A Welcome from Yvette Stanley, Merton's Director of Children's Services
This edition of Young Merton Together showcases a range of positive activities which Merton’s children and young people take part in, helping them to develop resilience, life skills, future employment skills and confidence, and to have a great time!
Our young people show enthusiasm in and commitment to their endeavours and are a credit to our Children’s Trust services – including schools, health, police, the voluntary sector, and Merton’s children’s services - whose staff work with energy and vision to create these wonderful opportunities:
At the end of May, Carol Curtis, Merton’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards scheme manager and I represented the borough at the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme 60th anniversary. We currently have 50, 16 to 18-year-olds from Merton’s schools working hard to complete their Dof E gold award, and in order to ensure equity of access and enjoyment of the scheme we are currently calling all 14-16 year-olds in the borough who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Questioning (LGBTQ) to join a new project to achieve their bronze award.
Other activities showcased include: Celebrating success – Project Search; Harris Merton’s Win at Jack Petchey Regional Finals; Merton’s newly elected Youth Parliament; Merton Junior Neighbourhood Warden Watch; Cadets supporting key Women in Policing Event; and Summer Fun for Merton’s youth.
Also this month I am very happy to present a number of service successes: Merton awarded prestigious local government award as part of the South London Special Educational Needs Commissioning group; Homestart Merton continues to support our local families; Mitcham Healthy Schools Celebrate; and a Call to schools to register with Healthy Schools London.
Under the theme of ‘user voice’ we have two stories about the participation of care leavers in service developments: Renewing our pledge to Merton’s Looked After Children and Care Leavers; and Young people train Merton’s foster carers.
Under the theme of children’s safeguarding we have: An update from the Chair of Merton's Safeguarding Children Board; Concerned about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?; and A multi-agency approach to neglect.
In addition we have stories which illustrate our work to continuously improve services though a constant cycle of performance management and improvement planning: Merton’s duty to ensure placements for all looked after children; and Merton's Children's Social Care Workforce - Annual 'Health check'
And finally we have some exciting new developments to share including Emotional well-being – a free learning and skills event for Yrs 5 and 6; Child Healthy Weight Support; Health Provision and Children’s Centre Service Co-Location; and Meet the new Merton Council Cabinet Members for Children's Services, and Education.
It only remains for me to thank you all for your hard work and persistence in delivering high quality services to children and families, and for ensuring that we, as Merton’s Children’s Trust, continuously review and improve our offer to them.
Best wishes, Yvette