Working together to address poverty and emotional health and wellbeing in Barnsley’s children and young people

At cabinet on Wednesday 2 June, councillors will hear about a programme of work from the overview and scrutiny committee (OSC), who have completed two reports: child poverty and children and young people’s (CYP) emotional health and wellbeing in Barnsley. In 2020, the OSC investigated poverty in adults and adult mental health in Barnsley, and these reports continue this work. 

The OSC Task and Finish Group wanted to understand the key challenges for children and young people, what support services are available from other local agencies and us, and what improvements we can make. They heard from other organisations and children and young people. Both reports considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Poverty 

It’s expected that the COVID-19 pandemic will have undoubtedly increased the level of poverty in many ways as families face uncertainty and hardship. 

The report sets out several recommendations, including improving access to digital skills and devices, coordination across partnership working, and workplace and skill development opportunities for young people. You can read the full report on child poverty in Barnsley on our website.

CYP emotional health and wellbeing 

This report describes a CYP emotional health and wellbeing scoping report, which looks at the early intervention and prevention services available in Barnsley and where the gaps are. This scoping report will form the basis of an action plan. 

Other recommendations laid out in the CYP emotional health and wellbeing report include developing a single point of contact for young people to access services, an anti-bullying strategy from the Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership and increasing opportunities for our young people to engage more with elected members.  

You can read the full report on CYP emotional health and wellbeing on our website.

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “This work is key to help us understand the issues around poverty and emotional health and wellbeing in Barnsley and make some clear steps forward to help families, children and young people in our borough. We cannot underestimate the effects of Coronavirus.

“The recommendations put forward will require a whole council and partnership approach to make sure we continue to help children, young people and their families. Many of the recommendations from both reports are already being taken forward and actioned by the council and Barnsley’s Children’s Partnership.” 

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