Welcome from Yvette Stanley, Merton's Director of Children's Services
No one can ignore the unrest caused by recent international events, and how this may affect our Merton community. From a children’s services perspective I want to take this opportunity to restate a core value of Merton’s Children’s Trust: Equality, equity, inclusion and valuing diversity – we are judged on our impact on the most vulnerable; a value which I know that you all, as members of Merton’s children’s workforce, take to your hearts and deliver in your daily work with our children, young people and families from all backgrounds. Evidence of this work is featured in this edition of Young Merton Together – Merton children’s services striving for equality - which includes a progress review on our Equalities and Community Cohesion Action Plan.
And I also want to highlight the commitment of Merton’s administration to ensuring that people understand that ‘Merton Welcomes all’ – a joint message of reassurance from all three party leaders in the council, which restates the zero tolerance approach taken in Merton to discrimination and our celebration of residents from all backgrounds in the area.
I do enjoy celebrating our successes and this edition of Young Merton Together features a number of which I am very proud: Merton School Improvement Team top the staff excellence awards; Young Victims of Crime Pilot project a success; and the Merton restorative justice programme showcased at the Youth Justice Convention.
A core ambition of our Children’s Trust Services is to demonstrate that the views and ambitions of children and young people have informed and improved our service offer. This edition demonstrates just that, in the following articles: Merton’s Looked After Children participate in their reviews; Merton Transforming Families – the Helping Families approach; Merton working hard to safeguard children and families; Tightrope – the interactive engagement tool for working with young people; A word from Merton’s Children in Care Council and Young people changing the conversation about mental health in Merton.
In this edition we include a number of stories which illustrate the work of partners across the borough to support the economic well-being of our children and their communities: Supporting Merton parents' economic well-being; Enablng Enterprise at Malmesbury Primary School; and information about our upcoming childminding course: Are you thinking of becoming a childminder?
We are always happy to showcase the work of schools and other partners in creating wonderful opportunities for our children and families, and providing support where necessary. We hear from the following schools: Cricket Green; Perseid; Ricard’s Lodge; Raynes Park; Malmesbury; and SS Peter and Paul, and include the following stories from other partners: Health visitor service raising awareness of domestic violence; Jigsaw 4U’s Helping Hands project, and the mentoring scheme; and some great stories from Merton’s Police Cadets.
I would like to draw your attention to our current review of the Merton Well-Being Model, and ask you to take some time to respond to the consultation (by 13 Febraury please): Review 2017 of Merton Child and Young Person Well Being Model (MWBM); have your say.
And finally please Join us at the Merton Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Week of presentations and workshop which start on Monday 13 March 2017,
As ever, thanks very much for all of your hard work and commitment to the delivery of Merton’s Children’s Trust ambitions and values, a number of which I hope this piece has helped you to reflect on today.
Yvette Stanley, Merton's Director of Children's Services