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New Support System For Local Youngsters
8:57am Tuesday 23rd June 2009 in News
THOUSANDS of younsgters across South Cheshire will be among the first in the country to benefit from a new support system designed to promote their well-being.
ContactPoint will draw together for the first time basic information on all young people aged 18 and under, that is currently held separately by key agencies including education, health and social care.
The online directory will act as a single reference point for practitioners, once they have passed strict security checks and received in-depth training.
It will enable them to contact each other quickly so they can work together more efficiently to address a child’s needs.
John Weeks, Cheshire East’s strategic director of people, said: “ContactPoint is designed to increase support for our children though early intervention and a joint approach to potential problems.
“It will also save time and make better use of resources by eradicating unnecessary duplication.
“It is an integral part of the Every Child Matters Agenda and is designed to enforce all the objectives linked to the overall wellbeing of our children and young people from birth to 18.”
Ultimately, ContactPoint will enable 6,000 Cheshire practitioners - including teachers, doctors, social and welfare workers, nurses and police officers – to ensure they are working together in the best interests of a child.
Cheshire is one of the first areas in the country to introduce the national Government database, which will hold only basic information such as name and contact details.
It is being piloted in Cheshire East by practitioners at Children’s Centres whose feedback will then be considered and any necessary changes made before the system is rolled out in the autumn.
The directory, which will hold details of approximately 80,000 children and young people in Cheshire East, is subject to rigorous security.
The details of any child who would be at risk if their whereabouts were known, such as victims of domestic violence, will be subject to additional restrictions, known as shielding.