of their time outside of school –175 of days in fact – meaning integrated support across their homes and communities has a huge role to play.
Two. Every community is unique and top-down initiatives tend not to understand the local characteristics, strengths and capacity for self-support intrinsic to lots of neighbourhoods. Children’s Communities address local contexts, harness the power of local networks and create locally-led long term plans for transforming children’s futures.
Three. Now more than ever, there is a need to get the maximum value from every pound invested in local neighbourhoods so that children get the support they need. Big injections of additional funds to help overcome entrenched social problems are not the answer. We need to cut out duplication and align our efforts at a local level to have the biggest impact on generations to come.
The Children’s Community Network
The Children’s Community Network supports the development of Children’s Community sites. The Network holds regular Governance Days and Learning Exchanges, to oversee the national initiative and to make sure the sites can learn from one another and the best national and international evidence and practice.