Southwark Voice meeting

Children, Young People & Families forum
10am – 12.30pm, Thurs 1 May 2014
Cambridge House, 1 Addington Square, London, SE5 0HF
Attendees (22)
Alison Miles, Southwark Parent Carers Council; Beatriz Dominguez, Cambridge House; Charlotte
Benstead, Creation Trust; Cheryl Holder, Lewisham Social Care; Cheryl Parkinson, Homestart
Southwark; Hazel Saunders, Faces in Focus; Isobel Scott-Barrett, Bede House; Jean Tucker, PSLA;
Katie Dare, Family Lives; Laura Dix, Solace; Laura Wirtz, LQ Group; Miranda Haslem, Salmon Youth
Centre; Nicola Howard, 1st Place; Odion Amoo-Peters, Gumboots; Olivia Donkor, Centric Learning
Tree; Seema Sodhi, Homestart Southwark; Selma Bayou, IKWRO; Stephney Bent; Steve Howe, Look
Ahead; Vera Beining, Action For Children; Winsome Duncan; Yvonne Linton, MacIntyre;
Presenters (4)
Bea Howelles & Elise St Hill, IntoUniversity; Brendan Ring, Southwark Council; Peta Smith,
Southwark Council;
VCS Reps (4)
Florence Emakpose, World of Hope; Ian Redding, PVSF; Natalia Sali, Contact A Family; Phil
Mawhinney, CAS
CAS/Healthwatch Southwark (3)
Andy Boaden, CAS; Chip De Silva, CAS/HW; Deborah Hayman, CAS
Meeting notes
1. Welcome & introduction
 Phil Mawhinney, Senior Policy Officer at CAS, opened the meeting, welcomed the group and
outlined the agenda.
 PM highlighted a number of items –
o CAS local election hustings event on 8 May, where local political parties will outline their
vision for the local voluntary & community sector (VCS).
o Southwark Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are consulting on a new
Mental Health Strategy. CAS would like to convene children, young people and families
(CYPF) organisations to input into this. More information to follow.
2. Children & Families Act: SEND reforms
 Peta Smith, Commissioning Manager (All Age Disabilities) at Southwark Council, gave a
presentation on the Children & Families Act (2014) and its impact on the local voluntary &
community sector (VCS).
 Key points included:
o The council has a duty to publish a ‘Local Offer’ of all available services, including those
provided by the VCS. This will be published in September 2014. This is an important
opportunity for VCS providers to promote their services. Information to follow in June.
o A new regime of integrated assessment, with integrated Education, Health & Care
Plans. There will also be integrated commissioning of services (e.g. between the
council and NHS), leading to potential new opportunities for the VCS.
o There will also be a new right to request a personal budget. This will bring opportunities
and challenges to VCS providers, who could offer new services and expand business but
will have to obtain income from PB holders, rather than through referrals or a contract,
and develop new income/cost models. The ‘market’ of VCS (and other) providers will
increase, so organisations will have to be better at promoting themselves and clarifying a
unique selling point.
The council is continuing to support organisations through this period of transition.
In the following discussion a number of points were raised:
o The sector needs to develop stronger links with schools/academies, which is difficult.
(Schools also have to develop their own Local Offers.)
o Can VCS staff act as key workers, with a role in (integrated) assessment and planning?
o Will carers be assessed?
Contact Peta to find out more: (E) (T) 0207 525 3629.
3. Family Focus Plus programme
 Brendan Ring, Head of Troubled Families at Southwark Council, gave a presentation on Family
Focus Plus, the local Troubled Families programme.
 Key points included:
Nationally agreed target of improving outcomes for 1,085 families in Southwark by 2015.
Aimed at families who are experiencing multiple difficulties.
Payment by Results model.
Core objectives are to –
 reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour
 reduce truancy and/or exclusion from school
 reduce the number of people not in work and claiming out-of-work benefits
VCS providers are encouraged to ‘attach’ families they work with to the programme, as
long they are eligible. Contact to find out more on this.
In the following discussion a number of points were raised:
o BR wants to develop parenting services in the programme.
o From 2015 the focus will be on younger children, pre-school.
o Some of the ‘lead professionals’ are staff in the VCS.
o There will shortly be a round of commissioning under the programme.
o There was concern that the Early Help team and its work should be fully co-ordinated with
the FFP programme; there may be a disconnect between teams working with under 5s
and over 5s. Early intervention is a key priority in the programme.
Contact Brendan to find out more: (E) (T) 0207 525 7141.
4. Representation
 VCS Reps reported the latest local policy developments and took comments in discussion.
 Natalia Sali (Contact A Family) reported from the Children & Families Trust. Read the short
Dispatch report.
 Key points included –
o Need to have VCS representation on the new children’s commissioning group.
o Ringfenced public health budget to tackle the high obesity rate in Southwark.
o Council upskilling of social workers to work with families.
o Focus on neglect and troubled families in the council’s ‘best start’ priority area.
 Points in discussion included –
o VCS organisations need advance notice of commissioning in order to plan ahead and
pull together collaborative bids.
 Ian Redding (Peckham Voluntary Sector Forum) reported from the Safer Southwark
Partnership. Read the short Dispatch.
 Key points included –
The rise in domestic violence (DV), up 20%, as well as the difficulty of working with
perpetrators, young perpetrators being in violent relationships and welfare benefit
reforms increasing financial insecurity in some relationships.
o The success of the work of Southwark Anti Violence Unit with young offenders.
Points in discussion included –
o Are VCS organisations better at supporting victims of DV? E.g. Bede House, which
provides holistic and long-term support.
o DV is not actually a crime.
o Cyber crime, ‘sexting’ are important elements of abuse. Are these being fully
 Phil Mawhinney (CAS) reported from the Health & Wellbeing Board. Read the short Dispatch.
 Key points included –
o The board has signed-off on an Early Action Commission, which will look at how the
whole system – council, NHS, police, VCS – can focus more of its resources on
prevention, rather than treating symptoms. The commission is important for identifying
the long-term role of the VCS. The commission will take evidence in the summer/autumn
and report in the new year – keep an eye out for it.
 Phil Mawhinney (CAS) also reported from the Safeguarding Children Board. Read the short
 Key points included –
o The board is focusing on neglect, as well as faith and community organisations. CAS
is organising a ‘Safeguarding Summit’ at the end of May to bring together public and
voluntary sector partners to identify issues and develop joint actions. Contact Phil if
interested in attending –
o Florence Emakpose (World of Hope) gave a brief update on the subgroup focusing on
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). This is a priority in Southwark, and the VCS needs to
be more fully informed as to how to recognise CSE and what to do in that scenario.
This was followed by an open session, in which participants made a note of key issues facing
their organisation and service users. The key points/themes included –
o Organisations are concerned about young people with disabilities who do/will not
quality for personal budgets. Organisations will have to turn them away, and their
situation will deteriorate.
o The need for the council and NHS to better join up strategies and budgets (including
joint commissioning) to better enable a focus on preventative work.
o There needs to be more of a focus on early intervention, i.e. children under 5.
o The sector needs to better engage with schools/academies, to be able to deliver
services in schools and access new forms of funding.
o Organisations want policymakers to co-produce services in partnership with them and
their service users.
o Organisations reported an increase in domestic violence.
o Organisations want more holistic support for people/families, rather than just a focus on
an ‘entry’ issue, e.g. DV.
o Organisations want a VCS directory, to know who else is operating locally (CAS is
developing this).
5. Project showcase: IntoUniversity
 Bea Howelles and Elise St Hill from the Walworth branch of IntoUniversity gave a short
presentation on the service. IU provides support for young people, including a homework club,
mentoring and pastoral care. It helps them have higher aspirations and achieve those aspirations,
for example by attending university.
 There are eligibility criteria for young people, such as living in social housing. All services are free.
 Local organisations can refer young people they work with for support.
 Find out more on the IntoUniversity and contact Bea ( or Eilse
( to find out more.
6. CAS development support on offer
 Deborah Hayman, Development Officer at CAS, outlined various support currently on offer to
local VCS organisations:
o New 4-day training modules. On business planning, income generation and financial
management. Read more.
o Partnership/collaboration. We are keen to support and encourage greater collaboration
between children and young people’s organisations. Watch this space and contact us if
this is something you want to be involved in.
o Mentoring programme. If you would like to mentor someone within the local sector, or
be mentored by someone, read more and submit an expression of interest.
Contact Deborah to find out more: [E] [T] 0207 358 7021.
7. Information sharing
 Attendees shared information about their projects, upcoming events and other opportunities. See
the items below, including links and contacts.
World of Hope – looking for young people to get involved in its youth ambassadors
Home Start Southwark – new programme of perinatal support:
Bede House – programme supporting victims of domestic violence, survivors group:
Faces in Focus – has office space available:
Iranian & Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) – working to eradicate
female genital mutilation (FGM):
Salmon Youth Centre – looking for male befrienders to work with young people:
IntoUniversity – looking for volunteers to work with young people: