Competition shortlists county support crew

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SPECIALIST county council support for a number of young people has been shortlisted in a prestigious national competition.

The Municipal Journal (MJ) Local Government Achievement Awards judging panel has selected the authority’s Targeted Adolescent Service as one of six finalists in the Children’s Services category.

The programme was established in April 2011 with the aim of providing a dedicated and co-ordinated support network for vulnerable young people.

It brought together the Youth Offending Service, Positive Futures, The Substance Misuse Service, The Leaving Care Team and the Teenage Pregnancy Service.

The judging panel said: “This service shows a clear strategic direction and strong evidence that it has achieved what it set out to do, worked in a very joined-up manner and made a real difference to young people.”

An inclusive and integrated framework was established soon after the programme was set up in which all teams that work with and support vulnerable young people can work together effectively to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Coun Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “Being selected as a finalist from a wide range of entries submitted by councils all over the country recognises the progress and track record of improvements in our services for children and young people during the last few years despite huge financial challenges.

“It also shows that the council is increasingly seen as innovative and able to work in partnership to deliver significant performance improvement and real, positive changes for the community of Northumberland.”