Cabinet approves spending to safeguard children and young people

Havering Council is to invest additional funding into its children’s services to tackle serious youth violence and the exploitation of young people in the borough.

The last Cabinet meeting agreed to spend an extra three-quarters of a million pounds on more resources to ensure earlier intervention across departments to safeguard children at risk of criminal exploitation.

Havering’s Children’s Services said part of the approach will target young people at risk by focusing on the places where they socialise.

The additional funding, which will be spread over three years, will be used to recruit specialist staff and to commission projects for young people, plus provide safeguarding training for staff.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet member for Children, Education and Families, said:

“This additional funding means we can target the areas that need the funding the most. We can recruit extra specialist staff, provide additional support to vulnerable young people and their families and ensure our staff are equipped to help young people improve their life chances.”

The approach is one of a series put in place by the Council’s Children’s Services that have included hosting knife and crime safety workshops and assemblies in schools to more than 2,000 children since 2018.

The Cabinet also agreed to closer partnership working with neighbouring local authorities, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge in a bid to safeguard children at risk in the community.

The partnership will ensure that all agencies, such as the police, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups collaborate to safeguard local children. Each local authority will also maintain their own local group, but on a smaller scale.

Every local authority is required by law to publish their plan by the end of June 2019 and have the new arrangements in place by September 2019.

Published: 17 June 2019